With a new job comes very often the tedious work of installing/configuring a new workstation. There is one thing I find very useful and like to install almost at the beginning: a way to quickly open any file in a generic editor from a right-click menu in Windows Explorer.
I often want to quickly look at a Delphi project file (*.dpr) for instance without loading it in Delphi, or at a command file (*.cmd) with something better than regular Notepad, or at any file in an Hex editor…
Tedious iterative ways
There is a way to do it, going to the file extensions properties and adding there the alternative applications that can open this file type. It’s OK on a case by case basis, but not for the zillions you want to open in NotePad++.
I liked that Win7 is smart enough to remember that you already opened a given file-type with xyz.exe and now proposes it as an alternative when you right-click on this kind of files; but you still have to proactively and preemptively open an instance of each file-type you want.
Hijack the SendTo right-click menu
I much prefer to install broad spectrum targets in the “Send to »” menu. Any application that can load a file by passing its name in a command line parameter is suited to have a shortcut installed in the SendTo menu/folder.
1. To access the SendTo folder…
- in Vista/Win7 : [Windows] key, then type shell:sendto
- in XP : [Windows]+[R], then, in the run dialog, type shell:sendto
- or from any Explorer window, type shell:sendto in the Navigation bar
There you can manually add the desired shortcuts.
They will show up in the regular or enhanced (special Win7 feature when using Shift + Right-click) menu.
2. To avoid remembering how to access the SendTo folder and automate the creation of SendTo items…
- Open the SendTo folder (see above).
- Navigate up to the parent Folder.
- Create there a shortcut of the SendTo folder.
- Name it as you like, for instance: Create Menu Item in SendTo.
- Now move this shortcut into the SendTo folder.
Usage: to add MyProg.exe in SendTo, just right click on a Shortcut for MyProg.exe, select SendTo | Create Menu Item in SendTo.
MyProg is in SendTo now!
Warning: If you do it with MyProg.exe instead of a shortcut, a copy of the exe will go in the SendTo folder.