Type Library Editor

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The Type Library Editor enables developers to examine and create type information for COM objects. Using the Type Library Editor can greatly simplify the task of developing COM objects by centralizing the tasks of defining interfaces, CoClasses, and types, obtaining GUIDs for new interfaces, associating interfaces with CoClasses, updating implementation units, and so on.

The Type Library Editor outputs two types of files that represent the contents of the type library:

Type Library editor files

File Description

.ridl file

The text-based RIDL (Restricted Interface Definition Language) file, introduced for 2009. The product no longer uses the Interface Definition Language (IDL).

.tlb file

The binary type library file. By default, you do not need to use this file, because the type library is automatically compiled into the application as a resource. However, you can use this file to explicitly compile the type library into another project or to deploy the type library separately from the .exe or .ocx. For more information, see Opening an Existing Type Library and Deploying Type Libraries.

_TLB unit

This unit reflects the contents of the type library for use by your application. It contains all the declarations your application needs to use the elements defined in the type library. Although you can open this file in the code editor, you should never edit it -- the file is maintained by the Type Library Editor, so any changes you make will be overwritten by the Type Library Editor. For more details on the contents of this file, see Code Generated When You Import Type Library Information.


The following topics describe the Type Library Editor in greater detail:

See Also