Launch Windows Application Directly From Firefox – A Retake

by Jawwad in Firefox, Guides, Internet, Software, Tips&Tricks, Windows | 6 comments

Back in 2008, I posted an article on how you can use a Firefox extension called External Application Buttons to create buttons and add them to the Firefox toolbar to launch any Windows application. It was really nice to have such flexibility but some users experienced difficulties in using that extension with the newer versions of the Firefox 3.0 and 4.0 betas. Another disadvantage is that if you want to create buttons for too many application – Firefox toolbar will be quickly filled up.

Edit Button | Launch Windows Application Directly From Firefox – A Retake

Today I want to share with you guys an another option to launch applications directly from Firefox. It needs a bit more effort but also provides much more flexibility. Furthermore, I have tested this in Firefox 4.0 b7.0 and it is working beautifully. Basically this method will allow you to create a menu in the Firefox toolbar with all your favorite application that you can launch directly from there! No need to fill up the whole toolbar space with so many buttons! So lets get started!

Shortcuts thumb | Launch Windows Application Directly From Firefox – A Retake

  1. First of all you need to install an excellent Firefox extension called Custom Buttons that allows to create customized buttons in Firefox with snippets of some JavaScript code.
  2. After installation please click on this button link (actually this button is available here but forum seems dead now). Or you can download this text file copy all the code in this file to the clipboard and then paste it in the Firefox location bar like a URL and hit Enter. It will ask if you want to install “Shortcuts” button? Press yes and now button will be installed.
  3. Now drag the newly created button from the Firefox toolbar button applet (it appears when you select the Customize option from the Firefox toolbar context menu).
  4. Now anywhere on your system create a folder named shortcuts (or any other name) and put shortcuts to all the programs that you want to launch from the Firefox there.
  5. Now open the button customization dialog by selecting Edit Button… menu option from the context-menu that appears over the newly added button on the Firefox toolbar.
  6. In the “Initialization Code” tab change sCuts variable to point to the correct path of the folder that you created in Step4 (look at the figure).
  7. So, now we are done! After pressing the OK button after providing the correct path to the folder of the shortcuts – you should have a menu after you click on the button filled with all the applications links that you have placed in the Shortcuts folder previously. Basically from now on you can add any new shortcuts in that folder and they will magically appear here (you might have to refresh the Shortcuts button)!

I hope this solution work for you guys and it is better than using the External Application Button extension in my opinion.

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  • steph

    Nice work, but is it possible to use different setting for different profiles?
    Perhaps it’s possible to do that by creating the shortcuts-dir inside the \AppData\…\profiles\blabla directory and change the sCuts variable to something like that: %profiledir%\shortcuts.
    This would be a nice little tweak.


  • steph

    One more addition: If you use a shortcuts-dir with more than one backslash in the path and the addon shows an error, try replacing ALL backslashes \ by forward slashes /.
    Happened to me right now and found it out at random ;-)


  • http://Website Vish

    Gr8 Tweak!!! Is it ok to remove the custom buttons addon after creating the button?

  • Tony

    In the Menu Created by all the shortcuts, would it be possible to display the Icons and also to not display the .lnk extension?

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