Create Autorun CD Menu

Create Autorun CD Menu on portable media such as CD, DVD and USB Drive

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Tutorial

The Resource Compiler





Please note
The Resource Compiler is only available in the Business License version!



What are resources?

When we talk about resource files what we are really talking about is the image, button and project files that you have created for your Menu.

    These are:

    • The project file (CD_Conf.ini)
    • The project files belonging to the submenus.
    • The background image.
    • The background image for the welcome screen (splash screen).
    • Additional image objects
    • The image files for the bitmap buttons.
    • The Tool Tips image files
    • The program icon
    • Link objects (LinkObj.ini)
    • optional: TrueType and Open Fonts



What is a Resource Compiler

The Resource Compiler adds the resource files belonging to your project into the "CD_Start.exe" Exe file. This means that one single file is generated out of all the resource files and the exe file. Your own individual autostart program.

Compiler: means to gather things together to make a whole


The CDMenuPro Resource Compiler



This brings the following benefits:

  • All the resources for the menu application are contained in one file.
  • Clear, "tidy" root directory for the CD
  • The menu application is protected against manipulation.
  • Resources are protected from being overwritten or deleted.
  • Resources cannot be used by third parties.
  • Easier to use.
  • You can choose whatever application name you want
    (i.e.: "CD_Start.exe" --> "Start.exe").



CD Root

  

CD Root

CD root directory before compilation.

  

CD root directory after compilation.




The CDMenuPro Resource Compiler

Information about the Compiler
The function that allows the resources to be inserted into the Exe file is only available on the following Windows systems: NT, Win2000, XP, Win2003. As far as running the program once it has been compiled is concerned, it doesn't matter which Windows system is used. CDMenuPro users with Windows 95/98/ME also have an option of integrating all their menu resources into a single file (CD_Conf.dat).

Compiler restrictions:

  • file names may have no more than 64 characters
  • the max. number of files is 300
  • the max. memory capacity is 10MB
  • The Compiler will only run on Win NT, Win2000, XP and Win2003 systems


Starting the compiler
Select the following from the menu bar: "Project - compile..." or click on the corresponding button in the toolbar.

The first time you call-up the Compiler, you will have the option to define the settings. These settings will be adopted automatically for all following compilation processes. These settings can be changed at any time. This is done by clicking on the button marked "Settings" in the Compiler dialog window.


The compiler settings

Methods
  • Embedding resources into the menu application.
    The menu resources are embedded directly into the CD_Start.exe file. Because this means making changes to the .exe file, the digital signature is rendered invalid.
  • Saving resources in a file.
    This method works by integrating all of the menu resources into a resource file (CD_Conf.dat). Because no changes are made to the .exe file using this method, the digital signature of CD_Start.exe remains intact.

    Get more information about digital signature » here...

Insert file information
You can use this option to insert your own description, version and copyright details into the .exe file (CS_Start.exe). (s. picture below)

Inserting the icon
If you specified your own icon in the "Properties - title..." window, you can use this option to insert the icon into the .exe file. Windows Explorer will use this icon as the program icon if you do this.
Important: the icon must be made up of the following partial images:

  • 16 x 16 pixels with 16 colors
  • 16 x 16 pixels with 256 colors
  • 32 x 32 pixels with 16 colors
  • 32 x 32 pixels with 256 colors
Use the Bitmap icon converter to create the icon (menu bar "Extras - create icon...)

Embedding fonts
You can embed the fonts used in the project into the .exe file. Because the font and the code page form an integrated whole in the Windows operating system, embedding fonts only makes sense if the CD is going to be used in countries that use the same code pages (see Windows country settings)
Example: America and Western Europe use the same code page 1252 (Latin I).

Compressing files
Only select this option when the reserved resource memory of 10 MB is insufficient

User documents
CDMenuPro versions 6.2 and later allow you to add user documents (Txt, Rtf, Html, Jpg, Gif, ...) to the compiler - provided the scope is small. What this means is that these documents are added to the menu application (CD_Start.exe). To do this, highlight the "Insert User Documents" option and click on the button marked "Settings...".

insert user documents to your autorun cd menu

Important
The menu resources files have priority. This means that should more memory for these resources be needed, the memory available for the user documents will be reduced. The following limits also apply:

  • The maximum size of each file is 1MB
  • The maximum number of files is 100
  • The maximum available memory for all files is 4 MB

Please note
The Resource Compiler was not originally designed to encompass user documents. This means that the amount of memory available for these documents is limited. If more memory was made available for these documents, it would adversely affect the loading time of menu. The Resource Compiler is not designed for accommodating all of the project's documents.



This is how the file information that has been inserted is displayed in Windows Explorer and the file properties


Compiling

Click on the "Compile..." button in the Resource Compiler window. The following actions will take place:

  • Insert resource files
  • optional: insert file information
  • optional: insert icon
  • optional: embed fonts
  • The resource files are moved into the "RES_BARCKUP" folder contained within the project container.
  • A report is displayed in Notepad

Please make sure you check the report issued by the Compiler for errors and for whether the memory reserved for the resources was sufficient.

Once the project has been compiled it can no longer be edited, so it is closed.


Editing a project that has already been compiled

Start the CDMenuPro Editor and open the project meta file (*.cdmp). A dialog window is opened (s. image below) which allows you to undo the Compiler process by clicking on the button marked "Edit mode". The following actions will take place:

  • The resource files are copied back from the "RES_BARCKUP" folder
  • All resources and file information contained in the CD_Start.exe file are deleted
  • The project is loaded into the Editor ready for editing


Font embedding

It is possible to embed TrueType-Fonts and OpenFonts into the menu application during the compilation process. (Applies to buttons, text objects and tool tips) This enables the tooltip, button and text objects to be displayed on the target PC in exactly the same font that you have used for the design even when the font is not already installed on the computer. Only fonts without licensing restrictions, however, can be embedded. Because Arial is available on all Windows systems, it is not embedded.

Notice about fonts:
Please bear in mind that the speed at which the menu is started will be affected by the time it takes to load and register the embedded fonts. This means that you should only apply the fonts that are absolutely necessary when using this feature.