Files and Folders View

InstallShield 2022

Project:The Files and Folders view is available in the following project types:

Basic MSI
InstallScript MSI
InstallScript Object
Merge Module
MSI Database
MSM Database
MSIX Modification Package

Note:The Files and Folders view from within Microsoft Visual Studio differs from the Files and Folders view in InstallShield. For more information, refer to Adding References to Visual Studio Solutions.

The main purpose of most installations is to transfer files from the source medium to the target destination. With InstallShield, adding files to your project is a simple drag-and-drop process in the Files and Folders view. This view contains a files explorer that enables you to drag and drop files from folders on your source machine to folders on the destination machine. The two left panes in the files explorer contain folders, and the two right panes display the files that are located within those folders.

Project:In installation projects (including InstallScript and Basic MSI), the Files and Folders view includes the View Filter list above the files explorer panes. This list contains all of the features in your project. You can use this filter to show and hide files and folders in the destination panes of this view:

To see in this view only files and folders that belong to a particular feature, select that feature in the View Filter list.
To add a file or folder to a specific feature, select that feature in the View Filter list. Then add the file or folder to the appropriate location in the Destination computer’s folders pane.
To see all of the files and folders that are in your project, select the All Application Data option in the View Filter list.

The following four panes are available in the Files and Folders view.

Panes in the Files and Folders View



Source computer’s folders (Top Left)

The Source computer’s folders pane is similar to the left pane in Windows Explorer. This pane contains folders located either locally or on a network. From here, you can navigate to the folder that contains the files that you want to add to your installation.

Source computer’s files (Top Right)

The Source computer’s files pane displays the files contained in the currently selected folder of the Source computer’s folders pane. You can drag files from this pane to a destination folder in the Destination computer’s pane. The files you drop into the bottom panes are added to your installation project.

Destination computer’s folders (Bottom Left)

In the Destination computer’s folders pane, you can add files to destination folders or components, create new destination folders, or modify existing components.

Destination computer’s files (Bottom Right)

The Destination computer’s files pane displays all the files you have added to the currently selected destination folder. By right-clicking a file in this pane, you can copy, paste, or delete the file, or edit the file’s properties. For Windows Installer-based projects only, you can also right-click a file to set or clear it as the key file of its component.

You can add files to your installation project in one of three different ways:

Methods for Adding Files to a Project



Dragging and Dropping Files

You can add files to your project using the Files explorer in the Files and Folders view. The top two panes in this view are functionally equivalent to Windows Explorer. The bottom two panes represent the destination for your files.

You can drag source files from the top pane to the destination folder in the bottom pane. InstallShield also provides a context menu with additional drag and drop options that allow you to drag folder only and to preserve the source structure.

Dynamic File Linking

The second way to add files to your project is by linking to the contents of an entire folder, or to specific files in the folder. This method allows you to point to a specific folder, either locally or on a network, that contains files for your installation. Every time you build your installation, the contents of the folder are added to your feature.

Additionally, you can use wildcards to filter which files are added to your project. For more information, see Creating a Dynamic Link.

Note:To improve performance, the list displayed in the Files and Folders view is truncated when there are more than a predefined number of files in a dynamically linked file with subfolders. **List Truncated** appears as the first item in the file list when this occurs. All files contained in the subfolders are built into your project.

Dependency Scanning

The final way to add files to your project is accomplished through the Dependency Scanners view. This view contains three wizards that can scan your project, a running application, or a Visual Basic project for possible dependency files and add them to your project. All three of these wizards can also be launched from the Project menu.

See Also