The EXE User Interface allows you to design a great interface for your installation. This functionality is automatically activated along with the EXE package type from the Builds page > Configuration tab.
You can optionally enable this functionality on Uninstall and Maintenance from the Themes > Settings page.
The package type must be set to EXE.
When also displaying the EXE user interface during Uninstall or Modify from Control Panel, the “Override Windows Installer programs list entry” option must be enabled in Product Details Tab.
Below is a list of improvements available.
- Controls Transparency
- Large Icons
- Enhanced Check-Box & Radio Buttons
- Image Button
- Command Link Control
- Image Check Box
- Quick Feature Selection Tree with Check-Boxes
- Quick Feature Selection List with Icons
- Check List Control
- Prerequisite Selector Control
- Styled Progress
- Hyperlink Control
- HTML Host Control
- Tab Host
- Vertical Line Control
- Multiple Selection Lists
- Native (OS) Browse Folder Dialog
- Enforced "License Agreement" Lecture
- Highly UAC Compliant
- Installation Overall Progress
- Installation Summary
You can check out the advantages of EXE UI by having a look over the predefined themes we offer.
When using the regular Windows Installer UI only text controls can be placed onto a image. When using EXE UI all other controls like icon, check-box or radio-button are also transparent. This will allow you to design any background image for you pages.
You can use true color icons as large as 256x256 pixels on Windows Vista or above, and 128x128 on older operating systems.
Only when using EXE UI, the check-box & radio button controls are rendered with colored text, as specified by their text-styles.
Displays a check box that uses images to display its state. Overall there are eight states available. Because of this, the image used by this check box is composed of eight smaller images.
The eight states of the check box are:
- Normal unchecked
- The normal unchecked state of the check box
- Over unchecked
- The mouse over unchecked state of the check box
- Pressed unchecked
- The pressed unchecked state of the check box
- Disabled unchecked
- The disabled unchecked state of the check box
- Normal checked
- The normal checked state of the check box
- Over checked
- The mouse over checked state of the check box
- Pressed checked
- The pressed checked state of the check box
- Disabled checked
- The disabled checked state of the check box
The EXE UI version of this control can also display animated .GIF or transparent .PNG files.
To control an animated .GIF you should set the AiGifCommand property to one or more of the following command values:
- <your_image_name>.Play (plays <your_image_name> animated .GIF)
- <your_image_name>.Pause (pauses <your_image_name> animated .GIF)
- <your_image_name>.Stop (stops <your_image_name> animated .GIF)
- <your_image_name>.Rewind (rewinds <your_image_name> animated .GIF)
For example you can have a dialog with three image controls which point to animated .GIF files. On the same dialog, a button can have a Set installer property value published event that sets the AiGifCommand property to:
In this example scenario when the installing user will press the button, every image control will comply with the given command (Image_1 will play, Image_2 will pause and Image_3 will stop).
This feature selection tree control uses check-boxes instead of menu items to install/remove a feature.
Each feature has a check-box associated with it, which will control the installation state of a feature. If the check-box attached to a feature is checked that means the feature will be installed, otherwise, that feature will not be available after the installation. A check-box comes with intuitive icons for the installation state. If you choose to install a feature you will see the icon of a drive with an arrow and if you choose not to install that feature you will get an “X” icon.
The Quick Selection Tree provides a quicker and more efficient way for the end-users to install a product. It also offers a more attractive way for the novice users to manage an installation.
Another UI option is that you can choose whether or not it will have a border - as well as for any other tree or list. Choosing not to have a border, your control will look like it is somehow integrated in that dialog and will provide more eye candy appearance to your product installation.
This new feature selection list control prepends an icon for each listed feature.
The Install Mode extended attribute's value determines which features are displayed into the list:
- Install - lists only top level features that can be installed, excluding the mandatory ones
- Uninstall - lists only already installed features that can be removed
- Show Installed - lists only already installed features without checkboxes
- Combined - all features will be listed
This control is a regular list box with check-boxes, that enables the user to make a multiple selection from a list of predetermined values. When multiple items are selected, their comma separated values will be stored in the property specified in the "Property Name" field. You can customize the separator token to be used for multiple selected values.
The Prerequisite Selector displays the feature-based prerequisites states. It also allows the user to select which prerequisite to install.
Prerequisites are displayed together with additional information like: required versions, versions found on target computer and action that will be performed.
A styled bar that changes its length as it receives progress messages.
The image used by this control is composed of three smaller images aligned from left to right as follows:
- The unfilled style of the progress bar
- The indeterminate (marquee) style of the progress bar
- The filled state of the progress bar
This control requires a "Display installation progress" subscribed event with the "Progress" attribute.
For more information about using the HTML Host control and its APIs read this article.
The Tab Host control includes a list of child dialogs. The child dialogs' titles represent the tab's name in the control, whereas each dialog's content will be displayed when the user selects its corresponding tab.
With this control the user can choose to navigate to the dialog's tab inside the Tab Host control, only if he wishes to customize its associated settings.
The tabs content and visibility inside the Tab Host control can be defined and conditioned from the "Child Dialogs" Dialog. This dialog can be accesed from the Tab Host control's "Child Dialogs..." context menu or by double clicking it in the dialog editor.
Allows more than one item at a time to be selected from a List Box or List View control. When multiple items are selected, their comma separated values will be stored in the property specified in the "Property Name" field. You can customize the separator token to be used for multiple selected values.
The Browse Folder dialog is now displayed using the operating system predefined dialogs so the user can select the install location in a very familiar and easy to use dialog.
The scrollable text that usually displays the license agreement will now set the attached property when it will be scrolled to the last line. A control condition based on the scrollable text property can be used to enable the agree control. This is a good way to make sure that the users have read your licensing terms.
The standard installation progress resets itself several times during an installation. When using EXE UI the installation progress can be displayed as accurate as possible using the AiGlobalProgress event.
The main actions performed during installation may be displayed into a log-like fashion. The standard ActionText and ActionData messages are filtred and improved to create a user friendly installation log using the Installation Summary or Installation Details events. For more details follow the installation summary tutorial.