How to check if Microsoft Office is installed during an installation

We have added new conditions to Visual Installer’s script language that can be used to:

• check whether Microsoft Office is installed in the computer or not
• check if the installed Microsoft Office is 32 bit or 64 bit

This can be useful if you for example:

• install files that require that Microsoft Office is installed in the computer
• install files that require a specific bitness of Microsoft Office (for example 32 bit Office)
• want to install different files depending on the bitness of Microsoft Office

How to check if Office is installed
If you want to check if Microsoft Office is installed in the end-user’s computer you can use the new IF OFFICEINSTALLED condition that we have added to Visual Installer’s script language. You can also check if Microsoft Office is not installed in the computer in an easy way by using the IF NOT OFFICEINSTALLED condition.

Below you can see how these two conditions can be used:

The 'IF OFFICEINSTALLED' condition

How to check Office bitness
There are 32 bit and a 64 bit versions of Microsoft Office available, and if you distribute executable files or components that co-operate with Microsoft Office (for example with Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access) the bitness of the executable files or components that you install must often be the same as the bitness of the installed Office.

To handle this in a smooth way, you can use a new condition in Visual Installer’s scripting language. The name of the new condition is IF OFFICEBIT=?? where ?? can be 32 or 64. For example IF OFFICEBIT=32, which checks if a 32 bit version of Office is installed.

Below you can see how this new condition can be used:

The 'IF OFFICEBIT=' condition

Another example
Below is another example, where the conditions above are combined. First the script lines checks if any version of Office is installed in the computer, and thereafter the script lines starts an installation with the same bitness (32 bit or 64 bit) as the installed Office:

All Office check conditions altogether

If no Office application is installed in the system, an information message box is shown (line 4) and the installation stops (line 5).

See also
> Visual Installer’s Scripting Language
> Check if the operating system is 32 bit or 64 bit

Posted in News - Visual Installer, Tips | Leave a comment

Using the log function in Visual Installer’s script language

When using the script language in Visual Installer, it may sometimes be useful to see in detail what happen when the script lines are executed. To get detailed information about the execution of script commands, you can activate a log function in Visual Installer’s script language. When the log is activated, detailed information about every script line that is executed are stored in a log file. Here you can see the contents of the parameters that are passed to the script commands and see the return value (for example error codes) of every command. If you use variables in the script (for example %DESTDIR) you can see their actual values.

How to activate the log function
To activate the log function, you can use the USELOG script command. To enable the log, enter the following in the beginning of your script code:

USELOG 1

As default, the log file is stored in the main destination folder of the installation (the folder path that is stored in the %DESTDIR variable) but you can also specify your own folder for the log file via parameter 2. For example:

USELOG 1, C:\MyLogFolder

To turn off the log, somewhere in the script, you can enter the following:

USELOG 0

If you want to log all lines in the script, you don’t need to turn off the log at the end. It will be turned off automatically after the last executed script line.

In the picture below, you can see an example of how the USELOG command can be used:

USELOG

And below is an example of how the log file may look like:

Log (OK)

If a script command succeeds, it returns OK. Otherwise it returns ERROR and an error code. Below is an example of how the log file may look like if an error occurs:

Log (Error)

Most error codes can be found on this web page at Microsoft’s web site:

> Windows Dev Center: System Error Codes (0-499)

Some common error codes are:

2 : File not found!
3 : Path not found!
5 : Access denied!
183 : File already exists!

Filenames
The filename of the log file is Vinstall-Script–Before.log if the script lines are executed in the Before installation tab in the Execute script commands window in Visual Installer, and the filename is Vinstall-Script–After.log if the script lines are executed in the After installation tab in the same window. The filenames can not be changed, but you can change the folder where the log files are stored (as described above).

See also
> Visual Installer’s Scripting Language

Posted in News - Visual Installer, Tips | Leave a comment

Two useful tips about Visual Installer and .NET Framework

Do you use SamLogic Visual Installer to create installation packages for your .NET applications and .NET components? If yes, then you should check the following two tips that we have published on the tips section for Visual Installer:

Tip 1
Explains how to handle situations when the required version of .NET Framework is not installed in the end-users computer:
> How to prevent an installation if wrong .NET version

Tip 2
Explains how to register a .NET assembly, and when it is needed:
> How to register a .NET assembly

More tips
More tips for Visual Installer are available here:
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic Visual Installer

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

CD-Menu Creator: How to protect a document with a password

If you have documents (for example PDF or Word documents) that you want to distribute to other people via a CD, DVD or USB flash drive, CD-Menu Creator is the right tool for you. You can create a menu interface very fast and you can have clickable buttons that the end-user click on to open your documents.

