Launch Applications and Files

We frequently need to launch some applications and files from our Delphi applications. To do this, we can use ShellExecute() function (check out the Delphi documentation for full description of parameters and error codes returned). Remember that we must use ShellAPI unit in your Delphi source code.

Let's see some examples of ShellExecute() function:

 
// Launch Notepad.exe
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', 'c:\windows\notepad.exe', nil, nil, SW_SHOWNORMAL );
 
// Launch Notepad.exe to open readme.txt
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', 'c:\windows\notepad.exe', 'c:\readme.txt', nil, 
SW_SHOWNORMAL );
 
// Open C:\Download folder
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', 'c:\download', nil, nil, SW_SHOWNORMAL );
 
// Open Word document
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', 'c:\docs\letter.doc', nil, nil, SW_SHOWNORMAL );
 
// Open a URL with the default Web Browser
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', 'http://hianoto.net', nil, nil, SW_SHOWNORMAL );
 
// Display a new e-mail with the default E-mail Client
ShellExecute( Handle, 'open', PChar( 'mailto:hian@hianoto.net' ), nil, nil, 
SW_SHOWNORMAL );