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Posted 16 Nov 2000


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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Shell Extensions - Index

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1 Jun 2002
An index of all the articles in the Idiot's Guide

Since the Idiot's Guide series has become quite large, here is an index of all the articles that gives a quick blurb about each one, so you can quickly find the articles that interest you.

Some other dedicated folks are writing translations of the Guide. Here are the published translations:

Part I - A step-by-step tutorial on writing shell extensions

 [Part 1 screen shot - 9K]

Part I is a simple overview of shell extensions, and discusses how to debug them. The sample extension illustrates adding items to the context menu for text files.

Part II - A tutorial on writing a shell extension that operates on multiple files at once

 [Part 2 screen shot - 5K]

Part II demonstrates how to write a context menu extension that operates on all of the selected files at once. The sample project is a utility that adds registration and unregistration commands to the context menus for DLLs.

Part III - A tutorial on writing a shell extension that shows pop-up info for files

 [Part 3 screen shot - 6K]

Part III demonstrates the QueryInfo extension that customizes the infotip for text files. It also explains how to use MFC in a shell extension.

Part IV - A tutorial on writing a shell extension that provides custom drag and drop functionality

 [Part 4 screen shot - 12K]

Part IV shows how to add items to the menu displayed when the user drags and drops with the right mouse button in Explorer. The sample project is a utility that makes hard links for files. (Note: the extension is functional only on Windows 2000, but you can still compile and run the extension on previous versions of Windows. See the article for instructions.)

Part V - A tutorial on writing a shell extension that adds pages to the properties dialog of files

 [Part 5 screen shot - 23K]

Part V demonstrates how to add new pages to Explorer's Properties dialog. The sample project adds a page on which you can edit the created, modified, and last accessed times of files.

Part VI - A tutorial on writing a shell extension that can be used on the Send To menu

 [Part 6 screen shot - 9K]

Part VI discusses a drop handler extension that gets added to the SendTo menu. The sample project is a clone of the Send To Any Folder power toy.

Part VII - A tutorial on using owner-drawn menus in a context menu shell extensions, and on making a context menu extension that responds to a right-click in a directory background

 [Part 7 screen shot - 6K]

Part VII tackles two topics suggested by readers: owner-drawn menu items and the context menu for the background of directory windows. The sample project contains two extensions: a bitmap viewer (pictured above) that puts a thumbnail of BMP files in the context menu, and a simple extension that adds items to the context menu of directory backgrounds.

Part VIII - A tutorial on adding columns to Explorer's details view via a column handler shell extension

 [Part 8 screen shot - 6K]

Part VIII demonstrates how to add columns to the details view of Explorer on Windows 2000. The sample project adds a few columns that show ID3v1 tag data in MP3 files.. (This extension works only on Windows 2000.)

Part IX - A tutorial on writing an extension to customize the icons displayed for a file type.

 [Part 9 screen shot - 24K]

Part IX shows how to customize file icons on a file-by-file basis. The demo project is an extension that shows 4 different icons for text files, depending on the size of the file.


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

Written By
Software Developer (Senior) VMware
United States United States
Michael lives in sunny Mountain View, California. He started programming with an Apple //e in 4th grade, graduated from UCLA with a math degree in 1994, and immediately landed a job as a QA engineer at Symantec, working on the Norton AntiVirus team. He pretty much taught himself Windows and MFC programming, and in 1999 he designed and coded a new interface for Norton AntiVirus 2000.
Mike has been a a developer at Napster and at his own lil' startup, Zabersoft, a development company he co-founded with offices in Los Angeles and Odense, Denmark. Mike is now a senior engineer at VMware.

He also enjoys his hobbies of playing pinball, bike riding, photography, and Domion on Friday nights (current favorite combo: Village + double Pirate Ship). He would get his own snooker table too if they weren't so darn big! He is also sad that he's forgotten the languages he's studied: French, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese.

Mike was a VC MVP from 2005 to 2009.