Password protected documentIf you have sensitive documents that you only want some specific persons open and read, you can password protect the access to the documents. You can also have the documents encrypted on the CD, DVD or USB flash drive, so nobody can read them directly on the disc or drive. And if any person copies the documents from the disc / drive to another place, they are unreadable. The documents can only be read via the menu interface and by entering the correct password. The menu interface will ask for a password when the end-user clicks on the button that opens the document.

Tip: How to password protect a document
The tip below explains how to password protect a document that is opened via a button in a menu interface that is created with CD-Menu Creator. The document will also be stored encrypted on the disc or drive, and can only be read via the menu interface.

1. Start CD-Menu Creator.

2. Open the Buttons (text) tab in the editor.

3. Click the Add Button button.

4. Enter a button text at Text (button).

5. Select the Show Document command in the Command combobox.

6. Click the “…” button and choose a document (for example a PDF document).

7. Click the Options button in the dialog box.

8. Open the Password tab.

9. Select the Password protect this button option.

10. Enter a password in the Password input box.

11. Select the Encrypt the file linked to the button option.

The 'Password' tab in the 'Button Options' dialog box

12. Click OK. And thereafter OK again.

13. Now create your menu!

After you have created your menu you can click on the button in the menu interface. A dialog box that asks for a password is now shown. Now enter the password that you entered at step 10 above to open the document. If you enter another text, the document can not be opened.

How to increase the security even more
The password and encryption function protects the document, so nobody can open it without the password. But if you also want to assure that nobody can save or print the document via the document viewer that is used to show the document, you must disable these functions in the document viewer or choose a document viewer that does not have this functionality. You can read the documentation to your document viewer/editor to find more information about this.

If you distribute a document viewer with your CD, DVD or USB flash drive, you can choose the Run Program command at step 5 above and enter the path to the document viewer in the Filename text box and a path to the document file in the Parameters input box. If needed, you can also enter some switches to the document viewer program in this input box.

Some document viewers have built-in encryption/decryption
Instead of using the encryption/decryption function in CD-Menu Creator, you can also use a document viewer that supports encryption and decryption. To have maximum security, this may be a better choice because they are specialized tools, and as a such, the security may be better.

See also
> CD-Menu Creator: How to encrypt a document without a password

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

CD-Menu Creator: How to encrypt a document without a password

In this blog post we explained how to protect a document with a password and how to store it encrypted on a CD, DVD or USB flash drive. Sometimes it may be useful to only have the document encrypted, but without requiring (asking for) a password. This is also possible with CD-Menu Creator.

If you follow the tip in the How to protect a document with a password blog post, but enters a hyphen (“-”) instead of a password at step 10 in the tip, the document will not be password protected; it will only be encrypted.

The 'Password' tab in the 'Button Options' dialog box

Copy protection
One benefit when doing this is that you will have a limited copy protection of your document. Nobody can copy the document directly from the CD, DVD or USB flash drive to another drive or disc, and have it opened. It can only be opened via CD-Menu Creator’s menu interface. If somebody tries to open the document in other way, it will not be opened because the contents is encrypted and will be unreadable for the document viewer or editor.

See also
> CD-Menu Creator: How to protect a document with a password

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

Visual Installer: How to block a license key

In Visual Installer 2017 it is possible to block specific license keys from be accepted during an installation. This is useful when using prime number based license keys because they are created and verified mathematically. So if the license key is evaluated correctly, it will be accepted.

In Visual Installer 2017 (version 11.0.5 and later) you can create a block list with prime number based license keys that should not be accepted, although they are mathematically correct. This is done via the new Block List dialog box in Visual Installer 2017:

The 'Block List' dialog box in Visual Installer

In this dialog box you can enter a list with license keys that should not be accepted by Visual Installer during an installation. The block list is stored per installation project and is saved with the .VIP project file. So it is not a global block list. It only adds the block list to the specific installation project.

