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I quite like Windows Live Photo Gallery for managing and also for touching up photos (straighten, contrast, etc).

Oddly, even though it is standard on Windows 7, it doesn't seem to be well integrated into the context menu of images in Windows Explorer (the menu that pops up when you right click on an image file).

Yes if I double-click on an image file it will open in Windows Live Photo Gallery, but in a strange mode where I can't do much with it. I have to click on the edit button in the top left to get to the screen I use most often.

Is there some way I can add to the context menu under "Edit" or "Open with" that will cause the photo to be opened directly in the edit mode?

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If there's any way at all (say via command-line arguments) to launch the program directly in Edit mode, it'll be easy to edit the registry and change the default open command for image files. So your main problem/question is - how to launch Windows Live Photo Gallery directly in edit mode? –  Karan Dec 18 '12 at 19:46
    
@Karan: Yes that would certainly be an acceptable way to do it. I just don't want to prematurely rule out the possibility of other ways though. For instance most Windows stuff is full of all kinds of COM trickery too, so who knows? –  hippietrail Dec 19 '12 at 12:35
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