Monthly Archives: July 2008

Default Programs Editor, Example Use: Changing the “Edit” context command for batch files

This is a walkthrough on how to change the “edit” context command for batch files from notepad to some other text editor

Start the program and make sure you’re on the “File Association” tab. On the left where it says “Search by Extension”, start typing “bat”. It searches as you type, so the .bat entry will come up right away. Select the pertinant entry on the list, and the middle and right panels will update with the file type details.

Default Programs Editor- Example part 1

For this example, the right pane is what we need, because it has the list of context menu commands (“verbs” in Windows file association jargon). The one is the default double-click verb for this file type, but we’re changing the “Edit” entry, so click that. Note that the current action is to run notepad.exe, and pass the file you’ve clicked as the parameter (that’s what the “%1” is). Click the “Edit…” button.

Default Programs Editor- Example part 2

Here you can edit the verb text and command. In the example here, I clicked “Browse…”, which opens a standard Windows Open dialog, and searched for EditPlus. This should be fine if you have that particular editor installed, otherwise, choose your preferred text editor. The path to your editor will be put into the command text box. You’ll need to add “%1” to the end, so that your editor knows what file you’ve chosen to edit. Then click “Save”.

Default Programs Editor- Example part 3

Note that there is now a tree node for Edit. The child nodes for any verb are also Edit commands, but the highest precedence setting is the one that Windows uses in the context menu. Since our modification is the top node for Edit, it’s the one that Windows will use when you right click a .bat file. Done!

Default Programs Editor, Example Usage: Setting Media Player Classic to Autoplay DVDs

This is all the options I have to autoplay DVD’s-

Default Programs Editor- Autoplay Example 1

MPC can play DVDs, so let’s make Windows use MPC to play a DVD when one is put into the computer. To start, open Default Programs Editor and switch to the “Autoplay Handlers” tab. Now, select the media type you want to change settings for, which in this case, is “DVD movie”.

Default Programs Editor- Autoplay example 2

The drop down list in the middle pane is just like the drop down list in the Windows autoplay settings. The checked list below it allows you to add or remove autoplay choices for this media type. However, Windows doesn’t know that MPC can play DVDs, so we’ll need to get it onto the list. Then, we can check it to make it an option for DVDs.

Click the “Add…” button.

Default Programs Editor- Autoplay example 3

Autoplay descriptions show up in the list as “Action Text” using “Provider Text”. For example, in “Play DVD movie using Windows Media Player”, “Play DVD movie” is the action and “Windows Media Player” is the provider. So for this, put some variant of “Play DVD” and “Media Player Classic”. You can also choose an icon for this entry. Windows comes with a ton of icons which work well for things like this; I selected one that says “DVD” on it. Finally, put in the full path to Media Player Classic. You can do this with the “Browse…” button. Before you save, make sure to add “%1” to the end of the command string. Just like in the other examples, this is so Media Player Classic knows what to do when Windows starts it.

Note that “Save” has a shield icon on it. This indicates that a UAC prompt will pop up when you click it. Go ahead and do so, and confirm the security warning. The program is now in Administrator mode, with our new autoplay handler highlighted. Check it do add this as a possible autoplay handler for DVDs. Now, it will show up on the drop down list of options. Selec it and hit “Save” to confirm.

Default Programs Editor- Autoplay example 4

Media Player Classic is now added to the DVD autoplay choices, and is the currently selected action. Done!

Default Programs Editor

This is an advanced Windows file association utility

Screenshot of Default Programs Editor

Here is some sweet stuff you can do with it:

  • Manually add extension information
  • Change a file type’s description
  • Change a file type’s icon
  • Change an extension’s associated file type
  • Add/Edit/Delete an extension’s default association
  • Add/Edit/Delete other entries on the file’s context menu
  • Preserve verb precedence hierarchy
  • View shell extension entries on the context menu
  • Remove ‘Default Programs’ association that Windows likes to make annoying to change
  • Add/Edit/Delete your own autoplay handlers
  • Change which autoplay options are available for users
  • Disable that “Search web for unknown extension” dialog
  • Single .exe utility, no installation

On top of all that, here are some bonus features:

  • Make changes direct to the registry, or export them as .reg files for easy distribution
  • Designed for Vista, with UAC support, so you can painlessly run as a standard user
  • Works with XP too (a few features disabled, just use TweakUI)
  • Make changes to your user account, or the machine default, or both

Documentation is admittedly sparse right now, but here are some how-to’s:

Feel free to email me with any suggestions or questions.