Loading Bitmaps and Cursors from RES Files

by Jan 19, 1996

 Technical Information Database

TI1081D.txt   Loading Bitmaps and Cursors from RES Files
Category   :VCL
Platform    :All
Product    :Delphi  All

         Loading Bitmaps and Cursors from RES files

Bitmaps and cursors can be stored in a resource (RES) files and
linked into your application's EXE file.  RES files can be created
with Delphi's Image Editor or Borland's Resource Workshop that comes
with the Delphi RAD Pack.  Bitmaps and cursors stored in RES files
(after being bound into an EXE or DLL) can be retrieved by using the
API functions LoadBitmap and LoadCursor, respectively.

Loading Bitmaps
The LoadBitmap API call is defined as follows:

function LoadBitmap(Instance: THandle;
                    BitmapName: PChar): HBitmap;

The first parameter is the instance handle of the module (EXE or DLL)
that contains the RES file you wish to get a resource from.  Delphi
provides the instance handle of the EXE running in the global variable
called Hinstance.  For this example it is assumed that the module that
you are trying to load the bitmap from is your application.  However,
the module could be another EXE or DLL file.  The following example
loads a bitmap called BITMAP_1 from a RES file linked into the
application's EXE:

procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
  Bmp: TBitmap;
  Bmp := TBitmap.Create;
  Bmp.Handle := LoadBitmap(HInstance,'BITMAP_1');
  Canvas.Draw(0, 0, Bmp);

There is one drawback to using the LoadBitmap API call though 
LoadBitmap is a Windows 3.0 API call and loads in bitmaps only as 
DDBs (Device Dependent Bitmaps).  This can cause color palette 
problems when retrieving DIBs (Device Independent Bitmaps) from 
RES files.  The code listed below can be used to retrieve DIBs from 
RES files.  This code loads the bitmap as a generic resource, puts 
it into a stream, and then does a LoadFromStream call which causes 
Delphi to realize the color palette automatically.

procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
  BM = $4D42;  {Bitmap type identifier}
  Bmp: TBitmap;
  BMF: TBitmapFileHeader;
  HResInfo: THandle;
  MemHandle: THandle;
  Stream: TMemoryStream;
  ResPtr: PByte;
  ResSize: Longint;
  BMF.bfType := BM; 
  {Find, Load, and Lock the Resource containing BITMAP_1}
  HResInfo := FindResource(HInstance, 'BITMAP_1', RT_Bitmap);
  MemHandle := LoadResource(HInstance, HResInfo);
  ResPtr := LockResource(MemHandle);

  {Create a Memory stream, set its size, write out the bitmap
   header, and finally write out the Bitmap                  }
  Stream := TMemoryStream.Create;
  ResSize := SizeofResource(HInstance, HResInfo);
  Stream.SetSize(ResSize + SizeOf(BMF));
  Stream.Write(BMF, SizeOf(BMF));
  Stream.Write(ResPtr^, ResSize);

  {Free the resource and reset the stream to offset 0}
  Stream.Seek(0, 0);

  {Create the TBitmap and load the image from the MemoryStream}
  Bmp := TBitmap.Create;
  Canvas.Draw(0, 0, Bmp);

Loading Cursors
The LoadCursor API call is defined as follows:

function LoadCursor(Instance: THandle;
                    CursorName: PChar): HCursor;

The first parameter is the Instance variable of the module that
contains the RES file.  As above, this example assumes that the
module that you are trying to load the cursor from is your
application.  The second parameter is the name of the cursor.

Under the interface section declare:

  crMyCursor = 5; {Other units can use this constant}

Next, add the following two lines of code to the form's OnCreate
event as follows:

procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
  Screen.Cursors[crMyCursor] := LoadCursor(HInstance, 'CURSOR_1');
  Cursor := crMyCursor;

or you may want to change one of the standard Delphi cursors as
follows (the Cursor constants can be found in the On-line Help
under Cursors Property):

procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
  {This example changes the SQL Hourglass cursor}
  Screen.Cursors[crSQLWait] := LoadCursor(HInstance, 'CURSOR_1');

Note:  Normally it is necessary to delete any cursor resources with 
the DeleteCursor, however, in Delphi this is not necessary because 
Delphi will delete the all cursors in the Cursors array.


7/16/98 4:34:00 PM

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