Where to find the ‘Block List’ dialog box?
You can open the Block List dialog box by following these steps:

1. Open the Dialog boxes tab in Visual Installer’s editor.
2. Click on the “” button to the right of the License key option.
3. Click on the More options button.
4. Click on the Block List button.

In the Block List dialog box that is now opened you can enter a list with license keys to block. One license key per row. You can also specify an information message that is shown to the user if he/she enters a blocked license key. If no text is specified, a default text is used.

Note
Both prime number based license keys and static license keys can be blocked with this method, although this function is most useful when used with prime number based license keys.

See also
> Visual Installer: Prime number based license keys
> Visual Installer can show visually when a license key is correct
> The setup wizard in Visual Installer

Posted in News - Visual Installer, Tips | Leave a comment

Visual Installer: How to run a program with administrator rights

Sometimes an installed program must be run with administrator rights when it is started. This gives the program more privileges, which sometimes is necessary to make a program function as expected. In Visual Installer you can set an installed program to run with administrator privileges in an easy way.

To make an installed program to run with administrator rights you can right-click on the program file in Visual Installer’s file list and choose the Run as administrator menu item in the menu that is shown. Thereafter you can select the Run program as administrator option in the dialog box that appears and press OK (see picture below).

Run program as administrator

After installation, the installed program will be run with administrator rights when it is started. If the UAC is activated in the Windows, the system will ask the end-user for permission before it elevates the privileges.

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

USB AutoRun Creator: The AutoRun driver can be downloaded from the Internet

USB flash drivesBefore AutoRun can work with USB flash drives in a computer, our AutoRun driver must be installed in the computer. You can distribute the AutoRun driver with your USB stick or you can let the user download and install it from the Internet.

In some situations using the Internet can be the preferable way because you can email your customers in advance and let them download and install the driver from your web site. And thereafter, when they receive your USB stick, AutoRun will work immediately when they plug the USB stick into the USB port.

When you install USB AutoRun Creator, the product is installed in this folder on your hard drive as default:

C:\Program Files (x86)\SamLogic\USB AutoRun Creator

If you look in this folder, you will find the following file there:

SETUP-USB-Supervisor-Internet.exe

You can upload this file to your web server and let the user download it, when needed.

The SETUP-USB-Supervisor-Internet.exe file is a small installation package, and the installation is very simple. The following two steps-wizard is shown to the user:

Step 1:
Installation of the AutoRun driver - Step 1
Step 2:
Installation of the AutoRun driver - Step 2

So the installation of the AutoRun driver is done in seconds.

See also
> USB AutoRun Creator – Overview (PDF)

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

CD-Menu Creator: Using wildcard characters in a file path

Normally you create a link between a menu button and a specific file on the disc or USB stick by specifying a file path to the file. For example: ‘Files\Button1\MyDoc.doc‘. When a user clicks on the button, the file (in this case ‘Files\Button1\MyDoc.doc‘) will be opened.

The 'Add Button'dialog box (example 1)

If the filename must be changed, for any reason, the whole menu must be created again when this technique is used. Otherwise the file will not be found when the user clicks on the button.

asteriskBut starting with version 8.5.3 of CD-Menu Creator, an alternative method can be used. Instead of specifying a file path to one specific file, for example ‘Files\Button1\MyDoc.doc‘, you can use a wildcard character (an asterisk: *) and specify a file path to the first occurrence of a file in a folder with a specified filename extension, for example ‘Files\Button1\*.doc‘. In this case the first file in the ‘Files\Button1‘ folder that has a ‘.doc‘ filename extension in its filename will be opened.

The 'Add Button'dialog box (example 2)

This technique allows you to change the filename of the file in the folder without re-creating the whole menu. The filename extension must be the same, but the rest of the filename can be changed freely on the CD/DVD/USB stick.

