ARC File Contents and Structure

ARC resource file contents are organized into upper and lower level components.

High Level Components

Upper level components can appear by themselves in the resource file.

  • Version Prolog - ARC file format version number. The current version is 4.0. This must be the first non-comment line in the file.

  • Window - Base GUI elements within which most other elements must reside. Windows, also known as Forms or Top Level Windows, usually have a title bar, and close, minimize, and maximize buttons on the title bar. Windows can contain child windows, controls, and menus, but nothing can contain a Window.

  • Child Window - Share certain attributes with windows; both can possess borders, scroll bars, controls, and other child windows (with no limit to the nesting depth for child windows). Child windows can also use the same event mask options as top-level windows. Unlike windows, child windows cannot contain menus or title bars.

  • Menu - Menu bar that can be referenced by a window

  • Imagelist - Image that is logically divided into images of equal width. Other elements are then able to reference it by ID and the logical images by index.

Low Level Components

  • Controls

  • Windows

  • Child Windows

  • Menu Items

The Resource Properties Index identifies and describes all optional properties for each resource.


ResConverter ignores all text that follows two forward-slash [//] characters. Comments can be placed alone either on a line or at the end of a line of code. The following lists the use of comments in the example. The first line contains only comments, while the second line contains code followed by comments.

// The second edit control contains optional settings
Initialcontents "Figures" //Default Contents

Resource File Structure

Resource file contents are hierarchically structured Top level resources include windows, referenced menus, and referenced child windows. Lower level resources are nested within top-level resources. Nesting levels are defined by either "begin" and "end" or by "{" and "}".