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Posted 27 Feb 2005


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Macro to add a manifest to your application to give XP style

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27 Feb 2005
Create a manifest file automatically for your application.


This article describes a simple macro that creates a template manifest file for your application.

The manifest file is created once, the first time you run this macro into an active project. The file is then placed in your resource folder and added to your project as "YourApplication.exe.Manifest". Then, for each configuration (debug, release...) that you have in your project, this macro will add a custom build operation to be able to copy the manifest resource file beside your executable when you build the application.

When the macro has been run, you can modify the manifest template file directly in your project to suit your needs and then save it. Each time you build your application, the manifest file in the output directory will be updated.

This is my first attempt in writing macros, so kindly apologize for mistakes if any, since the language isn't so powerful. I wasn't able to do it the way I wanted to. If I have the time, I will probably do an add-in instead.

'FILE DESCRIPTION: Macros to set a manifest file with your application
private const FileString1 = "<?xml version=""1.0"" 
private const FileString2 = "<assembly 
private const FileString3 = "<assemblyIdentity"
private const FileString4 = "    version="""""
private const FileString5 = "   processorArchitecture=""x86"""
private const FileString6a = "    name=""Microsoft.Windows."
private const FileString6b = """"
private const FileString7 = "    type=""win32"""
private const FileString8 = "/>"
private const FileString9a = "<description>"
private const FileString9b = "</description>"
private const FileString10 = "<dependency>"
private const FileString11 = "   <dependentAssembly>"
private const FileString12 = "      <assemblyIdentity"
private const FileString13 = "        type=""win32"""
private const FileString14 = "        name=""Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls"""
private const FileString15 = "        version="""""
private const FileString16 = "        processorArchitecture=""X86"""
private const FileString17 = "        publicKeyToken=""6595b64144ccf1df"""
private const FileString18 = "        language=""*"""
private const FileString19 = "      />"
private const FileString20 = "   </dependentAssembly>"
private const FileString21 = "</dependency>"
private const FileString22 = "</assembly>"

Sub MakeManifest()
'DESCRIPTION: Make a manifest file for your application
'AUTHOR: Stephan Poirier, Feb 27th, 2005

 ' Save the workspace
 ExecuteCommand "WorkspaceSave"
 ' Ugly assembling of the text for the manifest document
 dim OutString
 OutString = FileString1 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString2 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString3 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString4 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString5 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString6a
 OutString = OutString + Application.ActiveProject.Name
 OutString = OutString + FileString6b + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString7 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString8 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString9a
 OutString = OutString + Application.ActiveProject.Name
 OutString = OutString + FileString9b + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString10 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString11 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString12 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString13 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString14 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString15 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString16 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString17 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString18 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString19 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString20 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString21 + vbCrLf
 OutString = OutString + FileString22
 ' Add it to the project workspace if needed 
 ' (MSDEV will crash if added more than one time)
 Dim s 
 s = IsFileInWorkspace ("SOURCE=.\res\" & _
               Application.ActiveProject.Name & ".exe.Manifest")
 if( s=false ) then 

  ' Create a new doc that is the 
  ' manifest then paste the template text
  Documents.Add "Text"
  ActiveDocument.Selection = OutString

  ' Save document
  ActiveDocument.Save "res\" & Application.ActiveProject.Name & _

  ' Close document

  ' Add the file to the project
  ActiveProject.AddFile "res\" & Application.ActiveProject.Name & _
  msgbox "Added " & Application.ActiveProject.Name & _
                    ".exe.Manifest" & " into the project workspace"
 end if
 ' Change project settings to generate a manifest file 
 ' for each output config each time a build is done
 dim cfg
 for each cfg in ActiveProject.Configurations
   PrintToOutputWindow "Set manifest custom buld step for " & cfg
                   cfg.AddCustomBuildStep "copy $(ProjDir)\res\" & _
                                  Application.ActiveProject.Name & _
             ".exe.manifest $(OutDir)\$(TargetName).exe.manifest", _
             "$(OutDir)\$(TargetName).exe.manifest", "Copy manifest"
 ' Save the workspace
 ExecuteCommand "WorkspaceSave"

 ' Done
 PrintToOutputWindow "Manifest for " & _
                    Application.ActiveProject.Name & " generated."
 MsgBox "Manifest for" & Application.ActiveProject.Name & " generated."

End Sub

Function IsFileInWorkspace(file)
 Documents.Open ActiveProject.FullName, "Text", True
 IsFileInWorkspace = _
        ActiveDocument.Selection.FindText(file, dsMatchFromStart )
End Function


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Written By
Technical Lead
Canada Canada
I'm a french guy from Quebec, Canada. Having programmed many PLC, industrial machineries and computers in many languages at work... I'm used to program anything professionaly or just for my own fun at home. I like to learn and exchange programming techniques with others.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionC++? Pin
Thommy Mewes28-Feb-05 5:22
MemberThommy Mewes28-Feb-05 5:22 
AnswerRe: C++? Pin
Kippesoep28-Feb-05 6:41
MemberKippesoep28-Feb-05 6:41 
AnswerRe: C++? Pin
Stephan Poirier28-Feb-05 14:28
MemberStephan Poirier28-Feb-05 14:28 

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