Works with documents and programs
This technique with a wildcard character can be used with the following three button commands:

Run Program
Run Program & Close
Show Document

Filename examples
Below are some examples of how filenames can be built when using this technique:

MyDoc1.doc
MyDoc2.doc
LatestNews-20170528.doc
LatestNews-20170529.doc
Journal-John-Smith.doc
Journal-Sam-Johnson.doc

File path examples
Below are some examples of how the file path can be built:

Files\Button1\*.doc
Files\Button2\*.xls
Files\Button3\*.exe

Files\Button4\journal*.doc
Files\Button5\app*.exe

An asterisk (*) is the only supported wildcard character. The asterisk must always be to the left of the dot that starts the filename extension.

Tip
When you create your menu for the first time, it can be a good idea to first select a source file and specify a complete file path to this file (do not use wildcards yet). After you have created your menu and everything works as expected with the selected file, you can change the file path to a file path that contains a wildcard character. Then you create your menu again. Henceforth you can change the filename of the file freely directly in the folder on disc or USB stick. You don’t need to create the menu again.

Posted in News - CD-Menu Creator, Tips | Leave a comment

How to install a font with Visual Installer

True Type font logoSometimes the fonts that are included in Windows are not enough, and you need to distribute your own font(s) with your software. But before they can be used in another computer, they must be installed in the right system folder and registered in the system.

Luckily Visual Installer supports installation and registration of fonts. So it is easy to add a font to your installation and have it installed and registered in another computer. In the tip below we will show how to add a font file to an installation project and how to make sure it will be registered in the system during the installation.

How to install and register a font with Visual Installer

1. Open your project or create a new project.

2. Choose the menu item List – Add – Add files.

3. Browse and select your font file (must be a file with the filename extension .ttf).

(If you want to add a font file that is located in C:\Windows\Fonts, you can first copy the font file to another folder that you create, for example C:\MyFonts. Thereafter you add the font file to Visual Installer´s file list from C:\MyFonts. Adding the font directly from C:\Windows\Fonts may not always work because it is a special folder.)

4. Click Open in the Add files dialog box.

5. In the next dialog box that is shown, make sure that the destination folder is %FONTDIR.

6. Click OK to close the Destination folder dialog box.

7. Now select the font file in the file list.

8. Choose the menu item List – Register font.

9. Enter a font name in the Font name text box in the Register font dialog box.

10. Make sure that the Register this font after installation option is selected.

11. Click OK.

You have now added a font file to your installation project and it will be installed in Windows font folder, and registered in a proper way, during the installation.

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

How to check that a file is dual code signed

In Visual Installer 2015 we added a new function that makes it possible to dual code sign setup files. You can read about the new function in the following blog post:

> Visual Installer now supports SHA-2 and dual code signing

Before you distribute your installation package it can be a good idea to check that the dual sign process succeeded. You can do it easily by following the steps below:

1. Create your setup package from Visual Installer.
2. Locate the setup package file via Windows Explorer.
3. Right-click on the file.
4. Choose the Properties menu item in the local menu that is opened.
5. Open the Digital Signatures tab.

If the file has been successfully dual signed, there should be two rows in the signature list:

Windows Properties window

The digest algorithms should be sha1 and sha256, as shown in the picture above. If there is only one row in the signature list, the dual code sign process failed or you have not set Visual Installer to dual code sign setup packages. Read this tip to get more information about how to change code sign settings in Visual Installer.

See also
> What is SHA-1 and SHA-2 and what’s the difference between them?
> How to code sign a setup package (Visual Installer tip)

Posted in Information - Products, News - Visual Installer, Tips | Leave a comment

ComponentSource sells SamLogic’s new 2017 products

ComponentSourceComponentSource, the world’s largest reseller of software components and development tools, is an official reseller for SamLogic Software’s products, and sells our tools for developers and designers. From ComponentSource you can buy the following three products from SamLogic:

> SamLogic CD-Menu Creator 2017
> SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator
> SamLogic Visual Installer 2017

ComponentSource Customer Services representatives speak many languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and are available to assist you with all of your sales and technical queries about the three products listed above. If you have questions about our products and prefer to talk or write in other language than English (for example in Spanish or German) it can be a good idea to contact ComponentSource and ask your questions.

You can call ComponentSource free of charge in 47 countries. You can also send an email to the following e-mail address: sales@componentsource.com

Related links
> SamLogic Software’s products on ComponentSource
> You can call ComponentSource toll free in 47 countries
> About ComponentSource

Posted in Information - General | Leave a comment