Files and Folders

INI files

Before the occurrence of the registry in 32 bit Windows (Windows 95), if you wanted to save any form of application settings, such as the initial window size, you used INI files. Most applications store this information in the Windows registry now, however, you may find it easier to use INI files for now. One advantage of using INI files, is you can easily edit the files manually and also, any settings can easily be removed. INI files use the following structure:

KeyName1 = KeyValue
KeyName2 = KeyValue

For an example of an INI files, look at the Win.ini file stored in your windows directory. The following code shows how to read and write to an INI file. Create a new project and go Projects | Add Module to add a new module.

Then add the following code.

'// VB Web Code Example

' DLL declarations
Private Declare Function GetPrivateProfileString Lib "kernel32" Alias "GetPrivateProfileStringA" (ByVal lpApplicationName As String, ByVal lpKeyName As Any, ByVal lpDefault As String, ByVal lpReturnedString As String, ByVal nSize As Long, ByVal lpFileName As String) As Long
Private Declare Function WritePrivateProfileString Lib "kernel32" Alias "WritePrivateProfileStringA" (ByVal lpApplicationName As String, ByVal lpKeyName As Any, ByVal lpString As Any, ByVal lpFileName As String) As Long

'// Functions
Function GetFromINI(sSection As String, sKey As String, sDefault As String, sIniFile As String)
    Dim sBuffer As String, lRet As Long
    ' Fill String with 255 spaces
    sBuffer = String$(255, 0)
    ' Call DLL
    lRet = GetPrivateProfileString(sSection, sKey, "", sBuffer, Len(sBuffer), sIniFile)
    If lRet = 0 Then
        ' DLL failed, save default
        If sDefault <> "" Then AddToINI sSection, sKey, sDefault, sIniFile
        GetFromINI = sDefault
        ' DLL successful
        ' return string
        GetFromINI = Left(sBuffer, InStr(sBuffer, Chr(0)) - 1)
    End If
End Function

'// Returns True if successful. If section does not
'// exist it creates it.
Function AddToINI(sSection As String, sKey As String, sValue As String, sIniFile As String) As Boolean
    Dim lRet As Long
    ' Call DLL
    lRet = WritePrivateProfileString(sSection, sKey, sValue, sIniFile)
    AddToINI = (lRet)
End Function

You can then use this code to write and read from the ini files.

You might also like...


About the author

James Crowley

James Crowley United Kingdom

James first started this website when learning Visual Basic back in 1999 whilst studying his GCSEs. The site grew steadily over the years while being run as a hobby - to a regular monthly audien...

Interested in writing for us? Find out more.


Why not write for us? Or you could submit an event or a user group in your area. Alternatively just tell us what you think!

Our tools

We've got automatic conversion tools to convert C# to VB.NET, VB.NET to C#. Also you can compress javascript and compress css and generate sql connection strings.

“We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.” - Donald Knuth