Install Time™ Help - User Interface

•  Overview
•  Toolbox
•  Dialog Navigation
•  Dialog Editor
•  Dialog Properties
•  Windows Installer User Interface Controls


Customize the user interface of the installation. Choose from default installation dialogs or provide new dialog wizards. Select from designer controls to customize the UI experience.

To view a dialog in a different language, select the language of choice from the ribbon bar. This is very useful when deciding control spacing and alignment. it also allows each person working on the user interface to work in their language of choice.

Install Time ships with many standard installation themes which are located in the "..\Savage Fly\Install Time\Templates\Themes" direcotry. Use a standard theme or create your own company image theme as your template.


The toolbox contains all the controls needed to create installation dialogs.

These controls include:
  •  Billboard - a control used to display images and text to the user during the installation. Typical use is marketing material graphics or custom messages.
  •  Bitmap - Displays a bitmap.
  •  Button - Displays a button that can can perform actions when pressed.
  •  Checkbox - Checkbox control sets a property state to true or false
  •  ComboBox - Used when something must be selected however only one selection can be made.
  •  Directory ComboBox - A directory combo is used in conjunction with a directory list and a path edit control to create a browse dialog. The directory combo displays the list of drives mapped on the current system.
When you first draw a directory combo onto a dialog, you must assign a single Windows Installer property to the control. This property should be the same for the accompanying directory list and path edit. It will contain the path selected by the end user.
  •  Directory ListBox - used in conjuntion with a Directory Combo Box. See above...
  •  Group Box - This control is used to provide an identifiable grouping for other controls. Typically, you use group boxes to subdivide a form by function. For example, you may have an email form that specifies mailing options such so that an email server could determine priority, mailing disribution list, etc . Grouping all options in a group box gives the user a logical visual cue.
  •  Hyperlink - creates a hyperlink that when selected launches the default browser to the page identified.
  •  Icon - displays an icon on the dialog
  •  Label - Text used to tell the user something such as guiding them through the installation
  •  ListBox - displays a list of items from which the user can select one or more items.
  •  ListView - displays a list of items with icons.
  •  Password Box - Textbox that displays each character as an asterisk (*) as they are typed into the control. Used to enter passwords or text that should not be displayed on screen.
  •  Progress bar - updatable control that indicates how far along the installation has progressed.
  •  Radio Button Group - Groups radio buttons for single selection from a list of radio buttons
  •  Radio Button - Displays a radio button. A group of radio buttons enable the user to select a string or integer value for a property from a predetermined list of values in the radio button group
  •  Scrollable Text - Displays text (can be RTF). A common use for this control is displaying the license agreement or large amounts of text.
  •  Selection Tree - This control enables a user to change the selection state of features listed in the Feature table. The control is associated with a string valued property that the user can set by a Browse dialog.
  •  Separator - a line the visably breaks up logical groupings
  •  Text Box - a control for text.
  •  Volume Cost List - The Volume Cost List control presents information about the cost associated with the selection on the different volumes. The control shows all the volumes involved in the current installation plus all volumes that are of the types specified in the attribute bits. If the required disk space exceeds the amount available on some drive, the volume is highlighted in the table. Clicking a column header sorts the volumes according to the chosen column.
  •  Volume Select Combo - The control enables the user to select a volume from an alphabetical list of volumes. The types of volumes displayed in the list are specified using bits associated with RemovableVolume, FixedVolume, RemoteVolume, CDROMVolume, RAMDiskVolume, and FloppyVolume control attributes.

Dialog Navigation

Windows Installer user interface has several "modes" of operation: Installation, Maintenance (repair, modify or uninstall), and Administrative. In the User interface navigation window ("Dialog Sequenece") use the drop down to select which mode of dialogs to edit. From here a user can select each dialog associated with the selected sequence. Dialog execution order is determined in a linear fashion from the top of the list to the bottom. Branched experiences are noted with a triangle or arrow head icon.

Dialog Editor

Once a dialog is selected in the navigation pane, any control from the toolbox can be placed, positioned, and managed from the dialog editor's graphical user interface. Like most editor's simply drag the control from the toolbox onto the dialog and position as desired. Selecting a control will display the control's properties in the property window.

Dialog Properties

The basic Dialog Properties which can be modified to customize the look and feel or your installation dialogs. All templates follow best practice sizes and care should be given when modifying them. Standards are determined based on user expectations and past experiences:
  • Appearance
  • Behavior
  • Miscellaneous
  • Size and Position


Appearance adjusts the overall viewing and layout of the dialog. This is important for localized or customized content.
  • Left Scroll - If scroll bar is visible (required) it will appear on the left hand side of the dialog
  • Right to Left reading - if selected the text on the dialog will be displayed in right-to-left reading order.
  • Right-Align text - Aligns the text on the right hand side of the dialog.
  • Dialog title - what is displayed at the top of the dialog or dialog title.
  • Using a custom Palette - renders pictures using custom palette. (not reccommended if installing on windows systems prior to windows 7 without full testing)


Behavior adjusts how the user can interact with the dialog.
  • Can minimize - display the '-' in the upper right corner so that the dialog can be minimized to the task bar
  • Cancel Control - Display the cancel button or 'X' in the upper right corner to allow the user to cancel
      the installation at any point.
  • Default Control - The control that has focus as the dialog is displayed. If the Button Control is the only control
      present on the dialog box that can take the focus, the button entered in the Control Default field must also
      be entered into the focus Control field.
  • Dialog Style - Modal, nonMondal, or system modal
  • Display condition - determines if the dialog should be displayed
  • Enabled - Dialog will display by default based on the dialog condition
  • Error Dialog - Indicates the selected dialog is an Error dialog and must contain a control named "ErrorText"
  • Focus Control - The control that gets initial focus when the dialog is shown.
  • Keep other Dialogs -
  • Track diskspace -


Miscellaneous items
  • Key - The identifier which associates all controls to the selected dialog and the Key to the this dialog in the dialog table.
      This value must be unique across all dialogs in the installation.

Size and Position

Adjust the dilogs size and position on screen when it is displayed
  • Height - The height of the dialog box. This can not be a negative number.
  • Horizontal Centering - The horizontal position of the dialog box.
  • Vertical Centering - The veritcal position of the dialog box.
  • Width - Dialog Width of the dialog box. This can not be a negative number.

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.