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SendTo mail recipient

, 31 Mar 2003
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Programmatically use the SendTo mail recipient shortcut

Introduction

This article provides a code snippet in order to programmatically send one or more files to the mail recipient, mimicking the SendTo mail recipient shell extension. I have heard many people searching for this feature, and actually I thought that, as there doesn't seem to be such source code posted on the net, I could just as well post it.

Introducing the SendTo mail shortcut

You may skip this section if you are not interested in the r.e. technique.

The SendTo mail shortcut is a shell extension. See Mike Dunn's complete idiot guide for further info.

The trick is to find out that the SendTo mail recipient shortcut is actually essentially an empty file with .MAPIMAIL as (hidden) extension name. Then, by looking up file type association in the registry (HKCR\.MAPIMAIL), it's straight forward to figure out that it is targeting a COM object with clsid = {9E56BE60-C50F-11CF-9A2C-00A0C90A90CE}. This object is sendmail.dll, a COM helper which takes advantage of either Outlook Express or Outlook to send e-mail file attachments. Next, looking up this CLSID in OLE View clearly showed that the sendmail COM component also implements the IDropTarget, IShellExtInit and IPersistFile interfaces, just like any drop handler.

Ok, basically I need to prepare a bag with dropped filenames, make sure they can be retrieved by implementing the IDataObject interface, a simple communication interface, and then mimic a standard drag and drop sequence, with two check points : DragEnter(IDataObject*) and Drop(IDataObject*).

One of the interesting points is to start implementing the IDataObject interface starting with contract, i.e. the methods it is supposed to expose. And then cowardly insert a breakpoint into any default method implementation only to get to know whether it's called or not, and in what order.

If you are interested in mimicking other SendTo shortcuts, don't hesitate to check out this registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved.

IDataObject implementation

The following code implements the IDataObject interface. In fact, only a few methods are required to be implemented. Those are, in order:

  • EnumFormatEtc(), called by the sendmail helper to know what content formats the IDataObject is holding
  • IEnumFORMATETC::Next(),Reset(), called to list all formats. We are expected to let the sendmail helper know that we do hold the CF_HDROP clipboard format (standard used for file drag-and-drop support), even if in fact we are not using the clipboard at all.
  • GetData(), called to actually get the list of files we are willing to send.

Because on Windows file drag-and-drop operations rely on the CF_HDROP / DROPFILES structure, we simply prepare such a structure to play with. Here is the code :

#include <windows.h>
#include <ole2.h> // IDataObject
#include <shlobj.h> // DROPFILES
#include <tchar.h> // TCHAR

class CDataObject : public IDataObject, IEnumFORMATETC
{
  // Members
protected:
  BOOL m_bReset;
  LPTSTR m_szFiles;
  int m_nLen;

    // Constructor
public:
  CDataObject(LPTSTR szFiles)
  {
    Reset();

    if (!szFiles)
    {
      m_szFiles = NULL;
      return;
    }

    // replace \n chars with \0 chars
    m_nLen = _tcslen(szFiles)+1;
    m_szFiles = new TCHAR[m_nLen];
    memcpy(m_szFiles, szFiles, m_nLen * sizeof(TCHAR));

    LPTSTR szTmp = m_szFiles;
    while ( szTmp=_tcschr(szTmp,'\n') )
      *szTmp++ = '\0';

  }

  virtual ~CDataObject()
  {
    delete [] m_szFiles;
  }

public:
  HRESULT __stdcall QueryInterface(REFIID iid, void** ppvObject)
  {
    *ppvObject = (IDataObject*) this;
    return S_OK;
  }

  ULONG __stdcall AddRef()
  {
    return 1;
  }
  ULONG __stdcall Release()
  {
    return 0;
  }



  // IDataObject implementation
  //
  HRESULT __stdcall GetData(FORMATETC* pFormatetc, STGMEDIUM* pmedium)
  {
    if (pFormatetc->cfFormat != CF_HDROP  || !pmedium)
      return S_FALSE;

    if (!m_szFiles)
      return S_FALSE; // make sure to set the files before

    pmedium->tymed = TYMED_HGLOBAL;

