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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Advertised Shortcuts?

    What is the purpose (benefit?) of "advertised" shortcuts as opposed to the "old fashioned" way of showing the path of the executable? I see these most often in Microsoft programs, but as yet have found not description of the purpose.

    Can these be placed anywhere (outside of the path)? Does it matter where the app itself is installed?

    I remember asking about these some time back, but if I was given the answer it didn't stick in the old noggin I an afraid....

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    Chuck Billow
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    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger RockE's Avatar
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    Did you ask here at the Lounge? Have you searched for your previous posts?
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    For me, shortcuts have at least three benefits:

    1. I can put them anywhere I want to, such as on my desktop. It doesn't matter where the program is installed, because it simply points to that location.

    2. I can name them anything I want to. For example, if the program is called "WINWORD.EXE", I can name the shortcut "Word 2007".

    3. I can custom tailor the shortcut. This is particularly useful when you have more than one browser installed, and you want to pick and choose which browser is for a particular website. For example, there may be certain websites which require IE. Those shortcuts can have the following target: "C:\...\IEXPLORE.EXE" http://www.askwoody.com. Others may work better with Firefox: "C:\...\FIREFOX.EXE" http://www.windowssecrets.com/forums. Double clicking on the first shortcut will ALWAYS load askwoody with IE, and double clicking on the second shortcut will ALWAYS load Windows Secrets Forums with Firefox.

  4. #4
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow
    What is the purpose (benefit?) of "advertised" shortcuts as opposed to the "old fashioned" way of showing the path of the executable?
    A 'standard' shortcut points to an executable that has already been installed. If, for any reason, the executable is not available then the shortcut simply fails when launched.

    An 'advertised' shortcut is 'smarter'. If you launch an advertised shortcut to an executable that is already installed then the Windows Installer service will carry out a check and, if the executable is not available, carry out a repair/re-installation from the program's MSI file(s).

    Similarly, additional features can be 'advertised' as available even though they aren't yet installed. and will only be installed when the feature's shortcut is launched the first time.

    If I remember correctly 'advertising' came about originally because people complained about the length of time it took to install Microsoft Office (because few people chose to do a custom install and, instead, just installed the entire package). There was also the issue where if you wanted to modify the installation, for example by adding a feature, then you would have to hunt down the installation disk again.

    Using 'advertising' gave the impression that Microsoft had significantly speeded up the installation time for Office. What really happened is that the MS Office installation files were copied lock, stock and barrel to the hard disk but the only things that were installed at the time were the advertised shortcuts and common files. The individual components like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. weren't actually installed until you launched their shortcuts for the first time. This meant that if you only every used Word then you didn't have to sit around waiting whilst Excel, PowerPoint, etc. were also installed... even though you may never use then. The other advantage is that you could then store the Office disk away safely and it wasn't such a big deal if you mislaid it... because the installer files were already stored on your hard disk.

    Hope this helps...

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  6. #5
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    It does...thanks Rick.

    Chuck
    Chuck Billow
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    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  7. #6
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    I seem to have not been totally clear in my question, but Rick's post did answer what I was wondering.

    Chuck
    Chuck Billow
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    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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