Borland C++ 5.02 OpenGL Programming

Trying to write OpenGL programs in the Borland C++ environment can be challenging at best. Back in 1999, after my search of every known search engine I knew of, I ended up with only a couple of links. They are

To me, that was pretty amazing. But perhaps this was at the beginning of when people wanted to do this. I have since moved to using Visual Studio, but I still receive comments on the usefulness of this page, so I'll leave it here.

This web page will mainly detail the process of using the GLUT library. Since the files may be updated with newer versions, I will only provide links to each required file. A good place to start for all OpenGL info is If there are any problems with this process, please let me know so I can update the page.

OpenGL Implementation

First of all, you will need an OpenGL implementation. Unless your video card was made before 1997, you should have the .DLL files already. Borland by default comes with the necessary header files in c:\bc5\include\GL. It also comes with the library files opengl32.lib and glu32.lib. However, I was not able to get Borland to work with these library files. You ONLY need to download this file if you are missing the header files (or you have an old video card). Do the following:

Installing GLUT

Next, get the GLUT library and install it. You can go to the GLUT homepage and is download Alternatively, you can find it on the Glut for Windows page. Don't get the source, the precompiled binaries are what you want. There is a newer file on the GLUT homepage that has both Win32 and X11 graphics merged. I have not tried this file, but I would imagine it will work the same way.

Unzip that file to c:\windows\temp\glutdlls and do the following:

Beginning the Program

Now you are ready to begin developing OpenGL programs in Borland C++. There are two ways to write your programs. If you have multiple files for a larger program, then you will need to create a project. Go to File|New|Project. Type in the path and name of your project. You probably want "Application" for your "Target Type." Select "Win32" for the "Platform" and "Console" for the "Target Model" (unless you are writing a fully Windows program using MFC or the likes for windowing, then select "GUI" for the "Target Model").

The other method is for smaller programs where you only have one source file. In this case, you don't need to start a project. Simply open your source file and compile it. Regardless of which method you choose, you will need to put the following lines in this order in your include section of your code.

#include <windows.h>

#include <GL/glut.h>

It is possible to only include glut.h as it attempts to properly define things for Windows, but you will probably get a few warnings saying that a few definitions are not exactly the same. I would recommend including both. You should probably place them first in your program as windows.h may be useful for other things you may be doing. You do not need to include gl.h or glu.h as glut.h includes them automatically (Or, more correctly, glut.h includes glaux.h which includes both gl.h and glu.h :).

Other Issues

When building your program, Borland may give you a weird error in one of your library files called winmm.lib (or possibly others). If this is the case, I've found that regenerating the library from the DLL solves the problem. To do this, go to DOS and type

cd \bc5\lib

implib winmm.lib c:\windows\system\winmm.dll

Exchange the library and DLL name if necessary. Also note that in order for other users to run your OpenGL program, they will also have to have the GLUT DLL's installed. It is not necessary for them to go through this gory detail. Either distribute the glut.dll and glut32.dll with your program or have them download the and copy the DLL's to their windows\system directory. Obviously, they will also need to have an OpenGL implementation (either hardware accelerated with their video card or by using Microsoft's software rendering library).

Good luck and happy coding :)


  1. I keep getting the error, "Error: Unresolved external 'glut*'" when I try to build my program.

    • One cause for this is that Borland is unable to find the glut32.lib file to link with your application. More likely, however, is that your source directory may be somewhere on your hard drive that has a space or long filename in it. The 16-bit components of Borland do not work with files in such a configuration. Move your directory somewhere that follows the DOS 8.3 filename standard.

  2. During compilation, I keep getting the errors:

    gl.h(1135,15):Declaration syntax error

    gl.h(1136,15):Multiple declaration for 'WINGDIAPI'

    gl.h(1135,15):Earlier declaration of 'WINGDIAPI'


    glaux.h(265,40):Style of function definition is now obsolete

    glaux.h(265,41):{ expected

    glaux.h(303,53):Undefined symbol 'LPCWSTR'

    or during linking, I get the error:

    "Bad object file record in (path)\glut32.lib near module file offset 0x00000***"

    • These errors tell you that you have used the incorrect platform and/or model in the "Target Expert." Follow the instructions in step 3 to change this to the correct value.

  3. My program compiles fine, but when running I get the message "You have accidentally used the dummy version of OwlMain."

    • This error message is caused by using the wrong platform selection in your project file. Open your project. Right click the .exe file in the project window and select "Target Expert." Change the platform to "Win32" and change target model to "Console." Upon successful recompilation, your program should work.

    • The reason for this error is that you probably selected "GUI" as the target model (or left it as default when creating your project). This is fine if your program is intended to run solely as a windows program (meaning no command line box opening before your application). In this case you need to use the function

      void WinMain()

      instead of

      void main()

      It also seems that you can use

      void OwlMain()

      but I don't know the specifics of using either one as I never have.
  4. During linking, I get the error:

    'C:\BC5\LIB\OPENGL32.LIB' contains invalid OMF record, type 0x21

    • This means you have used the library from Visual C++ and not recreated a library for Borland from the Windows DLL file. Perform the following:

      cd \bc5\lib

      implib opengl32.lib c:\windows\system\opengl32.dll

  5. During library conversion, I get the error:

    C:\bc5\lib>implib glut32.lib c:\windows\system\glut32.dll

    Exception C0000005: Access violation

    Module: Impdef.exe start address: 00410000


    where the other implib's worked fine.
    • I have heard of this error twice now, but did not encounter it myself and have not heard of a way to fix it. Borland's web site describes a bit about this problem and may offer a way to fix it. I have copied it here should that site ever not work.