Resource Editor

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What are resources and why would I want to edit them?

In simple terms, a Windows application's resources are separate from its program code. This distinction allows you to make significant changes to the interface without recompiling the entire application.

A resource is any non-executable data that is logically deployed with an application. A resource might be displayed in an application as error messages or as part of the user interface. Resources can contain data in a number of forms, including a collection of icons, strings, images, and data objects. Storing data in a resource section allows for changing the data without recompiling the entire application.

When developers create an application, they embed resources directly into an executable file, producing a single EXE containing both code and resources. At run-time, the application can use these resource items again and again and they will never run out. The operation system also reads the file's resources when displaying the application icon on your desktop and showing the product information (version, file description and copyright notice).

The tool that lets you view and edit these resources burried inside the executable is a resource editor. Using Resource Tuner, you can edit, modify, rearrange, and delete controls and resources in the executable file.

Resource editor is not a magic wand

There are several issues when use of the resource editor is pointless. First of all, the resource editor deals only with the resource section in the compiled executable file. The resource section (shown green) is just a tiny portion of the PE file structure. Any data outside the resource section is out of scope of the resource editor.

PE file

You can't change the program code. You can't make the new functions available if they weren't programmed into the application by the original developer.

You can't edit the files protected from modifying. We are not going to defeat the security attempts of other software authors.

Resource Tuner works with 32- and 64-bit PE files only. Resource Tuner does not support for 16-bit applications intended to run on the ancient Windows version 3 or older.

Resource Tuner won't help you edit files produced with Visual Basic. Programs compiled using Visual Basic do not commonly have menu, dialog, or string resources, but store this information elsewhere within the program code. Nobody but Microsoft knows and they aren't saying. Basically, an icon and the version information are all there is in the resources.

Resource Tuner doesn't support editing the contents of the installation packages. In general, they all look identical regardless of size, with the compressed data glued after PE EOF. Again, only an icon and the version information are all there is in the resources.

Is this legal?

Resource Tuner is intended to be used in various scenarios such as software development, translaton and localization, reverse engineering, and sometimes it's the only way to get at the file's resources. Editing resources is the most common way to localize applications and deliver them to the internatonal market.

Nevertheless, there may be legal issues involved with modifying resources, and it may be strictly forbidden by the license agreement for the program you are attempting to edit.


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Resource Tuner runs on all versions of Windows, including 11, 10, 8, 7, and XP, and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.