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How to access System.Windows.Forms resources?

Posted on 2009-06-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
I would like to access the resources in System.Windows.Forms, specifically icons and assign them to misc buttons.

I know I could rip them and add them to the Resource file of the Project, however that would be a lot of work considering the number of icons I need to use.

Please provide small code sample in C#, thanks in advance!
reflector.png
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Question by:LittleJohn101
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13 Comments
 
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
abel earned 500 total points
ID: 24737759
You can get a list of all resources in the Forms assembly by using the following code snippet. You can then use

Stream iconStream = a.GetManifestResourceStream(stringOfResource);

to get the stream of a resource.


// list all resources for the Window.Forms resource, 
// assuming System.Window.Forms is loaded and in focus
// (otherwise use a fully qualified name)
 
Assembly asm = Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(Form));
string[] resources = asm.GetManifestResourceNames();
foreach (string s in resources)
    Debug.WriteLine(s);

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Author Comment

by:LittleJohn101
ID: 24737897
This looks good, is there anyway to access these from the VS 2005 Form Designer?
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Expert Comment

by:iUsername
ID: 24737917
Do you mean:
"global::<projectname>.Properties.Resources" ???
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Author Comment

by:LittleJohn101
ID: 24737929
Exactly, I have tried

global::System.Windows.Forms.Resources
global::System.Windows.Forms.Properties

with no success...
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:abel
ID: 24737952
> This looks good, is there anyway to access these from the VS 2005 Form Designer?
You cannot access these elements directly from the form designer because the Visual Studio has never seemed it necessary to make it possible to browse the resources inside a DLL directly from the Form designer (i.e., when you select Image of a Picturebox). It is however possible to load the DLL directly in VS to browse the resources, but then you'd have to save them to another location.

Doing that in one time in a loop as I showed above (you can simply copy the Stream to disk) is then much easier.

If you want to access them by code, you can do so too, using just the same technique.

-- Abel --
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:abel
ID: 24737969
> global::System.Windows.Forms.Resources
That won't work, because that should mean that the Resources property should be implemented and made public. The Resources property the way you know it is added by Visual Studio as a convenience but does not have to be implemented.
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Author Closing Comment

by:LittleJohn101
ID: 31598003
Thanks for your abel!
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:abel
ID: 24738031
Just tried it as a little experiment, to be sure what I was telling was correct and the screenshot shows a few of the output bmp files that I have from the Forms.dll. Use the following code to "dump" all the ico, bmp and other resources from any dll:

Assembly asm = Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(Form));
string[] resources = asm.GetManifestResourceNames();
foreach (string s in resources)
{
    using (Stream strIn = asm.GetManifestResourceStream(s))
    using(Stream strOut = File.Open(@"d:\temp\data\" + s, FileMode.OpenOrCreate))
    {
        BufferedStream outStream = new BufferedStream(strOut);
        BufferedStream inStream = new BufferedStream(strIn);
        byte[] buf = new byte[4096];
        int bytesRead = 0;
        while ((bytesRead = inStream.Read(buf, 0, 4096)) > 0)
            outStream.Write(buf, 0, bytesRead);
 
        outStream.Flush();
    }
}

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ScreenShot409.png
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Author Comment

by:LittleJohn101
ID: 24738040
Nice!
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:abel
ID: 24738055
You're welcome (just saw you already graded, but figured you'd like to know how to access / save the resource) ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:iUsername
ID: 24738286
p.s.

it is not "global::System.Windows.Forms.Resources".
You shouldn't write "System" but your project's name....
As far as I know (and I'm using this code), it should work.

Anyway, glad it's working that other way too! :-) (and I learned something new...)
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:abel
ID: 24738318
> You shouldn't write "System" but your project's name....
> As far as I know (and I'm using this code), it should work.

You may want to check the OP's question again: (s)he doesn't want his/her self created resources, but the resources from another DLL, which is in this case the loaded DLL System.Windows.Forms.DLL. You cannot access that by using your own classname, because that would refer to your own class.
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Expert Comment

by:iUsername
ID: 24740460
Right.
Sorry, and thanks!
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