There are times you have to create installer for your client or for yourself.It is easy for end user to install application using installer.I once created a data analysis application using Picalo.You can read more about creating data analysis applications using Picalo here.I was trying to create installer of that application.I searched many options for this purpose and finally landed on Inno Setup.
I noted whole process of installer creation using Inno Setup for future reference.This post provides step by step details of whole process followed by me along with screen shots.You can also download whole tutorial using the download link provided at end of this post.
I am assuming that you have already downloaded and installed Inno Setup.In case you have not completed this step do so.After installing the application launch Inno Setup script wizard.I am describing each screen you have to navigate to create installer while using Inno Setup script wizard.
Inno Setup Application information screen
Application information screen is the screen where application information is entered by the user while creating the installer.User needs to enter information as mentioned below
Application Name — Name of the Application.This information is mandatory.for example Udinra.This is the name by which people will know the application.So choose the name so that it is unique and easily remembered.
Application Version — Version of Application.If this installer is created for first time then version is 1 or 1.0.Now if the previous version is 2.3 then the next version is any numeric value greater than 2.3 i.e. 2.4 or 3.0 or 3.for example if previous version of udinra is 2 then current version will be value greater than 2 ie.e 3.It is mandatory information.
Application Publisher — Name of application publisher.It is optional field but it is good practice to provide the information.Name of application owner either individual or company is given.
Application Website — Website of application.Optional field but is good practice to provide the information.
Inno Setup Application screen
Inno Setup Application folder screen
Inno setup script wizard presents user with Application folder screen .User decides the location where the application will be installed by default.Below screen shows the application folder screen
Application Destination Folder — It is the name of folder where the installed files will be located once a user installs an application using the installer created by this process.For example in above case the Program files option is chosen so if the application is installed then the installation files will be located in Program Files folder.If other folder is chosen then the files will be located there.
Application folder name — It is name of the folder in which all the installed files of the application will be located.in this case the folder is Udinra.So for the above case the installed files will be located in udinra directory under the program files directory.
Allow user to change application folder — If this option is chosen then the user have option to change the installation folder.If the user does not choose the folder the application is installed in the default folder i.e in udinra under program files folder.
So summarizing the above facts let there is an installer udinra.exe created with above options then while installing the user can change installation location if Allow user to change application folder is checked else user cannot change the installation location and if default location is used the application will be installed in udinra sub directory of program files directory.
Inno Setup Application files screen
Inno Setup Application files screen presents user with an option to select files to be included in the application installer.User can select the files and folders to be part of the application installers.Below screen shows the Application Files screen
Inno setup script wizard application files screen
Application main executable files — If the application contains a main executable file then click on browse and choose the main executable file of the application.
Choose the option Allow user to start the application after setup has finished if application can be launched by the user as soon as installation is completed.
Click on the Add files and Add folders option to select the files and folder which are part of the installer for example let there is a folder a and file b,c which are to be added in the installer then these folder and files are browsed and added using this option.
Inno Setup Compiler settings screen
On the compiler settings screen user give options as shown below
Inno Setup script wizard compiler settings screen
Custom Compiler output folder — Browse the folder under which the installer file needs to be saved so in above case the installer file is saved in demo_output folder under My documents folder.
Compiler output base file name — This is the name of the installer i.e. the .exe files so in above example the name of the installer file is udinra.exe.
Custom setup icon file — browse for the .ico file to be used as icon of the installer.One can create .ico files using free software like GIMP.In above case icon of udinra was used so the result is
Inno setup script wizard icon specify option
Setup password — It is not used but if one want to protect the application using password then can specify it but remember the password entered on this screen is visible so while entering please hide it else any one standing behind can see the password.
Inno Setup Application icons screen
When one needs to launch any application in windows either desktop icon is searched for or start menu is clicked.So application icons are an important part of any application created for installation.Application icons can be specified for an installer created using Inno Setup on the Application Icons screen.Below is the Application Icons screen of Inno Setup Script wizard
Inno setup script wizard application icons screen
Application Start Menu folder name — This name appears on the START –> ALL Programs and one can see a arrow and if mouse is placed on the option the option is expanded and user can see additional options.In above case there will be an option Udinra on the Start –> All programs.
Rest of the check boxes are self explanatory but it is good practice to not allow users to change Start Menu folder name.If this option is checked then user can enter folder name of their choice while installing the application in this case user can choose any name instead of Udinra.
It is better to associate an application with a unique name not user defined name also from user perspective a person can forget the name assigned to the application while installing it.So don’t click on the Allow User to change the Start Menu folder name option.
Inno Setup Application documentation and setup languages screen
The Application documentation and Setup languages are additional screens and may be ignored by the user.One can use these screens to provide additional features which add value to installation experience of user.Below are Application documentation and Setup language screen
Inno Setup Application documentation screen
License file is used to display license information while installing the application,information file shown before installation can be used to display assistance and explaination of some parameters inputed by the user.This acts as great help to the user and adds to the software value.Also information file shown after installation can be used to display summary of installation.
Inno Setup Setup Language screen
This screen is used to support additional languages during installation.
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