I’ve been doing quite a lot of Windows Store Apps on Windows 8 lately. Ever since I started I always seemed to miss the ResXFileCodeGenerator custom tool. This is because in WinRT when you want to load a localized string in code then you will have to do something like this:

var resources = new ResourceLoader();
var localizedString = resources.GetString("SomeResourceName");

This of course can easily lead to a lot of errors. In my case I got a little to eager while refactoring and forgot to notice that I was also changing hard coded strings. This broke the code quite a lot. Because of this frustration I decided to implement my own custom tool since Microsoft didn’t provide one

The project is open source and is available at Github. Here’s a preview of the description which I took directly from my CodePlex project site.

Download from Visual Studio Marketplace

Features

  • Define custom namespace for the generated file
  • Auto-updating of generated code file when changes are made to the .ResW Resource file
  • XML documentation style comments like “Localized resource similar to ‘[the value]’”
  • Supports Visual Studio 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022
  • Supports dotted keys - Replaces . with _ (e.g. Something.Awesome = Something_Awesome)

Custom Tools

  • ReswFileCodeGenerator - Generates a public class
  • InternalReswFileCodeGenerator - Generates an internal (C#) / friend (VB) class

Supported Languages

  • C#
  • Visual Basic

Screenshots

ReswFileCodeGenerator Custom Tool

InternalReswFileCodeGenerator Custom Tool

C# Usage

string test1, test2, test3;

void LoadLocalizedStrings()
{
    test1 = App1.LocalizedResources.Resources.Test1;
    test2 = App1.LocalizedResources.Resources.Test2;
    test3 = App1.LocalizedResources.Resources.Test3;
    test4 = App1.LocalizedResources.Resources.Test_With_Dotted_Keys;
}

Visual Basic Usage

Dim test1, test2, test3

Private Sub LoadLocalizedStrings()
    test1 = AppVb.LocalizedStrings.Resources.Test1
    test2 = AppVb.LocalizedStrings.Resources.Test2
    test3 = AppVb.LocalizedStrings.Resources.Test3
    test4 = AppVb.LocalizedStrings.Resources.Test_With_Dotted_Keys;
End Sub

Generated C# Code

//------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// <auto-generated>
//     This code was generated by a tool.
//     Runtime Version:4.0.30319.42000
//
//     Changes to this file may cause incorrect behavior and will be lost if
//     the code is regenerated.
// </auto-generated>
//------------------------------------------------------------------------------

// --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// <auto-generatedInfo>
// 	This code was generated by ResW File Code Generator (http://bit.ly/reswcodegen)
// 	ResW File Code Generator was written by Christian Resma Helle
// 	and is under GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2)
// 
// 	This code contains a helper class exposing property representations
// 	of the string resources defined in the specified .ResW file
// 
// 	Generated: 05/20/2019 15:47:37
// </auto-generatedInfo>
// --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace App2
{
    using Windows.ApplicationModel.Resources;


    public sealed partial class Resources
    {
    
        private static ResourceLoader resourceLoader;
    
        /// <summary>
        /// Get or set ResourceLoader implementation
        /// </summary>
        public static ResourceLoader Resource
        {
            get
            {
                if ((resourceLoader == null))
                {
                    Resources.Initialize();
                }
                return resourceLoader;
            }
            set
            {
                resourceLoader = value;
            }
        }
    
        /// <summary>
        /// Localized resource similar to "test"
        /// </summary>
        public static string Test
        {
            get
            {
                return Resource.GetString("Test");
            }
        }
    
        /// <summary>
        /// Localized resource similar to "test"
        /// </summary>
        public static string Test2
        {
            get
            {
                return Resource.GetString("Test2");
            }
        }
    
        /// <summary>
        /// Localized resource similar to "test"
        /// </summary>
        public static string Test3
        {
            get
            {
                return Resource.GetString("Test3");
            }
        }
    