    // set DROPFILES structure
    HGLOBAL hglbCopy = ::GlobalAlloc(GMEM_MOVEABLE, 
                 sizeof(DROPFILES) + (m_nLen + 2) * sizeof(TCHAR)); 
    LPDROPFILES pDropFiles = (LPDROPFILES) ::GlobalLock(hglbCopy);
    pDropFiles->pFiles = sizeof(DROPFILES);
    pDropFiles->pt.x = pDropFiles->pt.y = 0;
    pDropFiles->fNC = TRUE;
    pDropFiles->fWide = FALSE; // ANSI charset
    LPTSTR lptstrCopy = (LPTSTR) pDropFiles;
    lptstrCopy += pDropFiles->pFiles;
    memcpy(lptstrCopy, m_szFiles, m_nLen * sizeof(TCHAR)); 
    lptstrCopy[m_nLen] =  '\0';    // null character 
    lptstrCopy[m_nLen+1] = '\0';    // null character 
    ::GlobalUnlock(hglbCopy); 

    pmedium->hGlobal = hglbCopy;
    pmedium->pUnkForRelease = NULL;

    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall GetDataHere(FORMATETC* pFormatetc, STGMEDIUM* pmedium)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall QueryGetData(FORMATETC* pFormatetc)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall GetCanonicalFormatEtc(FORMATETC* pFormatetcIn, 
                                          FORMATETC* pFormatetcOut)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall SetData(FORMATETC* pFormatetc, 
                   STGMEDIUM* pmedium, BOOL fRelease)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall EnumFormatEtc(DWORD dwDirection, 
                        IEnumFORMATETC** ppenumFormatetc)
  {
    if (dwDirection==DATADIR_GET)
    {
      *ppenumFormatetc = this;
      return S_OK;
    }
    else
      return S_FALSE;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall DAdvise(FORMATETC* pFormatetc, 
                            DWORD advf, 
                            IAdviseSink* pAdvSink, 
                            DWORD* pdwConnection)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall DUnadvise(DWORD dwConnection)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }

  HRESULT __stdcall EnumDAdvise(IEnumSTATDATA** ppenumAdvise)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }


  // IEnumFORMATETC implementation
  //
  HRESULT __stdcall Next( 
            /*[in]*/ ULONG celt,
            /*[out]*/ FORMATETC __RPC_FAR* rgelt,
            /*[out]*/ ULONG __RPC_FAR* pceltFetched)
  {
    if (!m_bReset) return S_FALSE;

    m_bReset = FALSE;

    FORMATETC fmt;
    fmt.cfFormat = CF_HDROP;
    fmt.dwAspect = DVASPECT_CONTENT;
    fmt.lindex = -1;
    fmt.ptd = NULL;
    fmt.tymed = TYMED_HGLOBAL;
    *rgelt = fmt; // copy struct
    if (pceltFetched) *pceltFetched = 1;

    return S_OK;
  }
        
  HRESULT __stdcall Skip(/*[in]*/ ULONG celt)
  {
    return S_FALSE;
  }
        
  HRESULT __stdcall Reset()
  {
    m_bReset = TRUE;
    return S_OK;
  }
        
  HRESULT __stdcall Clone( 
            /* [out] */ IEnumFORMATETC** ppenum)
  {
    return S_OK;
  }
};

Using it

And here is how to use it to send c:\346.jpg and c:\tmp\myfile.zip:

  ::CoInitialize(NULL);

  CDataObject cdobj("c:\\346.jpg\nC:\\tmp\\myfile.zip");
  IDataObject *pDataObject = &cdobj;


  IDropTarget *pDropTarget = NULL;

  // create an instance, and mimic drag-and-drop
  hr = ::CoCreateInstance( CLSID_SendMail, 
                         NULL, CLSCTX_ALL,
                         IID_IDropTarget, 
                         (void **)&pDropTarget);
  if (SUCCEEDED(hr))
  {
    POINTL pt = {0,0};
    DWORD dwEffect = 0;
    pDropTarget->DragEnter(pDataObject, MK_LBUTTON, pt, &dwEffect);
    pDropTarget->Drop(pDataObject, MK_LBUTTON, pt, &dwEffect);

    ::Sleep(6*1000);

    pDropTarget->Release();
  }

  ::CoUninitialize();

To compile this code, you only need WIN32.

Why SendTo is better than the mailto trick

You could tell me that shell-executing a mailto URL is just as fine, and much simpler code in practice. Yes and no. Yes, it does so, and it can't be simpler since that's only one line of code (just remember to escape ASCII chars in the body with hex replacements of the form %0D, %20, ...).

No, it does not provide support for file attachment(s), which is why the SendTo shortcut comes handy. And there is more to it. The truth is that ::ShellExecute() cannot handle parameter strings over 2048 bytes, which means your e-mail body size cannot go beyond 2048 bytes. If you try to send a large e-mail, it will result in a GPF. At this point, you could replace ::ShellExecute with a well thought ::WinExec call, using the actual mailto command line declared in the registry and target the current e-mail client (for instance, "%ProgramFiles%\Outlook Express\msimn.exe" /mailurl:%1). But then the limitation is 32 KB. As a conclusion, there is no way to send e-mails larger than 32KB using the mailto protocol. The SendTo shortcut explained in this article is definitely the way to go !

