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StartMenu entry (folder) with Multiple launchable apps inside

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  • StartMenu entry (folder) with Multiple launchable apps inside

    My software is a suite of small interconnected apps. Any of them can be used individually so they all need start menu entries.

    Using a previous installer, we simply wrote out a start menu entry for the parent folder and then a start menu entries for each one within that folder.

    %StartMenu%\ProductName
    %StartMenu%\ProductName\App1
    %StartMenu%\ProductName\App2
    %StartMenu%\ProductName\App3

    Note that %startmenu% is just pseudocode. I'm not actually trying to use that in SUF but for whatever reason, I am having a very difficult time figuring out how to even create two individual start menu entries using SUF. Everything I try results in (what appears to be) SUF overwriting the previous entry with the new entry resulting in only the last app processed getting an entry. I've tried seemingly every possible combinations of checkboxes on the File Properties -> Shortcuts tab related to the start menu. The docs don't seem to explain what the actual difference is for these checkboxes.

    I've also tried specifying a custom entry giving each one the same value like this:

    %StartProgramFolder%\ProductName

    As well as tried giving each one a different custom value like this:

    %StartProgramFolder%\ProductName\App1
    %StartProgramFolder%\ProductName\App2
    %StartProgramFolder%\ProductName\App3

    What is the proper way to do this?

  • #2
    Please read the User's Guide, Chapter 2, Working with Files. This is explained there. If there are still doubts, show the actual project, not pseudocode, so we can see what you are doing incorrectly.

    Ulrich

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    • #3
      I went back and re-read Chapter 2 again to make sure I didn't miss anything. The section for shortcuts is lacking severely. It consists of a screenshot of the tab with 2 sentences describing it. There is a small section for "Creating Nested Shortcuts" which seems like it should apply but doesn't actually work (at least not the way I expected it to) and turns out that it wasn't the setting I wanted anyway.

      A default Installer with SUF does exactly what I want. I created a blank project (not using the wizard) and added 4 exe files to the archive tab using right-click -> Add files. I changed no other settings and built the installer and it worked. The result is 4 start menu entries (shortcuts to each of the 4 apps) in a "Your Product" (the default %ProductName% value) Start menu folder.

      The default checkbox selected on the shortcut's tab using this method is the Start Menu > AppFolder (to re-iterate, having SOME explanation in the docs that this is what this setting does would have been beneficial).

      I then took this project file and compared it to my own. I had originally created my installer with the wizard and then modified fairly extensively. Nothing fancy (only scripting is for registry entries) but a lot of settings changed and always through the SUF Designer (never manually).

      This pointed me to the fact that, For whatever reason, my installer had the same Description for all files (File Properties -> Shortcuts -> Properties Group -> Description) and it happened to be the same value as the project's session variable %ProductName%. I don't recall changing this or if it was a result of using the wizard but I might have changed it at some point (like I said, there have been a lot of changes). Again, Description was set to the same value as the ProductName variable. It wasn't actually set to %ProductName%. Both settings were set to the same thing. I don't know if that detail makes a difference.

      Going through and changing each file in my project to have it's own unique description fixed the problem. Again, I'll reiterate here that the docs are lacking. Something should give an indication as to what the Description field does. Something somewhere should indicate the difference between the 3 checkboxes on this screen related to Start Menu entries. And the section for Custom should be re-written to give an example of what it actually does because the way it is now, it READS like it does the same thing that The Start Menu > AppFolder setting actually does.

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