Creating Shortcuts

InstallShield 2018 » Basic MSI Tutorial

You create and modify shortcuts in the Shortcuts view. The properties of a shortcut include its display name, its target executable and arguments, and the icon it displays.

Creating the Shortcut

In this step you will create a shortcut to Tutorial App in the user’s Programs folder, under the Start menu.

1. Open the Shortcuts view. The Shortcuts view is located in the System Configuration section of the View List.
2. Right-click the Programs Menu folder icon, and select New Advertised Shortcut. The Browse for a Component dialog appears.
3. In the dialog, select Tutorial_Files from the Feature drop-down menu and select Tutorial.exe from the files list and click Open to close the dialog.
4. Rename the shortcut icon to an internal name such as Tutorial.
5. Set the following shortcut properties:

Shortcut Properties




Display Name

Tutorial Application

To accommodate target systems that do not support long file names, the IDE will create an expression that includes a short file name, as in “TUTORI~1|Tutorial App”. If you want, you can modify the short file name part of the expression, as in “TUTORIAL|Tutorial App”.


Launch the Tutorial application

Displayed as a tooltip.



At run time, if the user advertises the product or the feature containing the shortcut, the shortcut is created but the component’s files are not installed until the user launches the shortcut.


Advertised shortcut to [INSTALLDIR]Tutorial.exe

Automatically set to the component’s key file for an advertised shortcut.

Icon File


Browse for Tutorial.exe in the source location, and select its only icon.

Icon Index


The icon index identifies a particular icon if there is more than one icon resource in the executable file.

Working Directory


The working directory should be set to the default directory for your Save As and Open dialogs.

Tip • To create a shortcut to a file already located on the end user’s machine, set the Advertised property to No, and enter the path to the file—using Windows Installer directory properties to represent the path to the file, when possible. For example, to launch a copy of Windows Notepad located in the user’s Windows or WinNT folder, enter the shortcut target as [WindowsFolder]Notepad.exe.


See Also