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I'm trying to add an entry to the Windows folder background context menu. The following "command" value works:


It successfully executes MakeManifest (a tiny development tool I'm working on for my real programming project).

However, I'd like to do this:

"P:\Projects\GuardianBlade\OfStrangerFlames\Development\Project\Bin\MakeManifest.exe" -root="%1"

But that doesn't work. Neither does this:

"P:\Projects\GuardianBlade\OfStrangerFlames\Development\Project\Bin\MakeManifest.exe" "-root=%1"

What I'm aiming for, is the program MakeManifest.exe to execute, and receive one command-line argument of the format:


I want the quotes around the directory path to be passed into MakeManifest preserved, and I'd like the entire thing (-root="the/directory/right-clicked/in/") to be one argument.

Failing that, I'd settle for -root passed in as one argument, and the/directory/path (without quotes but as one argument) passed in as the second argument. I can't get either to work.

All my attempts result in this error message: enter image description here

"This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel." if it were trying to identify what program to execute the entire command as a filepath.

Again, setting the command without any arguments works fine.

How should I do that ?

share|improve this question
This question would be better suited for Stack Overflow. – kinokijuf Jun 6 '13 at 19:55
I was thinking that myself, but I wasn't sure. It's not directly programming related - it has to do with the format of shell commands on Windows. – Jamin Grey Jun 6 '13 at 20:15
I think it's perfectly on-topic for SU, but a possible duplicate of What is the list of special variables available when writing a shell command for a context menu – Karan Jun 6 '13 at 22:14
Yea, I found that answer after kinokijuf posted! I don't think the question is a duplicate, rather I think the answer to this question is the other topic. =P I'll add the link into kino's answer. – Jamin Grey Jun 6 '13 at 22:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use %V instead of %1.

For additional information on shell command variables like %V and %1, see this question.

share|improve this answer
So would %V or %W be the proper usage? It seems like %V just imitates %W in certain circumstances. So should I always just use %W then, if I want the directory? – Jamin Grey Jun 6 '13 at 22:32
Hmm, this answer (in the linked thread) seems to imply %W actually behaves somewhat different than documented - at least in the observed results. But the poster didn't specify whether he right-clicked from within the folder, or merely on the folder icon, which might explain the deviation. – Jamin Grey Jun 6 '13 at 22:38

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