Thread: Win32 API - List of commands

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Win32 API - List of commands

    I am learning how to use the Win32 API commands using the Borland C++ X development system. Can any one tell me where I can find a list of API functions with a description of what messages each function can receive or send plus the prototype for each function.

    I find many listing on the internet that show a few functions but I have not found a complete list or at least a list that would cover up to 2003 since my development system was release at that time.


  2. #2
    Registered User jeffcobb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Henderson, NV
    What you are basically asking for is a completely documented volume on the Windows API. Consequently you may need to be patient for a while if you are looking for this for free. There are a lot of books out there on the Windows API but I gotta tell you one of the truly handiest volumes I have ever used (on Windows) are any of the Schulman books on undocumented Windows API calls/messages. One reason I like coding for POSIX is that it is well-documented and the docs are free and readily available. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do and why they do it. I have come to really appreciate solid and thorough documentation.
    C/C++ Environment: GNU CC/Emacs
    Make system: CMake
    Debuggers: Valgrind/GDB

  3. #3
    and the hat of sweating
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Everything used to be on the MSDN website, but it looks like they completely messed it up to make it a lot harder to find what you need...
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

    "the internet is a scary place to be thats why i dont use it much." - billet, 03/17/2010

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Inside my computer
    Bah. Their search function is ridiculous. It never give you what you want.
    And don't use undocumented APIs. They break stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    What you're looking for does exist, I have a version on my computer. It's a windows help file that lists all the API functions, is searchable by name and contains documentation on them. It's unbelievably useful for people with slower Internet connections (such as me).

    I will try to find a link to it. The file is called "WIN32.hlp". There seems to be a version on but you have to register to download it, also this version is only some 5 MBs, whereas my version is some 24, so unless some mad compression is used I doubt it is the same one.

    EDIT: On further investigation, compressing the file to a .zip yields a 5 MB file so it would seem that the aforementioned version is the right one.

    That is the link, you will need to register first to download it (I'll assume that that should be fairly easy).
    Last edited by DeadPlanet; 06-08-2010 at 04:38 AM.

  6. #6
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    May 2010

    Thank you for all the information.

    Jeffcobb - I will take a look at the Schulman Books. I have not looked at that series before.

    Cpjust - You sure are correct about MSDN being hard to find information that your are looking for.

    Elysia - You are right about using API commands and not know every thing. I have broken the system a couple time because I didn't know what I was doing.

    Dead Planet - I had no problem downloading the file and unzipping it. The WIN32.hlp turned out to be 24 meg as you indicated. I did not see any information on a *.html format that could be used with a browser. The download had the *.MSHA file needed to install it in Visual C++ 2010 express. The VC++ Library manager took me through two steps but then it would not complete the install. I am still trying to figure out why.

    Thank all of you for the help on API functions.


  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Schulman Book on API

    Hello Jeffcobb,

    I found a copy of the Schulman "A Programmers Guide to Reserved Microsoft Windows API Functions" on amazon and ordered the book. Thank you for the suggestion.


  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Found the API Information at Microsoft

    I finally found the Microsoft site that has the API information.

    Windows API Reference

    The following topics provide information about the programming elements included in the Windows API.

    * Functions in Alphabetical Order
    * Functions by Category
    * Functions by Release
    * Windows Data Types
    * Compatibility with 16-bit Windows

    Windows API Reference (Windows)

    This entire structure can be down loaded to a file folder on your computer so you can view it with your browser when off line.

    Just go to the address shown above with your browser and select, File (on the tool bar), then select "Save Page as", and point to the desired file folder on your computer and then save the file (aa383749(VS.85).aspx.htm).

    When you want to view it just start your browser and go to File (on the tool bar), Select Open file, Select the file folder that you save the API information in, then select the file (aa383749(VS.85).aspx.htm).


  9. #9
    Grey Wizard C_Sparky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Download the Windows Help files to the Win32 API

    It comes in pretty handy.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Microsoft SDK API Complete Information

    I found the Microsoft SDK API Complete Information Package.

    This is a source of all commands, messages, data types and
    how each call function operates. Plus there are some other
    very interesting sections that have tools and other items.

    I found this to be a great data source for how the call functions
    work and what all the messages relate to. There appear to be
    1000's of the API commands in this Window API world.

    I downloaded the Windows SDK "Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5" ISO File and burned it to a DVD. Be sure you
    don't just save ISO file to a disk but you must pick the
    burn image to disk option so it will unpack the ISO file.

    Download Confirmation

    ------------------------ If SDK won't Intall due to a Runtime error-----------------------

    You will need to down load the following .NET Framework and install it on your system.

    To download the full package, rather than the bootstrapper, click on the link below: .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (Full Package)

    Download details: .NET Framework 3.5 Service pack 1

    here is the path right to the exe if you just want to download and save

    The SDK documentation has been very helpful in understanding each function and how it operates.

    Bill Agnor

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