My computer: Windows 10 running WSL Ubuntu 18.04.

I want to open a windows app file (e.g. an Excel file) from within a WSL bash prompt.

I have made sure that excel.exe is in the $PATH.

But when I type:

excel.exe /mnt/c/Users/bob/Documents/temp/testfile.xlsx

A blank workbook opens, instead of the file I want.

How do I get excel to open the particular file?

I have read this but this returns the error:

Invalid switch - "/mnt".

I also want to make sure that the BASH window opens this file in the background, (not pausing until the Excel application is closed) so that I can continue to use the BASH prompt.

  • Try to use Windows style paths in cmd /c command. – Biswapriyo Mar 29 '19 at 4:00
  • How did you add excel to the WSL path? I can find EXCEL.EXE in Office's Program Files, and ./EXCEL.EXE works when in that dir, but no matter what I add to my path I can't seem to get just EXCEL.EXE to work – snazzybouche Dec 23 '19 at 5:10
  • Ah, solved that one myself. Created a symbolic link to the exe and dropped it – snazzybouche Dec 23 '19 at 6:12

OK, after some help from @Biswapriyo and elsewhere, the answer seems to be:

start excel.exe "C:\path/to/file/in/directory.xlsx"

seems random to me, but there you go!

  • What about this: start excel.exe "$(wslpath -w /mnt/c/Users/bob/Documents/temp/testfile.xlsx)" – Carlos Rafael Ramirez Aug 3 '19 at 21:18

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