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XXCOPY TECHNICAL BULLETIN #38
From: Kan Yabumoto firstname.lastname@example.org
To: XXCOPY user
Subject: Creating a Shortcut from the command line using XXMKLINK
The Shortcut (a.k.a. Shell Link) is a convenient object in
Windows' environments that makes everyone's life easier.
It is trivial to create one. Most Windows users know how.
Here are just a few common ways:
1. Inside Windows Explorer, highlight an object (file or
directory) and then Menu > File > Create Shortcut,
and Bingo!!! Or, once you have an object highlighted,
clicking the right mouse button will give you a floating
menu that has the "Create Shortcut" option.
2. Windows Explorer also offers the Menu > File > New > Shortcut
that opens the "Create Shortcut" wizard which will assist
you from there. Alternatively, you may place the mouse
cursor where you want a new shortcut and obtain the floating
menu by right mouse click for the New > Shortcut sequence.
Once you create a shortcut, you can further customize the
appearance and behavior of the shortcut via the property sheet.
From a script (batch file):
Now, the batch file is a useful way to automate a lot of things.
Naturally, it would be useful to automate the process of making
a shortcut using a batch file. But, we have not seen such
a tool that can be invoked from a batch file. In my estimation,
this is due to the fact that there is no straightforward method
in the Win32 API.
Creating a shortcut is not an everyday thing. Also the ordinary
method of making a shortcut is quite easy. For these reasons, I don't
expect many people to find this tool very useful. But, if you are
an IT professional whose job is to setup a computer environment for
novice users, you may find this tool useful. Because automation is
a key to their work efficiency, a utility that can be easily
incorporated into a batch file may find some audience.
With XXMKLINK, you can write a batch file for software
installation which has been done by specialized installation
programs. Basically, XXMKLINK is a tool that gathers various
information from a command line and packages it into a shortcut.
Command syntax of XXMKLINK:
xxmklink spath opath [ arg [ wdir [ desc [ mode [ icon[:n] ]]]]]
spath path of the shortcut (.lnk added as needed)
opath path of the object represented by the shortcut
arg argument string (use quotes with space, see below)
wdir path of the working directory (for "Start in")
desc description string (shown in Shortcut's Properties)
mode display mode (1:Normal [default], 3:Maximized, 7:Minimized)
icon[:n] icon file [with optional icon index value n]
In addition to the above, the following switches are supported
which can be placed in any position in the command line.
/p prompts before action
/q no output when successful (quiet)
/e checks error condition strictly
/a enables Run as Administrator (set in the checkbox)
the /a switch is supported by V.2.00 or higher.
Switches (whose first character is always slash) can be placed in
any position of the command argument. A string that starts with
a slash as a non-switch argument must be surrounded by a pair of
double-quotes ("). It is recommended that the XXMKLINK's switches
be placed before or after the non-switch arguments for clarity.
Make sure that each element is surrounded by a pair of
double-quotes (") if embedded space is present.
The third field (arg) is for the argument string for the object
(typically a program that requires command arguments) that must
be entered as one string here, even if it has many parts that are
separated by spaces and possibly with double-quote characters.
When double-quoted string has an embedded double-quote,
add a backslash in front of each embedded double-quote.
Use an empty string (two consecutive double-quotes) as a
place holder since this command syntax is sensitive to the
order of the field, optional switches cannot alter the
predetermined order as defined by the program.
When an invalid display mode is specified (not 1, 3 nor 7),
the default (Normal Window) value will be used.
When the icon specifier does not point to an existing file,
the icon field will be ignored.
When the /e switch is present, any error condition will
result in a failure in creating the shortcut. The default
behavior (without /e) which forgives minor error conditions
(e.g., missing icon file or invalid icon index) is probably
the preferred outcome in most cases.
Special cares must be taken when the % character is embedded
in the path specifier because it has special meaning to the
command processor (CMD.EXE) --- See below for examples.
The /a switch is supported in XXMKLINK 2.00 (available with
an explicit license agreement) Please contact Pixelab.
Examples of XXMKLINK command line:
xxmklink "c:\Program Files\mydir\My Shortcut.lnk" c:\boot.ini
At least two arguments are always needed.
xxmklink c:\myauto c:\autoexec.bat "/q" . "I say \"Hello.\""
When the shortcut path is specified without the ".lnk"
extension, it will be automatically supplied since
all shortcuts must be so named. Note that the third
argument string, "/q" is entered as a quoted string. If
it were without the quotation marks, it would be treated
as the xxmklink switch, /q, not the argument string for
the object program.
xxmklink myshortcut %systemroot%\explorer.exe "" c:\
When this command is run either directly from the command
line or from a batch file, the %systemroot% part will be
replaced by the command line processor (CMD.EXE) immediately
(before XXMKLINK.EXE has chance to see it) to something
like C:\WINDOWS which is supplied by the environment variable.
xxmklink myshortcut %%systemroot%%\explorer.exe "" c:\
When you want the literal string, %systemroot% to be kept
in the shortcut setting, this command line should be run
from a batch file where the "escape sequence" (%%) will
protect the %systemroot% string from the Environment variable
substitution mechanism. Note that this command line is
still subject to the substitution when run directly from the
command line resulting in an undesired outcome.
XXMKLINK is available for personal use without charge.
The URL below is for XXMKLINK Ver 1.00.
If you intend to include the XXMKLINK program in your product
for distribution, please obtain a written permission from
Pixelab, first. We do charge a nominal fee for commercial
Please contact Pixelab (email@example.com) for the latest version.
© Copyright 2013 Pixelab All rights reserved.