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Re: HKLR\Software\Classes\*, default double-click actions, and "open".

Philip Herlihy
Posts: n/a
      1st Jun 2010

"Robbie Hatley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I posted a message similar to this a few days ago in the "general"
> group but go no responses, so I'll try again, this time also posting
> to the "registry" group.
> I have two questions, really.
> Firstly, what exactly is the following key for, and what can folks here
> tell me about its uses?
> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\*
> I've determined from experiment that Classes\*\Shell\command commands
> are added to the right-click context menu of *all* file types, both
> known and unknown. But does this key also have other functions?
> (It's hard to google for this key, because google apparently interprets
> "*" as a wildcard or a punctuation. It work on words, not symbols.)
> Secondly, why do I get a boldface "Open" option as the top, default
> item in the context menu when I right-click a file icon of unknown
> type? This is not the behavior I desire! What I really desire is
> to have "Edit in HxD" (where HxD is a type of binary file editor)
> as default option when right-clicking or double-clicking a file
> icon of unknown type. I put the following in my registry, but
> it doesn't quite work the way I want:
> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\*
> Shell default = edit_hxd
> edit_hxd default = "Edit in HxD"
> command default = [path to executable] %1
> edit_neo default = "Edit in Neo"
> command default = [path to executable] %1
> edit_notetab default = "Edit in Notetab"
> command default = [path to executable] %1
> Desired right-click context menu for file icons of unknown type:
> Edit in HxD (boldface)
> Edit in Neo (lightface)
> Edit in Notetab (lightface)
> Scan with Avast (lightface)
> Open with... (lightface)
> Send To
> Cut
> Copy
> ...etc...
> *Actual* right-click context menu for file icons of unknown type:
> Open (boldface)
> Edit in HxD (lightface)
> Edit in Neo (lightface)
> Edit in Notetab (lightface)
> Scan with Avast (lightface)
> Open with... (lightface)
> Send To
> Cut
> Copy
> ...etc...
> Where is that "Open" coming from??? If I click it, it brings up
> the "Choose Program" box. Double-clicking a file of unknown type
> also brings up that box. "Open" is acting as default, even though
> I'm telling the registry that I want "Edit in HxD" to be the default.
> (I note that "Open" is present in the right-click context menu of
> *know* file types, too, but as the sixth item, and not boldface.
> Clicking it for known types launches the associated program
> instead of the choose box.)
> So how do I get rid of "Open"? I'm pretty sure it didn't used to
> be there. As I recall, for a while I was able to open unknown-type
> files in HxD by just double-clicking them, but a few days ago the
> "Open" started popping up, so I can't do that any more.
> Thanks in advance to whoever can help me get rid of "Open"!
> --
> Cheers,
> Robbie Hatley
> Stanton, CA, USA
> perl -le 'print "\154o\156e\167o\154f\100w\145ll\56c\157m"'
> perl -le 'print "\150ttp\72//\167ww.\167ell.\143om/~\154onewolf/"'

If you're the sort of chap that figures out how the registry functions by
guessing at useful edits and then trying them, then I figure do-it-yourself
dentistry will hold no fears (just stay away from me with that drill...)

The way most people would make these changes would be via the GUI in Windows
Explorer (apologies if I'm teaching my granny to suck eggs, but you don't
seem to have mentioned this). In Explorer, pick menus: Tools, Folder
Options, File Types. I've often done this to add a "Command Prompt"
(cmd.exe) context menu item to a Folder, for example. You see a list of
file extensions (e.g .log) and their associated "file type" (in the case of
..log, a "text document") and you can edit the various programs and context
menu items using the Advanced button at the bottom. Note the "Default"
button there - this is what you get if you double-click a file of that type.

Note that it's a three-part process. An extension is associated with a file
type, a file type is associated with an action (one of which is the default
when you double-click) and actions are (always?) associated with an
executable. You can identify the relevant sections in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
where you see first the extensions in order, and then the file types. If
you fool around with the .log extension you (probably) won't come to much

Note also that there are command-line facilities for doing (some of) this:
....for details. You may also find:
.... helpful.


Phil, London

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