History

  • First relaese -March 22, 2003.
  • Updated on April 1st, removal of the clipboard use (Chris Guzak).

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Addicted to reverse engineering. At work, I am developing business intelligence software in a team of smart people (independent software vendor).
 
Need a fast Excel generation component? Try xlsgen.
 

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralThe most simple solution PinmemberLord_Crow10-Jul-09 1:57 
GeneralFabulous - but would like a small change PinmemberStroudPete14-May-09 3:27 
GeneralHelp with other send to methods PinmemberWillRGV2-Nov-07 5:20 
GeneralRe: Help with other send to methods PinmemberWillRGV2-Nov-07 6:57 
GeneralRe: Help with other send to methods Pinmemberjkjhcjbhj12-Feb-08 3:25 
GeneralSendTo.exe Pinmemberjbergetun5-Mar-07 1:01 
GeneralUnhandled exception in ntdll.dll PinmemberBen Kial17-Oct-05 14:05 
QuestionNo way to specify recipient ? PinmemberWeird Alexis15-Sep-05 6:28 
AnswerRe: No way to specify recipient ? PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.19-Sep-05 2:28 
GeneralRe: No way to specify recipient ? PinmemberWeird Alexis19-Sep-05 3:39 
GeneralRe: No way to specify recipient ? PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.20-Sep-05 1:08 
Generaloutlook express message window is closed PinmemberAnton Heidelwalder22-Aug-05 4:01 
GeneralDoesn't work :( PinmemberAndrew Ovcharov16-Jul-05 13:00 
GeneralSame Problem Here Pinmemberidliiyer3-Nov-05 10:03 
QuestionRe: Same Problem Here PinmemberBen Kial19-Apr-07 11:17 
Generalsend mail failure --; Pinmemberchunghansu13-Feb-05 21:43 
GeneralRe: send mail failure --; PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.26-Feb-05 9:38 
GeneralC# source code PinsussAudimar25-Jan-05 8:35 
GeneralRe: C# source code Pinmemberrinofarina11-Aug-10 5:03 
Generalmessage body PinmemberSarfraz Anwar15-Jun-04 21:41 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.16-Jun-04 1:06 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberSarfraz Anwar17-Jun-04 2:18 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.17-Jun-04 5:07 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss29-Aug-04 18:57 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.29-Aug-04 20:53 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss30-Aug-04 17:16 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss30-Aug-04 17:36 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss30-Aug-04 20:11 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss30-Aug-04 20:35 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberAndrew Foss30-Aug-04 21:43 
GeneralRe: message body PinmemberGuang22-Sep-04 17:39 
GeneralRe: message body Pinmembernhasmita4-Nov-12 19:50 
GeneralUnhandled exception PinmemberHekmatyar95-May-04 5:58 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.5-May-04 8:09 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinmemberCarmela Pham6-Jan-05 6:28 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinmemberTony Teveris1-Feb-05 13:19 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinmemberTakeshi Otsuka8-Mar-05 18:07 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinsussCarl9-May-05 4:25 
GeneralRe: Unhandled exception PinmemberAnton Heidelwalder19-Aug-05 3:34 
Questionoutlook express addin? Pinmemberxxhimanshu7-Apr-04 19:57 
AnswerRe: outlook express addin? PinsussStephane Rodriguez..8-Apr-04 8:15 
GeneralRe: outlook express addin? Pinmemberxxhimanshu8-Apr-04 22:40 
GeneralRe: outlook express addin? PinsussStephane Rodriguez..9-Apr-04 8:05 
GeneralRe: outlook express addin? Pinmemberxxhimanshu11-Apr-04 22:42 
GeneralSendTo Button in external Program PinsussLaucha7-Mar-04 1:25 
GeneralRe: SendTo Button in external Program PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.7-Mar-04 3:46 
GeneralRe: SendTo Button in external Program PinsussAnonymous13-Mar-04 8:47 
GeneralRe: SendTo Button in external Program Pinsusslaucha27-Mar-04 6:45 
GeneralRe: SendTo Button in external Program PinmemberStephane Rodriguez.27-Mar-04 7:30 
GeneralNewbie here.... Pinmemberanalogcipher19-Jan-04 2:24 

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