Get rid of the lightning bolt


Do you have 5 minutes for some mindless hacking? Do you think that the 'lightning bolt' graphic is a bit misleading? Would you like to change it to something else (e.g. an image of a snail)? If so, read on …

The hack

(The following was tested with R5.x, but it probably works with ND6.x as well).

The 'lightning bolt' icon is a resource that lives inside your copy of the 'nnotesws.dll'. So before you start, you might want to make a back-up of this file. You're also going to need a resource editor. A quick search on Google located 'PE Explorer' (from and the instructions that follow detail how to use it to do the job. If you're using something else, the steps should be roughly the same. Exit all Notes Clients before you start.

In 'PE Explorer':

  1. Open your 'nnotesws.dll' by using 'File' -> 'Open File …' -> "nnotesws.dll".
  2. Select 'View' -> 'Resources'.
  3. Expand the 'Bitmap' folder.
  4. Locate "299" and "300". These are the two bitmaps you're going to modify.
  5. With each of these two bitmap resources, select the 'Save Resource As …' button from the button bar (first button from left) and save the files to your desktop.
  6. Use your favourite image editor to edit "Bitmap_299.bmp" (resource "299"). In the .zip file attached to this article I have included my modified bitmap files which have replaced the 'lightning bolt' with a snail. Make sure that your new image is no bigger that the 'lightning bolt' image it is replacing. The file "Bitmap_300.bmp" (resource "300") is an 'alpha mask' of resource "299". Replace the silhouette of the 'lightning bolt' with a silhouette of what you did to "Bitmap_299.bmp".
  7. Back inside 'PE Explorer', highlight resource "299" and click on the 'Resource Editor' button on the button bar (third button from left).
  8. Select the 'Open Source File' button from the button bar (button to the left of the "Repalce with:" [sic] label) and select your modified "Bitmap_299.bmp" file.
  9. Close the 'Resource Editor' and repeat steps 8. and 9. for resource "300".
  10. Close the 'Resource Editor' and select 'File' -> 'Save File As …' to save the changes you've just made to the "nnotesws.dll". If warned that the image size has changed, click "Yes" to update the file size.
  11. Start Notes and do something that triggers your new 'lightning bolt'.
  12. Get back to work.

Further reading



  1. Same trick for Lotus Notes on Mac OS X
    tested on R6.5

    using resorcerer from you can edit Notes resources.
    Try to open the Notes executable file from resorcerer and in the PICT section, the lightning bold is #270 . double click it to open it in a PICT viewer where you can paste another image (a snail for example ) or select it and click on the "data" button to access the color palette, where you can change the colors (make it red instead of yellow) for example….

    Good luckJean-Philippe ROBBE#
  2. Thanks Jean-Philippe, that's useful to know!Ben Poole#
  3. But it's only avilable for the Mac (and it's $256) so be warned…Steve H#
  4. Damn - I'm trying to find out how to get RID of the lightning bolt. I have no idea what it is and since it's covering up my text, I am SERIOUSLY pissed off by Microsoft… I'm thinking of uninstalling this and going back to Word v.XBrian Boyko#

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.

File Attachment Icon