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Let's say I have two shortcuts for Microsoft Word; the first shortcut was created during the Office installation, the second shortcut I have created myself via right click on winword.exe > Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

Shortcut #1 is obviously missing certain options in the context menu, is about four times bigger in file size, and the properties are lacking the compatibility tab.

enter image description here

Can I limit the shortcuts I create myself in the same way?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I was actually wondering the same thing recently, and I decided to investigate. It turns out that those shortcuts are special, called Windows Installer Shortcuts. The stub executables are really only there for the icon, nothing else.

Basically, programs can create these shortcuts through Windows Installer during the installation, and they're special because they don't link directly to the file but instead use a bunch of Win API functions to get to the destination. You can find an official explanation here. I'm not exactly sure of the reason they were implemented, though, other than to annoy you. :)

Anyway, to answer your question: No, you cannot create your own. You can do so programmatically, but I'm sure that's not what you were thinking of. :)

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you know, i really DO hate to take no for an answer! :) – Molly7244 Dec 27 '09 at 0:16

The first shortcut, the one created during the installation of Office, does not actually point to winword.exe but to a stub executable. It's located at c:\Windows\Installer\{91120000-0030-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}\wordicon.exe.

The directory seems to contain stubs for all Microsoft Office applications.

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That doesn't completely explain it - a stub executable should be the same as the real executable for the purposes of deciding what items go on the context menu. – Hugh Allen Nov 8 '09 at 23:50
+1 alright but not the answer to my questiuon :) – Molly7244 Nov 9 '09 at 18:13

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