How to create *.lib file from *.dll

Two command lines which I often forgot and googling again and again. If you have dynamic link library, but haven’t according *.lib file, then use

dumpbin /EXPORTS yourfile.dll > yourfile.exports
lib /def:yourfile.def /out:yourfile.lib

For example, you would like to call some functions from NIVisSvc.dll from C Code and therefore need to link to this library.

SO: How to make a .lib file when have a .dll file and a header file

  1. Run Visual Studio Developer Command Prompt:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\BuildTools\VC\Auxiliary\Build\vcvars32.bat

or for x64

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\BuildTools\VC\Auxiliary\Build\vcvars64.bat
  1. dumpbin /EXPORTS yourfile.dll > yourfile.exports

  2. Paste the names of the needed functions from yourfile.exports into a new yourfile.def file. Add a line with the word EXPORTS at the top of this file.

  3. Run the following commands

lib /def:yourfile.def /out:yourfile.lib

or for x64 builds

lib /def:yourfile.def /machine:x64 /out:yourfile64.lib

or instead of calling this from VS Dev Command Prompt you can call these tools from the folder where where lib.exe and other compile tools reside:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\Professional\VC\Tools\MSVC\14.39.33519\bin\Hostx64\x64\

You should get two files generated: yourfile.lib and yourfile.exp

Practical Exercise

Create NIVisSvc.lib from NIVisSvc.dll:


copy C:\Windows\System32\NIVisSvc.dll NIVisSvc.dll
dumpbin /EXPORTS NIVisSvc.dll > NIVisSvc.exports
lib /def:NIVisSvc.def /machine:x64 /out:NIVisSvc.lib


copy C:\Windows\SysWOW64\NIVisSvc.dll NIVisSvc.dll
dumpbin /EXPORTS NIVisSvc.dll > NIVisSvc.exports
lib /def:NIVisSvc.def /machine:x86 /out:NIVisSvc.lib

*.exports file

Microsoft (R) COFF/PE Dumper Version 14.39.33523.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Dump of file NIVisSvc.dll

File Type: DLL

  Section contains the following exports for nivissvc.dll

    00000000 characteristics
    65A21E95 time date stamp Sat Jan 13 06:24:37 2024
        0.00 version
           1 ordinal base
         693 number of functions
         367 number of names

    ordinal hint RVA      name

         23    0 006F71C4 ?CVI_ProcessError_OBSOLETE_1@@3P6A?AW4GRLIBError_enum@@W41@IZZA
         32    1 006F71D8 ?LV_GetFunctionPtr@@3P6A?AW4GRLIBError_enum@@PBDPAPAX@ZA
         51    2 00535EEE ALic
         52    3 00370210 AddAnnulusContour
         53    4 003702D0 AddClosedContour
         54    5 00370320 AddContourToROIContourList

modified to *.def:


For modification I would to recommend any editor, which allow to delete column of the text

In VSCode hold Ctrl+Shift+Alt and select text with keyboard only using arrows keys.

In Far Manager use Shift+Alt