Creating File Links

Sunday Feb 7th 1999 by Michael Taupitz

A new demo file has been added to complement this article.

For a new Project I needed the function, to create Links to a File (in Startmenu and Autostart). But that is the Point to take a look on the MFC-Classes. But there is not so many Info about. The Old-Version (for Win 3.11) with DDE was nice and runs fine. But that is not the way to write it under WinNT 4.0.

Okay, the right book at the right time, and every problem can be solved...

The Solution I found under a small chapter about IShellLink. But not much Info, and so i tried it out.

At First is the boring COM -
	hres = CoCreateInstance(CLSID_ShellLink, NULL, CLSCTX_INPROC_SERVER,
	IID_IShellLink, (LPVOID*) &psl);

If it was successful, you can set Path, Description and so on. But to create the link in real (on Harddisk) we need IPersistFile

	hres = psl->QueryInterface( IID_IPersistFile, (LPVOID *) &ppf);

and save the File...

	hres = ppf->Save(, TRUE);

Thats all.

So, if anybody need it complete:

// Creating a Link with IShellLink
// strPathObj  = Object with Path
// strPathLink = Path where the Link will appear
// strDesc = Link-Decription (the text under the Icon)
// CoInitialize(NULL) wird vorausgesetzt !!

HRESULT MyMainClass::CreateLink(const CString strPathObj,const CString
strPathLink, const CString strDesc)
IShellLink* psl;

	CString strMyPath = strPathLink;

	hres = CoCreateInstance(CLSID_ShellLink, NULL, CLSCTX_INPROC_SERVER,
IID_IShellLink, (LPVOID*) &psl);
	if (SUCCEEDED(hres))
		IPersistFile* ppf;


		hres = psl->QueryInterface( IID_IPersistFile, (LPVOID *) &ppf);

		if (SUCCEEDED(hres))
			strMyPath += ".lnk";  // Important !!!

			WORD wsz[MAX_PATH];
			MultiByteToWideChar(CP_ACP, MB_PRECOMPOSED, strMyPath, -1, wsz,

			hres = ppf->Save(wsz, TRUE);
			if (hres != S_OK )
				MessageBox(NULL, "IPersistFile->Save() Error", "Error", MB_OK);
	return hres;
Okay, lets take a look on the Function above : What you need to make the link is only to know where is the File for the Link, where you want to create the Link, and what a Name should appear under the Icon. The Path where comes in the Link must be added with the Name for the Link ( under the Icon) and needs (its Important) a .lnk extension.

Now call the Function :
FileLink([Source-Path with File],
	 [Destination-Path with an allowed Name and .lnk as Extension] 
         (like C:\[Path]\[Name you want].lnk ]);

And if you would like to try a complete Sample you can download FileLinkDemo.zip (only Win NT4.0 tested) (19KB)

Date Posted: 10/5/98

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