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Help wanted on Windows Vista Explorer command line

Chris Newman

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Please can someone explain exactly what the command line switches in a shortcut to Windows Explorer do, and what their limitations are? I cannot find official Microsoft advice for Windows Vista or XP, whilst I do not fully understand the jargon used to explain the switches for earlier versions of Windows (eg “root level” and “initial focus” in click here). I have experimented with what I think the switches are supposed to do, but I seem to get results that vary depending on the level of the folders referred to in the switches.

In general I want to be able to create a shortcut that will open an Explorer window with a left pane that expands the contents of each folder in the direct path from the highest folder I choose to display, and a right pane that shows the contents of the lowest folder.

Examples of what I would like to create are:

1. On my home computer, running Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-bit, I would like to create a shortcut that opens at “Computer” (immediately below “Desktop”, which I rarely use) and extends down to one of our folders within “Documents”. ‘%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,C:\Users\Newman\Documents\Chris documents’ achieves everything I want except that it starts at Desktop, wasting space in the left pane.

2. On my computer at work, running Windows XP, I make extensive use of the contents of the “My documents” folder, and also of a folder deep within a shared external drive. I would like to create a shortcut that would open with paths to both expanded. The best I have achieved so far is ‘%SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /e,/root,,"V:\BRE Group Businesses\European Unit\1 - Fresh Start" ’. This expands most of the folders on the path to “1 - Fresh Start”, but, annoyingly, the folder other than “1 - Fresh Start” that I most need expanded is “European Unit”, but I need to expand this one manually each time I open Windows Explorer. However, this command line does not expand any path within the C:\ drive, although a few folders such as “My documents” seem to be shown in a detached manner at a high level by default.

With thanks in advance,
Chris Newman

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I'm sorry but I don't fully understand switches etc.

But if you want a shortcut to "Chris documents" on the desktop then right click on the folder and select send to desktop.
You can do the same for European unit.

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