LoadPicture() [v1.1.23+]

Loads a picture from file and returns a bitmap or icon handle.

Handle := LoadPicture(Filename , Options, OutImageType)



The filename of the picture, which is usually assumed to be in A_WorkingDir if an absolute path isn't specified. If the name of a DLL or EXE file is given without a path, it may be loaded from the directory of the current executable (AutoHotkey.exe or a compiled script) or a system directory.


If blank or omitted, it defaults to no options. Otherwise, specify a string of one or more of the following options, each separated from the next with a space or tab:

Wn and Hn: The width and height to load the image at, where n is an integer. If one dimension is omitted or -1, it is calculated automatically based on the other dimension, preserving aspect ratio. If both are omitted, the image's original size is used. If either dimension is 0, the original size is used for that dimension. For example: "w80 h50", "w48 h-1" or "w48" (preserve aspect ratio), "h0 w100" (use original height but override width).

Iconn: Indicates which icon to load from a file with multiple icons (generally an EXE or DLL file). For example, "Icon2" loads the file's second icon. [v1.1.27+]: Any supported image format can be converted to an icon by specifying "Icon1". However, the icon is converted back to a bitmap if the OutImageType parameter is omitted.

GDI+: Use GDI+ to load the image, if available. For example, "GDI+ w100".


If omitted, the corresponding value will not be stored, and the return value will always be a bitmap handle (icons/cursors are converted if necessary) because reliably using or deleting an icon/cursor/bitmap handle requires knowing which type it is. Otherwise, specify an output variable in which to store a number indicating the type of handle being returned: 0 (IMAGE_BITMAP), 1 (IMAGE_ICON) or 2 (IMAGE_CURSOR).

Return Value

This function returns a bitmap or icon handle depending on whether a picture or icon is specified and whether the OutImageType parameter is present or not.


LoadPicture also supports the handle syntax, such as for creating a resized image based on an icon or bitmap which has already been loaded into memory, or converting an icon to a bitmap by omitting OutImageType.

If the image needs to be freed from memory, call whichever function is appropriate for the type of handle.

if (not OutImageType)  ; IMAGE_BITMAP (0) or the OutImageType parameter was omitted.
    DllCall("DeleteObject", "ptr", Handle)
else if (OutImageType = 1)  ; IMAGE_ICON
    DllCall("DestroyIcon", "ptr", Handle)
else if (OutImageType = 2)  ; IMAGE_CURSOR
    DllCall("DestroyCursor", "ptr", Handle)

Image Handles


Pre-loads and reuses some images.

Pics := []
; Find some pictures to display.
Loop, Files, %A_WinDir%\Web\Wallpaper\*.jpg, R
    ; Load each picture and add it to the array.
if !Pics.Length()
    ; If this happens, edit the path on the Loop line above.
    MsgBox, No pictures found!  Try a different directory.
; Add the picture control, preserving the aspect ratio of the first picture.
Gui, Add, Pic, w600 h-1 vPic +Border, % "HBITMAP:*" Pics.1
Gui, Show
    ; Switch pictures!
    GuiControl, , Pic, % "HBITMAP:*" Pics[Mod(A_Index, Pics.Length())+1]
    Sleep 3000