A way to tell if an app was written in Delphi

I’m often curious about whether an app I’m using was written in Delphi. Here’s an easy way to tell, that works most of the time.

(Note: this won’t work for apps that use Delphi 2007’s new Vista-compatibility MainFormOnTaskbar property.)

All you do is right-click the taskbar button. Non-Delphi apps will have an ordinary window menu:

Taskbar right-click menu for a non-Delphi application, with the usual window menu items

Delphi apps have an abbreviated menu instead, because it’s actually the context menu for the invisible TApplication window, instead of the context menu for the form:

Taskbar right-click menu for a Delphi application, with only Restore, Minimize, and Close

This isn’t true just of Delphi for Win32 — it also works for VCL.NET applications. (It’s VCL-specific, though, so you can’t identify a Delphi/.NET WinForms app this way.)

If a Delphi app does use Delphi 2007’s MainFormOnTaskbar, then it will have the normal window menu, so a normal menu doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t written in Delphi. But if you right-click the taskbar button and do see only Restore, Minimize, and Close, it’s a pretty sure thing that it’s a Delphi app.

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