Visual Studio Pro 2012 Install Shield LE

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013

This guide will go over how to install and use InstallShield LE in Visual Studio Pro 2012.


But first!

But first I am going to write a simple Hello World C# program in Visual Studio Pro, so that I have something to put into an installer.

Hello World C#

The first hello world example I found is on youtube at  [1]

Open Visual Studio 2012 and click on File --> New -->  Project

Select Templates --> Visual C#  -->  Windows

Then select "Windows Forms Application"  then set the .Net Framework to 4.0  (It was released April 2010)

Enter a name for the project.  In this case name it HelloWorld.
Click Browse and find a folder to save this project to.

Click OK

Now the project will be created.

In the Toolbox under the All Windows Forms select Button.

Double click in the Form1 Window to add a button

Select the button then look in the lower right at the properties and select the "Text" field

Update the text to "Hello World"

This will update the buttons text

Double click on the button to open up the Code window Associated with the button (events)

This piece of code button1_click is an event listener.  When the button is clicked it will execute the code.

In this case I added a MessageBox.Show("Hello World")

Click on the Start program to compile and run this program

The program starts up!

Click on the Hello World Button

And a Hello World Message Box Appears.

Close the MessageBox and the Form1 Window to get back to Visual Studio.

Avoiding an Installer Error

During the creation of an installer I ran across this error
"Cannot extract icon with index 0"

This error was caused by the fact that my program did not have an icon associated with it.  So as to avoid this problem when creating the installer I will add an icon to my HelloWorld Program.

First you need a .ico image file.  If you are unsure how to convert an image file to a .ico image file you can use this web site to do it for you

Click on Choose file to upload an image you have on your computer.  Then set the pixel size and click convert.  The results will automatically download to your computer.

In my case I did not even set a pixel size I just converted a large image file.

Click on Project -->  HelloWorld Properties

Click on the Browse for an icon button

Select the .ico image file and click Open

A tiny image should appear here.

Save your project.

InstallShield LE

First we need to set up InstallShield LE from within Visual Studio 2012

Click on File --> New -->  Project

Click On Templates --> Other Project Types --> Setup and Deployment

Then double click on Enable InstallShield Limited Edition

This will open up a local file as a web page.  Click on the "go to the download web site"

Fill out the information and click Download Now.

A new web page opens and an email is sent to you.

Click on Download Now.

Click on Run

Click Run again

Click Next

Accept License and click next

Click Install

Wait as it installs….

Click Finish

Restart Visual Studio Pro 2012.

After Visual Studio restarts....

Click on File --> New -->  Project

Click On Templates --> Other Project Types --> Setup and Deployment

Then double click on Enable InstallShield Limited Edition

 Select Activate or Register and click next

Enter the serial code that was emailed to you and click Activate

Wait while it activates

Click Finish

Use Install Shield in a Project

The email contained a link to a 5 minute how to vide located here

As for me here is what I did….

First open up a project.  I opened up a simple Hello World Program I had made prior to this.

Right click on Solution --> Add -->  New Project

Select Other Project Types -->  Setup and Deployment

Select Install Shield Limited Edition.

Give the Project a name and click OK

Use the Project Assistant to help you (it appears in the main screen in visual studio)

Click on Application Information

Enter the Company name,  The application name,  The version and the company web site.

Click Browse and find the .ico file image file

Click on Browse again and search for the .ico file

Select the .ico file and click Open

Click OK

Click on Installation Requirements

Here you can set up requirements that must be present for this program to run.   For now I will leave it as is.  But if you need to require it has word 2003 you can.

Click on Application Files

Click  on Add Project outputs

Select Primary Output and click OK

Right  click on the Project and click Resolve Project Output

Click OK

Click on Application Shortcuts

Click New

Open ProgramFilesFolder

Open My Company Name

Open My Application Name

Select the output and click Open

Change the name of Built to what you want the application to be called.

I changed the name to HelloWorld.   I also checkboxed the "Create Shortcut on Desktop"

Now build the solution

Build the Solution

Click on Build -->  Build Solution

Go the folder with the installer build,  In my case it is at

Now double click on the setup.exe and go through the installation process.

When it finishes you will see the program in the Start Menu

As well as a shortcut on the desktop

[1]        How to create a simple calculator by using Visual Studio 2012 HD   
                Accessed 02/2013
[2]        InstallShield LE how to            
                Accessed 02/2013 


  1. Hello, pretty clear example, but I have a doubt
    . 1 - Why not generate a folder where all the installation files are saved?. It is a facility like other programs that save files in a folder on the C: \ drive ...
    I await your response. thanks