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The _LOADIMAGE function loads an image into memory and returns valid LONG image handle values that are less than -1.



handle& = _LOADIMAGE(filename$[, mode%])


  • filename$ is literal or variable STRING file name value.
  • Optional mode% INTEGER values can be any valid screen mode except zero, also:
    • 256 = 8-bit (256-color)
    • 32 = 32-bit
    • 33 = hardware image


  • File types supported: BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, PNM, XPM, XCF, PCX, TIF, LBM, and TGA. A path can also be given.
  • The mode% can designate 256 (8 bit), 32 bit color or 33 (version 1.000 and up). Omit to use the current graphic screen settings.
  • Mode 33 images are hardware accelerated and are created using _LOADIMAGE or _COPYIMAGE (version 1.000 and up).
  • Loaded images can be read invisibly using POINT. Image coordinates start at 0 up to the _WIDTH - 1 and _HEIGHT - 1.
  • Images can be made into a program SCREEN or page adopting the size and palette settings or placed using _PUTIMAGE.
  • Returns -1 as an invalid handle if it can't load the image. Valid LONG handle returns are less than -1 (handle& < -1).
  • Valid images only need to be loaded once. The handle can be used repeatedly until freed.
  • Images are not deallocated when the SUB or FUNCTION they are created in ends. Free them with _FREEIMAGE.


  • Some picture file images may not load when a mode% value is designated. Try loading it without a mode% designation.
  • It is important to free unused or discarded images with _FREEIMAGE to prevent CPU memory overflow errors.
  • In text-only SCREEN 0, mode% 32 must be specified. When loading an _ICON image use 32 for the mode% too.


Example 1: Already in SCREEN 13 and want computer to match the 32-bit jpg/etc. colors to the current palette:

SCREEN 13 i& = _LOADIMAGE("mypic.jpg") _PUTIMAGE, i&

Example 2: Already in SCREEN 13 but want to load an 8-bit image and adopt its palette as the current palette:

SCREEN 13 i& = _LOADIMAGE("mypic256col.bmp", 256) _COPYPALETTE i&, 0 _PUTIMAGE, i&

Example 3: Want to display an image in 32-bit color using its resolution as a program screen:

i& = _LOADIMAGE("mypic.jpg", 32) SCREEN i&

Example 4: DRAWing and rotating an image 360 degrees using Turn Angle. POINT is used to read the invisible image source.

SCREEN _NEWIMAGE(800, 600, 32) img& = _LOADIMAGE("QB64.PNG") 'load the image file to be drawn wide% = _WIDTH(img&): deep% = _HEIGHT(img&) TLC$ = "BL" + STR$(wide% \ 2) + "BU" + STR$(deep% \ 2) 'start draw at top left corner RET$ = "BD BL" + STR$(wide%) 'return to left side of image _SOURCE img& _DEST 0 DO FOR angle% = 0 TO 360 STEP 15 CLS DRAW "BM400, 300" + "TA=" + VARPTR$(angle%) + TLC$ FOR y = 0 TO deep% - 1 FOR x = 0 TO wide% - 1 DRAW "C" + STR$(POINT(x, y)) + "R1" 'color and DRAW each pixel NEXT DRAW RET$ NEXT _DISPLAY 'NOTE: CPU usage will be HIGH! NEXT LOOP UNTIL INKEY$ > ""

Code by Ted Weissgerber
NOTE: The QB64.PNG file picturing the QB64 bee can saved from the top of the QB64 forum. Speed varies with image size.

More examples

See also

Go to Keyword Reference - Alphabetical
Go to Keyword Reference - By usage
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