The GDI+ is a graphics API in Windows XP designed to make it easier to design programs that work with printers and the display. GDI+ is also available to 64-bit Windows.

Windows programs do not access the GPU directly so the GDI+ acts as an API.

The GDI+ C++ class-based interface is designed for use by C/C++ programmers. Familiarity with the Windows graphical user interface and message-driven architecture is required.

The GDI+ is comparatively simple in the capabilities. It is intended to use containers for graphics elements which can be nested.

If you are redistributing GDI+ to a down-level platform or a platform that does not ship with that version of GDI+ natively, install Gdiplus.dll in your application directory. This puts it in your address space, but you should use the linker’s /BASE option to rebase the Gdiplus.dll to prevent address space conflict.

The Visual Studio manual has additional resources.


This API is now obsolete as Windows Vista changes the graphics subsystem completely. The DLL is retained to provide backwards compatibility with existing programs.