Learn Microsoft Access Advanced Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks.

MS-Access and Creating Desktop Shortcuts.

Introduction.

The CreateShortcut() method of the Windows Script Object can be used for creating Desktop Shortcuts in Microsoft Access.  The Desktop Shortcut can launch frequently used Files like MS-Access, MS-Excel, MS-Word,  Text Document, and others from the Desktop. This fact is known to all of us and nothing new.  But, how do we do it from Access?

We have used the Popup() method of the Windows Script Object earlier for another Project.  We have created a new Message Box in Microsoft Access that closes itself after a specified time.  The Access MsgBox always requires the user to click on one of the displayed Buttons to close and continue with the Code execution.  Hope you have already tried it out and started using it in your Projects.

The VBA ShortCut() Function Prototype.

The simple VBA Function Code that creates a Desktop Shortcut is given below for a quick look at it. All the required parameters are given as constants in the Function for clarity.

Public Function ShortCut()
Dim objwshShell As Object
Dim objShortcut As Object

Set objwshShell = VBA.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objShortcut = objwshShell.CreateShortCut("C:\Users\User\Desktop\Hello.txt.lnk")
With objShortcut
    .TargetPath = "C:\Windows\Notepad.exe "
    .Arguments = "D:\Docs\Hello.txt"
    .WorkingDirectory = "D:\Docs"
    .Description = "Opens Hello.txt in Notepad"
    .HotKey = "Ctrl+Alt+9"
    .IconLocation = "C:\Windows\System32\Shell32.dll,130"
    .WindowStyle = 2
    .Save
End With
End Function

You can create a Desktop Shortcut with the above VBA Code with few changes on the highlighted portion of the Parameter Values.

  1. Replace the User with your own Windows User-Name.
  2. Create a Text File with some text in it and name the file as Hello.txt. 
  3. Save the File in one of your Folders. 
  4. Change the File Path Name correctly in the. Arguments Value shown highlighted.
  5. Change the Working Directory of your File in the next line.
  6. The rest of the Values can remain as they are.

The HotKey Ctrl+Alt+9 Keys Combination launches the Desktop Shortcut and opens the File for editing.

The Desktop Shortcut Icon.

In the IconLocation Parameter, check the number 130 at the end and it gives the required Desktop Icon.  This Numeric Value Range is from 0 to 305 and gives different Icons for your Desktop Shortcut.

The Number 130 gives the following Icon Image:

You can change the Shortcut Icon manually too.

  1. Right-Click on a Desktop Shortcut Icon and select the Properties from the displayed list.
  2. Click on the Change Icon Command Button on the Shortcut Tab.
  3. Select the required Icon, click OK to close the Icon List.
  4. Click Apply Command Button to update the change.

Icon Images List.

It displays the Icon Images of about 76 columns of 4 Images each.  To find a particular Icon’s number start counting from the left top items to the right and multiply the count by 4 and find the Icon’s Number.  I could not find any other way to find the Icon Image number easier than the above method. Check the Image given below:

The DesktopShortcut() Function.

Now, we are ready for our VBA Function that can accept the minimum three required Parameters, which can be passed to the Function at Call time, and Create a Desktop Shortcut.  The VBA Code is given below.

Option Compare Database
Option Explicit


Public Function DesktopShortCut(ByVal strShortCutName As String, _
ByVal strProgramPath As String, _
ByVal strFilePath As String, _
Optional strWorkDirectory As String = "", _
Optional ByVal strHotKey As String = "") As Boolean

On Error GoTo DesktopShortCut_Err
'-----------------------------------------------------------------
'Function: DesktopShortCut()
'Author: a.p.r. pillai
'Rights: All Rights(c) Reserved by www.msaccesstips.com
'Remarks: You may modify the Code, but need to keep these
'Rem lines intact.
'Parameters
'-----------------------------------------------------------------
'1. Shortcut Name: Shows below the Desktop Icon
'2. strProgramPath: e.g.: "C:\Windows\System32\Notepad.exe"
'3. strfilePath: File PathName to Open, e.g. "D:\Docs\Helloworld.txt"
'4. Optional strWorkDirectory: e.g. "D:\Docs"
'5. Optional strHotKey: Quick Launch - e.g. Ctl+Alt+9: 1-9,A-Z
'-----------------------------------------------------------------
Dim objwshShell As Object
Dim objShortcut As Object
Dim strPath As String
Dim strProg As String, a As String, b As String
Dim strTemp As String
Dim DeskPath As String
Dim strmsg As String
Dim badchar As String, Flag As Boolean
Dim j, count As Integer

strPath = Environ("Path")

