[wix-users] Creating a single Shortcut that runs Excel (or other app) and opens multiple documents

Johnny del Toro jd.toro.991 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 11:33:27 PST 2016

Hi All,

I am VERY new to WiX toolset.  Forgive me if this seems like a basic
question, but I can't work it out myself nor find hints anywhere online
about creating anything more than single file simple shortcuts with WiX.

During installation, I need to create a single shortcut that will load
Excel and open a series of Excel spreadsheets.  i.e. the target needs to
look something like:

     ".......\Office*??*\EXCEL.EXE" MyAddin.xll sheetA.xls sheetB.xls

I want to do it in a way that will ensure that the shortcut will be valid
for any version of Excel installed and to any path.  So I wrote the
following code to search the registry for the application associated with
.XLL files:

    <!-- 1. Read the Default key value for HKCR/.xll -->
      <RegistrySearch Id="ExcelXllHKCRdefault"
                      Type="raw" />

    <!-- 2. Read the Default key value for the Command to run the
application -->
    <Property Id="EXCELEXEPATH">
      <RegistrySearch Id="ExcelEXEpath"
                      Type="raw" />

Then I created my Shortcut with this:

    <DirectoryRef Id="MYShortcutRoot">
      <Component Win64="$(var.Win64)" Id="CMP_MYShortcutRoot"
           Name="My Excel Add-in"
           Description="My Excel Add-in"
           Target="[EXCELEXEPATH] [DirMyInstallRoot]MyAddin.xll" />

But this doesn't work.  During runtime, I get warning:

Warning 1909. Could not create shortcut My Excel Add-in.lnk Verify that the
destination folder exists and that you can access it.

I tried changing the Target value to

           Arguements="/e /p [DirMyInstallRoot] MyAddin.xll" />

But I still get the same error.

If I take [EXCELEXEPATH]out of the Target and replace it with
[DirMyInstallRoot]MyAddin.xll, the shortcut is created OK.

Any hints or pointers I could get to fix this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,


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