windres may be used to manipulate Windows resources.
Warning: windres is not always built as part of the binary utilities, since it is only useful for Windows targets.
windres [options] [input-file] [output-file]
windres reads resources from an input file and copies them into an output file. Either file may be in one of three formats:
- A text format read by the Resource Compiler.
- A binary format generated by the Resource Compiler.
- A COFF object or executable.
The exact description of these different formats is available in documentation from Microsoft.
When windres converts from the
rc format to the
format, it is acting like the Windows Resource Compiler. When
windres converts from the
res format to the
format, it is acting like the Windows
When windres generates an
rc file, the output is similar
but not identical to the format expected for the input. When an input
rc file refers to an external filename, an output
will instead include the file contents.
If the input or output format is not specified, windres will
guess based on the file name, or, for the input file, the file contents.
A file with an extension of .rc will be treated as an
file, a file with an extension of .res will be treated as a
res file, and a file with an extension of .o or
.exe will be treated as a
If no output file is specified, windres will print the resources
rc format to standard output.
The normal use is for you to write an
rc file, use windres
to convert it to a COFF object file, and then link the COFF file into
your application. This will make the resources described in the
rc file available to Windows.
- -i filename
- --input filename
- The name of the input file. If this option is not used, then
windres will use the first non-option argument as the input file
name. If there are no non-option arguments, then windres will
read from standard input. windres can not read a COFF file from
- -o filename
- --output filename
- The name of the output file. If this option is not used, then
windres will use the first non-option argument, after any used
for the input file name, as the output file name. If there is no
non-option argument, then windres will write to standard output.
windres can not write a COFF file to standard output. Note,
for compatibility with rc the option -fo is also
accepted, but its use is not recommended.
- -J format
- --input-format format
- The input format to read. format may be res, rc, or
coff. If no input format is specified, windres will
guess, as described above.
- -O format
- --output-format format
- The output format to generate. format may be res,
rc, or coff. If no output format is specified,
windres will guess, as described above.
- -F target
- --target target
- Specify the BFD format to use for a COFF file as input or output. This
is a BFD target name; you can use the --help option to see a list
of supported targets. Normally windres will use the default
format, which is the first one listed by the --help option.
- --preprocessor program
- When windres reads an
rcfile, it runs it through the C preprocessor first. This option may be used to specify the preprocessor to use, including any leading arguments. The default preprocessor argument is
gcc -E -xc-header -DRC_INVOKED.
- -I directory
- --include-dir directory
- Specify an include directory to use when reading an
rcfile. windres will pass this to the preprocessor as an -I option. windres will also search this directory when looking for files named in the
rcfile. If the argument passed to this command matches any of the supported formats (as described in the -J option), it will issue a deprecation warning, and behave just like the -J option. New programs should not use this behaviour. If a directory happens to match a format, simple prefix it with ./ to disable the backward compatibility.
- -D target
- --define sym[=val]
- Specify a -D option to pass to the preprocessor when reading an
- -U target
- --undefine sym
- Specify a -U option to pass to the preprocessor when reading an
- Ignored for compatibility with rc.
- Enable verbose mode. This tells you what the preprocessor is if you
didn't specify one.
- -c val
- --codepage val
- Specify the default codepage to use when reading an
rcfile. val should be a hexadecimal prefixed by 0x or decimal codepage code. The valid range is from zero up to 0xffff, but the validity of the codepage is host and configuration dependent.
- -l val
- --language val
- Specify the default language to use when reading an
rcfile. val should be a hexadecimal language code. The low eight bits are the language, and the high eight bits are the sublanguage.
- Use a temporary file to instead of using popen to read the output of
the preprocessor. Use this option if the popen implementation is buggy
on the host (eg., certain non-English language versions of Windows 95 and
Windows 98 are known to have buggy popen where the output will instead
go the console).
- Use popen, not a temporary file, to read the output of the preprocessor.
This is the default behaviour.
- Prints a usage summary.
- Prints the version number for windres.
- If windres is compiled with
1, this will turn on parser debugging.