'Validation Checks
GoSub IsValidName
GoSub ValidateParams

'Find Current User Desktop
strTemp = Mid(strPath, InStr(1, strPath, "C:\Users\"), 25)
DeskPath = "C:\Users\" & Mid(strTemp, 10, InStr(10, strTemp, "\") - 10) & "\Desktop\"
DeskPath = DeskPath & strShortCutName & ".Lnk"

Set objwshShell = VBA.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objShortcut = objwshShell.CreateShortCut(DeskPath)
With objShortcut
If InStr(1, Trim(strProgramPath), " ") > 0 Then
    .TargetPath = Chr(34) & Trim(strProgramPath) & Chr(34) '="C:\Windows\Notepad.exe"
Else
    .TargetPath = Trim(strProgramPath)
End If
If InStr(1, Trim(strFilePath), " ") > 0 Then
    .Arguments = Chr(32) & Chr(34) & strFilePath & Chr(34) '="D:\Docs\Hello.txt"
Else
    .Arguments = Chr(32) & strFilePath '="D:\Docs\Hello.txt"
End If
'Optional Working Directory
 If Len(strWorkDirectory) > 0 Then
    .WorkingDirectory = strWorkDirectory '="D:\Docs"
 End If
 'Optional Keyboard HotKey
 If Len(Nz(strHotKey, "")) > 0 Then
    .HotKey = "Ctrl+Alt+" & strHotKey '= "Ctrl+Alt+K"
 Else
    .HotKey = ""
 End If
    .IconLocation = "C:\Windows\System32\Shell32.dll,130" '0 - 305
    .WindowStyle = 2
    .Save
End With
DesktopShortCut = True

DesktopShortCut_Exit:
Exit Function

IsValidName:
Flag = True
badchar = "\/:*?" & Chr(34) & "<>|"
count = 0
For j = 1 To Len(strShortCutName)
    If InStr(1, badchar, Mid(strShortCutName, j, 1)) Then
        count = count + 1
    End If
Next
Flag = IIf(count, False, True)
If Not Flag Then
    MsgBox "Shortcut Name: " & strShortCutName & vbCr & vbCr _
    & "Contains Invalid Characters." & vbCr & vbCr _
    & "*** Program Aborted. ***", , "DeskShortCut()"
    
    DesktopShortCut = False
    Exit Function
End If
Return

ValidateParams:
strmsg = ""
'Program Path
If Len(Nz(strProgramPath, "")) > 0 Then
   'Check whether the Program exists in the given path
   If InStr(1, strProgramPath, Dir(strProgramPath)) = 0 Then
     strmsg = "Program Path: " & strProgramPath & " Invalid."
   End If
Else
   strmsg = "Program Path: Not found!"
End If
'File Path
If Len(Nz(strFilePath, "")) > 0 Then
   If InStr(1, strFilePath, Dir(strFilePath)) = 0 Then
     If Len(strmsg) > 0 Then
        strmsg = strmsg & vbCr & "File Path: " & strFilePath & " Invalid."
     Else
        strmsg = "File Path: " & strFilePath & " Invalid."
     End If
   End If
Else
    If Len(strmsg) > 0 Then
        strmsg = strmsg & vbCr & "File Path: Not found!"
    Else
        strmsg = "File Path: Not found!"
    End If
End If
If Len(strmsg) > 0 Then
    MsgBox strmsg, , "DeskShortCut()"
    DesktopShortCut = False
    Exit Function
End If
Return

DesktopShortCut_Err:
MsgBox Err & " : " & Err.Description, , "DesktopShortCut()"
DesktopShortCut = False
Resume DesktopShortCut_Exit
End Function

The DesktopShortcut() Function is defined with five Parameters and the last two are Optional.  The Working Directory and HotKey Parameter Values are optional.

We have added Validation checks on the passed parameter values and Error Trapp Lines to avoid crashes due to unexpected Errors and to exit from the Function gracefully.

Sample Run of DesktopShortcut() Function.

The sample Run of the Function from the Immediate Window is given below:

Sample Run-1.

DesktopShortcut "HelloMyDB","C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\MSACCESS.EXE","D:\New Folder\ClassDB.accdb"

Sample Run-2.

DesktopShortcut "HelloMyDoc","C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE","D:\Docs\TelNo2411808.docx","D:\Docs","T"


The TreeView Control Tutorial Session Links.

  1. Microsoft TreeView Control Tutorial
  2. Creating Access Menu with TreeView Control
  3. Assigning Images to TreeView Control
  4. Assigning Images to TreeView Control-2
  5. TreeView Control Check-Mark Add Delete Nodes
  6. TreeView ImageCombo Drop-Down Access Menu
  7. Re-arrange TreeView Nodes by Drag and Drop
  8. ListView Control with MS-Access TreeView
  9. ListView Control Drag Drop Events
  10. TreeView Control With Subforms
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