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How-to

Create a shortcut from code by Ruffnekk
Posted: 5 Dec 05

The following describes how to create a Windows shortcut from VB .NET code.

Step 1. Create a new VB .NET project or open an existing one.
Step 2. Right-click 'References' in the Solution Explorer and click 'Add reference...'
Step 3. Select the 'COM' tab and scroll down to 'Windows Script Host Object Model'. Click 'OK' and a reference to 'IWshRuntimeLibrary' should be added.
Step 4. Open the form or class you wish to write your code in for adding the shortcut and add the next line at the top:

CODE

Imports IWshRuntimeLibrary

Step 5. Add the following function to your class:

CODE

Private Function CreateShortCut(ByVal shortcutName As String, ByVal creationDir As String, ByVal targetFullpath As String, ByVal workingDir As String, ByVal iconFile As String, ByVal iconNumber As Integer) As Boolean
  Try
    If Not IO.Directory.Exists(creationDir) Then
      Dim retVal As DialogResult = MsgBox(creationdir & " does not exist. Do you wish to create it?", MsgBoxStyle.Question Or MsgBoxStyle.YesNo)
      If retVal = DialogResult.Yes
        IO.Directory.CreateDirectory(creationDir)
      Else
        Return False
      End If
    End If

    Dim shortCut As IWshRuntimeLibrary.IWshShortcut
    shortCut = CType(wShell.CreateShortcut(creationDir & "\" & shortcutName & ".lnk"), IWshRuntimeLibrary.IWshShortcut)
    shortCut.TargetPath = targetFullpath
    shortCut.WindowStyle = 1
    shortCut.Description = shortcutName
    shortCut.WorkingDirectory = workingDir
    shortCut.IconLocation = iconFile & ", " & iconNumber
    shortCut.Save()
    Return True
  Catch ex As System.Exception
    Return False
  End Try
End Function

The CreateShortCut function requires 6 parameters:
- shortCutName : The name of the shortcut
- creationDir : The folder where the shortcut should be created
- targetFullpath : The full path to the target file
- workingDir : The folder to use as working directory for the target of the shortcut
- iconFile : The file that contains the icon for the shortcut
- iconNumber : The position of the icon within the icon file. This is zero if the icon file is an icon itself.

The function returns false if the creation of a shortcut has failed. An example of calling the function:

CODE

myBool = CreateShortCut("My Application", System.Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.Desktop), Application.ExecutablePath, Application.StartupPath, "myAppExtensions.dll", 4)

The code above creates a shortcut named 'My Application' on the desktop of the current user, pointing to the current application's executable, using the current application's folder as the working directory. It extracts icon number 4 from the library 'myAppExtensions.dll".

You can extract icons from any library or executable containing them. Commonly used icons can be found in Shell32.dll for example. You can also use an .ico file and set iconNumber to 0 (zero) to use it.

Back to Visual Basic (Microsoft) VB.NET FAQ Index
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