Running external applications
By: Lorenzo Dalla Vecchia Date: 16/04/2000

This question has been asked me countless times: how can I run an external application from within my VB program?
I have finally decided to post a tip that describes that very simple task.

The key is the Shell function included with VB. The simplier use of it is the following:

Shell "app-path"

Just replace app-path with a valid path to an EXE file (i.e. "C:\Windows\Calc.Exe")
There is also a slightly different syntax for Shell:

Dim ProgID As Long
ProgID = Shell "app-path"

In this case, the ProgID variable will be filled with a unique identifier for the application: that number can be used in other VB commands, such as AppActivate and SendKeys to refer to the application.

Remember that the app-path string can also include parameters for the EXE file, so you can open documents. The following code opens a document with Notepad:

Shell "C:\Windows\Notepad.Exe C:\Myfile.Txt"


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