        /// <summary>
        /// Localized resource similar to "test"
        /// </summary>
        public static string Test_With_Dotted_Keys
        {
            get
            {
                return Resource.GetString("Test/With/Dotted/Keys");
            }
        }
    
        public static void Initialize()
        {
            string executingAssemblyName;
            executingAssemblyName = Windows.UI.Xaml.Application.Current.GetType().AssemblyQualifiedName;
            string[] executingAssemblySplit;
            executingAssemblySplit = executingAssemblyName.Split(',');
            executingAssemblyName = executingAssemblySplit[1];
            string currentAssemblyName;
            currentAssemblyName = typeof(Resources).AssemblyQualifiedName;
            string[] currentAssemblySplit;
            currentAssemblySplit = currentAssemblyName.Split(',');
            currentAssemblyName = currentAssemblySplit[1];
            if (executingAssemblyName.Equals(currentAssemblyName))
            {
                resourceLoader = ResourceLoader.GetForCurrentView("Resources");
            }
            else
            {
                resourceLoader = ResourceLoader.GetForCurrentView(currentAssemblyName + "/Resources");
            }
        }
    }
}

Generated Visual Basic Code

'------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' <auto-generated>
'     This code was generated by a tool.
'     Runtime Version:4.0.30319.42000
'
'     Changes to this file may cause incorrect behavior and will be lost if
'     the code is regenerated.
' </auto-generated>
'------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option Strict Off
Option Explicit On

Imports Windows.ApplicationModel.Resources

'--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'<auto-generatedInfo>
'	This code was generated by ResW File Code Generator (http://bit.ly/reswcodegen)
'	ResW File Code Generator was written by Christian Resma Helle
'	and is under GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2)
'
'	This code contains a helper class exposing property representations
'	of the string resources defined in the specified .ResW file
'
'	Generated: 05/20/2019 15:48:18
'</auto-generatedInfo>
'--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Partial Public NotInheritable Class Resources

    Private Shared resourceLoader As ResourceLoader

    '''<summary>
    '''Get or set ResourceLoader implementation
    '''</summary>
    Public Shared Property Resource() As ResourceLoader
        Get
            If (resourceLoader Is Nothing) Then
                Resources.Initialize
            End If
            Return resourceLoader
        End Get
        Set
            resourceLoader = value
        End Set
    End Property

    '''<summary>
    '''Localized resource similar to "test"
    '''</summary>
    Public Shared ReadOnly Property Test() As String
        Get
            Return Resource.GetString("Test")
        End Get
    End Property

    '''<summary>
    '''Localized resource similar to "test"
    '''</summary>
    Public Shared ReadOnly Property Test2() As String
        Get
            Return Resource.GetString("Test2")
        End Get
    End Property

    '''<summary>
    '''Localized resource similar to "test"
    '''</summary>
    Public Shared ReadOnly Property Test3() As String
        Get
            Return Resource.GetString("Test3")
        End Get
    End Property

    '''<summary>
    '''Localized resource similar to "test"
    '''</summary>
    Public Shared ReadOnly Property Test_With_Dotted_Keys() As String
        Get
            Return Resource.GetString("Test/With/Dotted/Keys")
        End Get
    End Property

    Public Shared Sub Initialize()
        Dim executingAssemblyName As String
        executingAssemblyName = Windows.UI.Xaml.Application.Current.GetType().AssemblyQualifiedName
        Dim executingAssemblySplit() As String
        executingAssemblySplit = executingAssemblyName.Split(Global.Microsoft.VisualBasic.ChrW(44))
        executingAssemblyName = executingAssemblySplit(1)
        Dim currentAssemblyName As String
        currentAssemblyName = GetType(Resources).AssemblyQualifiedName
        Dim currentAssemblySplit() As String
        currentAssemblySplit = currentAssemblyName.Split(Global.Microsoft.VisualBasic.ChrW(44))
        currentAssemblyName = currentAssemblySplit(1)
        If executingAssemblyName.Equals(currentAssemblyName) Then
            resourceLoader = ResourceLoader.GetForCurrentView("Resources")
        Else
            resourceLoader = ResourceLoader.GetForCurrentView(currentAssemblyName + "/Resources")
        End If
    End Sub
End Class