Comments and Discussions

Suggestiona suggestion for the translating into Korean Pin
Luciano Jeong12-Nov-20 16:04
MemberLuciano Jeong12-Nov-20 16:04 
BugLinks are broken Pin
piomar1234-Oct-17 10:12
professionalpiomar1234-Oct-17 10:12 
Questionadding a Persistent Handler for custom .DeskLink filetype Pin
Noob7667586755-Learning SQL + C#, Very Grate10-Jan-15 9:47
MemberNoob7667586755-Learning SQL + C#, Very Grate10-Jan-15 9:47 
QuestionIs it possible that the explorer load my extension dll after windows startup Pin
dkuser6-May-13 0:34
Memberdkuser6-May-13 0:34 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Praveen P N14-Apr-13 3:46
MemberPraveen P N14-Apr-13 3:46 
QuestionShell Extension instantiated twice when Explorer Tree is right clicked. Pin
TLChapin8-Jun-12 23:12
professionalTLChapin8-Jun-12 23:12 
QuestionPart 1 is 404 Pin
Cuchullain1-Dec-11 3:59
MemberCuchullain1-Dec-11 3:59 
QuestionHow I can insert a menu item to the context menu(pop-up menu) when no file(s)/dir(s) selected for the explorer? Pin
zhoufanglong12-Aug-10 20:30
Memberzhoufanglong12-Aug-10 20:30 
GeneralAdd button to Windows Explorer's existing toolbar Pin
JahangirRazaShah18-Jun-10 2:34
MemberJahangirRazaShah18-Jun-10 2:34 
GeneralRe: Add button to Windows Explorer's existing toolbar Pin
zhoufanglong12-Aug-10 20:40
Memberzhoufanglong12-Aug-10 20:40 
QuestionCan we Implement "Show in Groups" Pin
gurjant singh7-Oct-09 20:02
Membergurjant singh7-Oct-09 20:02 
QuestionNew Image File Type Showing Thumbnails? Pin
silentbutdeadly6-Apr-09 18:40
Membersilentbutdeadly6-Apr-09 18:40 
QuestionCan we split the browser Pin
Javed Akhtar Ansari21-Sep-08 19:06
MemberJaved Akhtar Ansari21-Sep-08 19:06 
AnswerRe: Can we split the browser Pin
Timo Kunze18-Oct-08 6:52
MemberTimo Kunze18-Oct-08 6:52 
QuestionRe: Can we split the browser Pin
Javed Akhtar Ansari20-Oct-08 20:19
MemberJaved Akhtar Ansari20-Oct-08 20:19 
GeneralShell exec to run sort.exe Pin
Mick Leong20-Jan-08 22:05
MemberMick Leong20-Jan-08 22:05 
GeneralIssue with InsertMenu Pin
Jeffrey Walton12-Jul-07 16:30
MemberJeffrey Walton12-Jul-07 16:30 
Questionwindows file dialog? Pin
madfiddlerchris6-Jul-07 2:18
Membermadfiddlerchris6-Jul-07 2:18 
AnswerRe: windows file dialog? Pin
Michael Dunn6-Jul-07 6:37
sitebuilderMichael Dunn6-Jul-07 6:37 
GeneralShell extension for "system Task" of "My computer" items Pin
pada4412-Apr-07 13:45
Memberpada4412-Apr-07 13:45 
QuestionVista Shell - How to set "Tags:" and "Rating:" programatically for Images Pin
Quint King22-Nov-06 10:27
MemberQuint King22-Nov-06 10:27 
AnswerRe: Vista Shell - How to set "Tags:" and "Rating:" programatically for Images Pin
Michael Dunn26-Dec-06 16:11
sitebuilderMichael Dunn26-Dec-06 16:11 
QuestionAnd what's about folders?:) Pin
Kir0s20-Nov-06 4:01
MemberKir0s20-Nov-06 4:01 
GeneralAsk about Shell: change icon & handling events Pin
namphvn15-Sep-06 13:33
Membernamphvn15-Sep-06 13:33 
QuestionF2 Handler Pin
Mor FTP16-Aug-06 15:55
MemberMor FTP16-Aug-06 15:55 

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