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How to use System.Drawing.Bitmap (HBitmap) in WPF

Actually, the question is: “How to use nice feature of Resource code generation, presented in VS2005 within WPF”. Well, that’s not really efficient way, but whatever. As you, probably, know in WinForms (.NET2.0) and Visual Studio 2005 there is code generator for system resources. It makes us able to have intellisense support of VS development environment for loading resources from the application.

Actually, the code generator creates a butch of static properties, that gets objects from application ResourceManager. If you’ll take a look into Reesources.Designer.cs file, you’ll find there internal static readonly properties like this

internal static System.Drawing.Bitmap p1060981 {
            get {
                object obj = ResourceManager.GetObject("p1060981", resourceCulture);
                return ((System.Drawing.Bitmap)(obj));


How to get this and load my images (or any other resources) and use then in WPF this way?

image.Source = ResourceHelper1.Properties.Resources.p1060981;


Well, you can not and the main reason is, that it returns System.Drawing.Bitmap, which actually, HBitmap and can not be used directly as image source for WPF. But if you really want try this small helper

public static BitmapSource loadBitmap(System.Drawing.Bitmap source)
            return System.Windows.Interop.Imaging.CreateBitmapSourceFromHBitmap(source.GetHbitmap(),IntPtr.Zero,Int32Rect.Empty,


It gets System.Drawing.Bitmap (from WindowsBased) and converts it into BitmapSource, which can be actually used as image source for your Image control in WPF.

This is not very efficient way. It’s much better to use Resources management of WPF as described here, but in some cases (this one is not reason :) ) you have to use Forms ResourceManager. One of them, is if you need pixel level access to your bitmap.

Source code for this article

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11 Responses to “How to use System.Drawing.Bitmap (HBitmap) in WPF”

  1. Tamir Khason Says:

    Part Time Australian, This article has been written before attached methods were invented

  2. Part Time Australian Says:

    Why not make them extension methods…

    public static BitmapSource ToBitmapSource(this System.Drawing.Bitmap source)

  3. Tolgahan Albayrak Says:

    Sometimes (when you need to re-create some bitmaps or change them) it will crash the memory.. This is a small dix for your sollution..

    getHBitmap will allocate memory by total image size.. And each call will allocate again.. So if you delete old hBitmap after creating BitmapSource, I think, the RAM will feel better :)


           static extern int DeleteObject(IntPtr o);

           public static BitmapSource loadBitmap(System.Drawing.Bitmap source)


               IntPtr ip = source.GetHbitmap();

               BitmapSource bs = System.Windows.Interop.Imaging.CreateBitmapSourceFromHBitmap(ip, IntPtr.Zero, Int32Rect.Empty,



               return bs;



  4. JuanCamilo Says:

    dude, you rock. it is awesome, specially if your using file stream type of the new sql.

    take care.

  5. Just code - Tamir Khason Says:

    How to easily convert WinForms System.Drawing.Bitmap into WPF ImageSource you learned from this article

  6. Just code - Tamir Khason Says:

    If you ever tried to put something from WPF world over Windows Forms controls (interop), you, probably,

  7. Lukas Cavigelli Says:

    Thanks a lot!!

  8. ladio Says:

    How to do imagesource convert to system.drawing.bitmap

  9. Sascha Hennig Says:

    What Tolgahan said: if using this approach you want to make sure to release the handle to the bitmap via DeleteObject. Alternatively, and possibly better although not neccessarily as simple, one could avoid interoperability methods and use BmpBitmapDecoder instead. An example as how that can be done can be found at CodeProject:

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