ShellEx – Execute process using ShellExecuteExWin32 API – Execute Windows program using ShellExecuteEx Win32 API.

The “normal” way of launching programs on Windows is via the CreateProcess or CreateProcessEx.  These work fine, but does not allow running programs, actually “documents”, launched via File Type Association.

For example, for autorun on CDs to auto-display a HTML based help file, you cannot directly “launch” the HTML file.  Instead, you must have the shell run the program associated with .html and using the shell execute APIs enables this functionality.  On receipt of a file parameter, the shell will look up the program on that computer that is registered to handle that file extension and run that program to view the file.

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Joe Nord