03 April 2012

ImageList error signals missing manifest

When an application adds an Ocx ImageList to a Form using the Form-Editor an error might occur after compilation to EXE.

When the EXE is started the application stops executing displaying an ImageList loading error. This error occurs when the application is developed using a GfaWin32.Exe.manifest file. The manifest file forces the executable (named in its file name) to use the newer comctl32.dll version 6.x to apply more appealing visual styles. This DLL contains an updated load and save function for Image List common controls. When your application is compiled to a stand-alone the ImageList data is saved within the EXE using the ImageList_Write() API from the comctl32.dll version 6. Now when you launch the stand-alone EXE without a reference to the newer common control DLL, the ImageList_Read() from the older DLL is used. And, well… these functions are not compatible.

After compiling an application to a stand-alone EXE, a manifest file for the stand-alone EXE must be included, otherwise the executable will start without using the newer comctl32.dll. So, if you name your application “myapp.exe” you must include a “myapp.exe.manifest” file along with the EXE. You can easily copy the GfaWin32.exe.manifest file to the application’s directory and rename it by replacing the first part to the name of your application. A GB32 project would then include the following files:


Note - It doesn’t hurt to include a manifest file for systems that don’t support comctl32 version 6.

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