Sometimes there are problems with an InstallShield project that are solved easier and faster by using the Direct Editor. However, a lot of people do not want to go there for fear of messing things up. This post is on a simple example that will illustrate how easy the Direct Editor is to use. In the previous post (by chronological date), we talked about 64-bit installations. I will use that Basic MSI project for this example.
Here we are in the Setup Design view and these Features are not in the order I would like.
Here is the order I would like:
To put them in the desired order, I could right-click on a Feature I want to move and select Move Up or Move Down.
However, that method does not always work reliably. Sometimes, when you reorder the Features using the Move Up and Move Down commands in the context menu, you will then save the project, close the project, reopen the project, then come back to the Setup Design view, and you will see the Features are back in the order you don’t want. I don’t know why this occurs and I don’t care, because I can fix it in the Feature table in the Direct Editor view.
Here is the Feature table in the Direct Editor view. Please note that I have scrunched some columns that aren’t necessary for us to see.
To change the order of the Features, I need to change the values in the Display column. The one I want to appear at the top of the list I will set to 0. The one I want next I will set to 2. The one I want last I will set to 4.
Here is the Feature table after the changes have been made.
Now, let’s go back to the Setup Design view and look at the order.
See, that wasn’t so bad. Now, you can do a lot of other things in the Direct Editor if you study how the tables are related to each other. You can consult the InstallShield Help as it has information on all the tables in the MSI database (remember, that’s what a Windows Installer MSI file is, a relational database).
If you are inexperienced at doing this, remember to save a copy of your project, and work on the copy. That way if you mess up, you can always go back to the original.