So you have created an outstanding program and now you want to share it with others. However, since you don’t know how to create a Windows Installer for your program, you will have to distribute the program in a .zip or .rar or another archive. Not so Cool, is it? Stop worrying… We have the solution to your problem. Here, you’ll learn how to create an installer for your program using an inbuilt tool of Windows. This tool is known as the IExpress Wizard i.e. IExpress.exe. It is one of the least known things about Windows. Most programmers use third-party applications for creating installers for their programs, being totally oblivious to this precious program that’s inbuilt into Windows.
First watch this video which shows you how to create an installer using the IExpress Wizard. You can see for yourself how easy it is :
We hope you understood the entire process of creating an installer using the IExpress Wizard. Please note that in the above video, the resulting executable is not displayed on the Desktop because it was saved in the C:\Users\Gaurav directory by default.
The following video shows the installer program in action. The installer i.e. WCBinst.exe in this case is used to install WCB Browser :
Steps to create an installer
In case you didn’t grasp the process of creating the installer even after watching the above videos, detailed instructions are listed below:
a) Open the IExpress Wizard. Make sure that the first radio button i.e. the one next to Create New Self Extraction Directive file is highlighted and Click Next.
b) The next step in the Wizard i.e. Package Purpose appears. Click on the radio button in front of Extract Files Only and Click Next.
c) The third step in the Wizard appears, asking you to enter the Package title. Here, you have to enter a name for your installer package.
d) The fourth step asks you to enter the Confirmation prompt text. This is the text that will be displayed to the user who wants to install the program, informing him/her that the program is going to be installed. It also provides the option to cancel the installation. You may skip this by selecting No prompt. However, we recommend that you provide it by selecting Prompt user with and entering some text as shown in the image below. Click Next.
e) The next step is to provide the License Agreement for your program. If you don’t want to add any License Agreement, select Do not display a license and Click Next. If you want to add a License Agreement, Click Browse to select the text document (.txt) that contains the License Agreement data. Click Next.
f)The sixth step asks you to select the Packaged files. Here, you can add all the files to be included in the installer by clicking Add. When you’re done, Click Next.
g) The seventh step is Show Window. In this step, you can select the appearance of the installer window. We recommend that you leave the default option selected and Click Next.
h) The eighth step asks you to add a Finshed message. You may skip this step by leaving the No message option selected and clicking Next. However, it would be a good idea to let the end-user know that the program has finished installing. Therefore, you should select the Display message option and type some text as shown in the image below.
i)The ninth step asks you to edit Package Name and Options. Enter a name for the installer file and modify the options below as per your requirements. Click Next.
j) The tenth step asks you to Save Self Extraction Directive. The Self Extraction Directive (SED) is a file which stores the information regarding the installer package you’re creating. It can be used to modify the installer file’s data easily, in case you need to do so later.
k) The last step is used to Create package. In this step, you can either start creating the installer by clicking Next or modify your preferences by clicking Back. If you click Next, a command prompt window will appear. It shows the progress of the creation of installer. This window may last for a few seconds or several minutes, depending upon the size of the file to be created.
Congratulations, you have created your first Windows Installer (using IExpress Wizard). Now, try installing the program, by double-clicking the executable generated by the IExpress Wizard. If it works perfectly, do let us know. You may also consult us if there are any issues.
And most importantly, SHARE IT so that others may gain from what you’ve learned today. 🙂