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Visual Basic Programming Code Examples

Visual Basic > API and Miscellaneous Code Examples

Launch a PC's default browser with ShellExecute API

Launch a PC's default browser with ShellExecute API Often, you may want a user to access a specific URL on the Web by launching his default browser and navigating to the Web site of your choice. Fortunately, a simple Windows API function ShellExecute() lets you do this. When you pass this function a filename, it uses the Windows file associations to start the appropriate application. As a result, all you need do is pass this function a URL, and it automatically launches the default browser and navigates to the requested location. Below is an example of how to use this API call: Option Explicit Private Declare Function GetActiveWindow Lib "user32" () As Long Private Declare Function ShellExecute Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "ShellExecuteA" (ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal lpOperation As String, ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpParameters As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal nShowCmd As Long) As Long Public Const SW_SHOWNORMAL = 1 Public Const SW_SHOWMAXIMIZED = 3 Public Const SW_SHOWMINIMIZED = 2 Public Const SW_SHOWDEFAULT = 10 Public Const SW_SHOWNOACTIVATE = 4 Public Const SW_HIDE = 0 'Purpose : Opens a URL using the default browser of the local machine ' [lShow] The window activation setting, defaults to a normal window. 'Outputs : Returns True if successfully executed sURL, else returns False. Function BrowserOpen(sURL As String, Optional lShow As Long = SW_SHOWNORMAL) As Boolean Dim lRet As Long lRet = ShellExecute(GetActiveWindow, vbNullString, sURL, vbNullString, vbNullString, lShow) If lRet > 32 Then 'Successfully executed the sURL string BrowserOpen = True Else 'Failed to open sURL BrowserOpen = False Debug.Print "Error Number: " & Err.LastDllError End If End Function Sub Test() If BrowserOpen("www.example", SW_SHOWNORMAL) Then MsgBox "Opened www.example" Else MsgBox "Failed to open www.example" End If End Sub