Application Launcher


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

As I develop my code, I find myself constantly looking for information about a particular API in the MSDN CD-ROMs, the Microsoft web site and sometimes all over the Internet. When I find links relevant to the work at hand, I copy and paste them as comment into my code. Whenever I want to reference this information again, I copy the link into my browser and away it goes. After doing this a few times, I knew there had to be a better way, that is how the LaunchApp macro was born. LauchApp allows you to fire up links from within a comment block to Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Visio and Html files. The macro can be extended to handle any file type (PDF, Corel Draw, etc) you or your team include in your code documentation. The following code fragment shows a typical use of the macro.

Creates a custom recipient in MS Exchange Global address list. For more
information on the technique used in this function and other aspects of
DAPI see [mk:@ivt:kb/source/mapi/q165931.htm].
For information on the interface design for this class see [d:\data\xfiles\myproject.doc].
For a quick solution to send email see the code guru site. [http://www.codeguru.com/internet/imapi.shtml]

CustomRecipient(LPSTR strRecipient) { // Your code goes here } */

To access any of the links embeded in your comment, all you need to do is place the cursor anywhere within the [ ] pair and lauch the LaunchApp macro. The macro will bring the proper application with the document or link loaded. Needless to say that you will save time by adding this macro to a tool bar or keyboard pair of keys.

Sub LaunchApp()
'DESCRIPTION: Launch link or document embeded in comment block
	'Get the current cursor positon
	cpos = ActiveDocument.Selection.CurrentColumn

	'Select, capture current line and convert tabs to spaces
	Link = ActiveDocument.Selection.Text

	'Restore tabs

	'Delete return&linefeed at the end of line
	Link = Left(Link,Len(Link)-2)

	' Split selected line at cpos - Check for Rpos at end of line
	Rpos = Len(link)-cpos
	if Rpos <= 0 then
		Rside = ""
		Rside = Right(Link,Len(Link) - cpos)
	end if 
	Lside = Left(Link, cpos)

	' Get text within [ ] pair
	bpos = InstrRev(Rside, "]", -1)
	if bpos > 0 then
		Rside = Left(Rside,  bpos - 1  )
	    Rside = ""	
		Lside = Left(Lside, Len(Lside) - 1) ' ] is included in left side
	end if

	Lside = Right(Lside,Len(Lside) - InstrRev(Lside, "[", -1))
	Link = Lside & Rside

	' Open link - If no application is found default is web browser
	if Link <> "" then

		' Trim tab and spaces from selected text.
		Do While InStr(Link, vbTab) <> 0
			Link = Right(Link, Len(Link) - InStr(Link, vbTab)) 
		Link = Trim(Link)

		' Determine file type by looking at the extension
		ExtPos = InstrRev(Link, ".", -1, 1)

		' An extension must exist in order to process the selected text
		if ExtPos > 0 then
			Ext = LCase(Right(Link,Len(Link)-ExtPos))

			' This is the object to handle the selected application.  See
			' [mk:@ivt:project/project/pssvba/mod3les3.htm] for object information
			' TODO$: Use Shell or Explorer object to handle any registered file format.
			Dim AppObject

			Select Case Ext
				Case "doc", "rtf"		'MS word
					Set AppObject = CreateObject("Word.Basic")
					AppObject.FileOpen Link

				Case "xls"				'MS Excel
					Set AppObject = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
					AppObject.Visible = True
					AppObject.Workbooks.Open Link
				Case "ppt"				'MS Power Point
					Set AppObject = CreateObject("PowerPoint.Application")
					AppObject.Visible = True
					AppObject.Presentations.Open Link

				Case "mdb"				'MS Access
					Set AppObject = CreateObject("Access.Application")
					AppObject.Visible = True
					AppObject.OpenCurrentDatabase Link
				Case "vsd"				'Visio
				    Set AppObject = CreateObject("visio.application")
					AppObject.Documents.Open Link	

				Case Else				' Internet Explorer
					Set AppObject = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application.1")
					AppObject.Visible = True
			End Select

			MsgBox("The text you have selected does not have a valid file extension.")			
		end if
	end if
End Sub

This article was originally published on August 7th, 1998

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