No announcement yet.

icons for dos programs

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • icons for dos programs

    Does anyone know how to include an icon in a dos executable?
    Or where the icon is stored in the executable and where
    the pointer to the icon is, etc. (if that's even how it
    works) Or where I could find this sort of information.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    You can't -- it's DOS , no icons as such in DOS ... you can however tell Windows which icon you want it to use for DOS executables but that's probably not of much help



    • #3
      You can however set the icon for a shortcut to a DOS application through the Properties pages of the shortcut (right-click the shortcut, choose Properties).

      You can also select the Properties menu for the DOS .EXE itself in Windows Explorer with a right-click. This creates a PIF file for the app.

      Both techniques allows you to specify a .ICO file or use an icon embedded in a DLL or Windows Executable file.

      It is possible to distribute a generic PIF file with your DOS app. The key is to make sure the settings are devoid drive and directory name (ie, just filenames are specified). This way the PIF file will work when copied to another Windows-based O/S.

      I believe the internal format of a PIF file changes from O/S version to another, but Windows is able to read PIF files created by earlier versions of Windows.

      Therefore, if you create a PIF file under Windows 3.x (or maybe even Win95), a generic PIF file should continue to work fine in all subsequent versions of Windows. At least, that is what I've been doing for years, and my old Win3.1 PIF files work fine even with Windows 2000.

      If anyone knows any other limitations that I have not mentioned about using a PIF file, please be sure to comment. Thanks!

      PowerBASIC Support
      mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
      mailto:[email protected]


      • #4
        Another option would be to use my company's DOSBox product. DOSBox allows a DOS program to dynamically change the "title bar" icon that appears in the top-left of the console window, the Task Bar icon, and the Alt-Tab icon. (It does not affect the desktop icon -- as Lance said, that is done by modifying the Windows shortcut. That's true for all programs, not just DOS programs.)

        DOSBox also allows DOS programs to change the window caption, change the location of the console window, change the fullscreen/window mode, and to control many other Windows properties.

        Click on one of the links below to learn more about DOSBox. You can even download a free Shareware version...

        -- Eric Pearson, Perfect Sync Software

        Perfect Sync Development Tools
        Perfect Sync Web Site
        Contact Us: mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>

        [This message has been edited by Eric Pearson (edited September 23, 2001).]
        "Not my circus, not my monkeys."


        • #5
          For those few of you who use OS/2, the issue is very simple. You
          simply name the ICON you want as your program name plus the suffix
          as .ICO and make sure it is a valid icon file! Programs, batch or
          .CMD files are added to the OS/2 desktop on a manual basis as follows.

          Click on the OS/2 folder. CLick on the SETUP folder. Click on ADD
          PROGRAMS. Tell OS/2 to search for and ADD OTHER programs. In this
          case you can restrict the search for DOS or WIN-OS2 programs if you
          like to save time as well as restrict the search to the applicable
          partition. Kinda remember that thought a while here ..

          Let OS/2 go about gathering all the possibles. Scroll down into
          the directory which contains your target and pick it for addition
          to the DESKTOP. If that directory contains an applicable ICON file
          for that program, OS/2 will automatically know to bundle that icon
          file for you and will syncronize it with the DESKTOP. You can, in
          similar fashion to WIN .. drag it, move it, copy it all, whatever
          into whatever folder you want.

          Pointing a finger at something is not, necessarily, just a windows
          related experience, right?

          You may rename any .ICO file to a different 'program' name and, to
          the extent that Copyright and other trade infringements are not a
          problem, use such a file for a custom program use. Similarly, I am
          sure, to the WIN world, you can simply drag any visible ICON on your
          screen and drop it on the folder in an application's PROPERTIES folder
          in OS/2. Instant gratification -- whatever that is. But done that
          way, it's not an installation wizardry at all.

          I don't use the following for a number of reasons, but some here might
          be interested to know that there are a couple of tools that will let
          you run WIN-whatever programs directly under OS/2. The Odin project
          is one of them. OFFICE, for example, I think I recall, is one of them.
          There are many, many others. It is my understanding from what I've
          read of the project work done on this that the ICON game cross-propagates
          just fine back into an OS/2 side that is running WIN applications directly
          under OS/2 at that point.

          Spending a little time at this and learning a bit about other platforms
          and how they handle similar common tasks like this is likely to be time
          pretty well spent even for all concerned with PowerBASIC and the WIN
          world. The reason is simple. 64 BIT processers are really right around
          the corner. The initial operating systems for them are such that WIN - as
          far as I think I recall IBM's architects tell us in Houston at HAL-PC,
          is merely an OBJECT just like WIN 3.1 and DOS are for OS/2 right now!
          To my limited access to what is really happening in the Z game and other
          areas, we're told that the future, sort of, for OS/2 - and all of us - is
          that it's really the master kind of grand game for the whole thing - moved
          up to the 64 bit CPU world, but not formally as OS/2. The name's now far
          too controversial for that, one way or another! Current OS/2 will be an
          object in the 64 bit game of the future for CPU's, as is LINUX, WIN .. and
          whatever else. Sorta implied; all else. At the forum quite a while
          back when all this was discussed but the architects, we were told, sorry
          but we can't talk more about the details.

          Everything changes; everything stays the same!

          PowerBASIC is known to be working extensively on furnishing their
          really beautiful toolset for LINUX. Obviously, this is an iconized world
          in which we live. 'Sfar as I've heard, even good old DOS is still going
          to be an OBJECT of affection for us. There are applications out there
          which already require, by US Federal law, active support for at least
          seven years from today, grin! That is a l.o.n.g. time yet in the current
          rapid rush to technical oblivion that many would like to hasten about now
          it seems.

          A reasonably well-up IBM DASD engineer was on site a couple weeks back.
          He was grousing that he wished IBM would go ahead and open up LINUX for
          their DASD archival site work on the AIX-400 (RSC 6000) units instead
          of limit it to the S390 as presently it is for that issue. He was
          familiar with one non-IBM entity which was already running 1700 separate
          LINUX sessions on one S390 for such purposes and told me that the CPU
          split by thread process in not assign CPU's by process per WIN world was
          moving forward there, too. Full threading per task, not process, for
          which, grin .. everyone needs an ICON to pick now, I guess ..

          Even for a DOS app! At least we seem to need it here!


          As ever, the worship of ICONS is always a matter of relativity in

          How we chose to implement them, pay attention to them, and call them
          to our command is well worth looking at how bigger powers than I and
          likely many folks here, may be considering all this in the near future
          to announce our coded intentions in the World of Tomorrow!

          You do recall the Iconoclastic Movement a while back in Europe? No?
          Funny how mankind keeps seeking to install them or re-install them
          from time to time on different platforms, no?

          What I would like to know is how this will be addressed in the LINUX
          version of PB?

          Mike Luther
          [email protected]
          Mike Luther
          [email protected]


          • #6
            In Seal ( this site works the best) you can append the Icon to
            the end of the executable after the executable code. This could
            also be done with the executables which were hybrid DOS/Win 3.1
            programs. Check out for information on this
            type of execuatble. I *think* it's the Linear Executable.

            The most compatible way is the one mentioned by everyone else though...executable and seperate icon.