R – Is it possible to ‘Pin to start menu’ using Inno Setup

inno-setupinstallationscriptingstartmenuwindows-7

I'm using the excellent Inno Setup installer and I notice that some Applications (often from Microsoft) get installed with their launch icon already highly visible ('pinned?') in the start menu (in Windows 7). Am I totally reliant on the most-recently-used algorithm for my icon to be 'large' in the start menu, or is there a way of promoting my application from the installer please?

Best Solution

It is possible to pin programs, but not officially. Based on a code posted in this thread (which uses the same way as described in the article linked by @Mark Redman) I wrote the following:

[Code]
#ifdef UNICODE
  #define AW "W"
#else
  #define AW "A"
#endif

const
  // these constants are not defined in Windows
  SHELL32_STRING_ID_PIN_TO_TASKBAR = 5386;
  SHELL32_STRING_ID_PIN_TO_STARTMENU = 5381;
  SHELL32_STRING_ID_UNPIN_FROM_TASKBAR = 5387;
  SHELL32_STRING_ID_UNPIN_FROM_STARTMENU = 5382;

type
  HINSTANCE = THandle;
  HMODULE = HINSTANCE;

  TPinDest = (
    pdTaskbar,
    pdStartMenu
  );

function LoadLibrary(lpFileName: string): HMODULE;
  external 'LoadLibrary{#AW}@kernel32.dll stdcall';
function FreeLibrary(hModule: HMODULE): BOOL;
  external 'FreeLibrary@kernel32.dll stdcall';
function LoadString(hInstance: HINSTANCE; uID: UINT;
  lpBuffer: string; nBufferMax: Integer): Integer;
  external 'LoadString{#AW}@user32.dll stdcall';

function TryGetVerbName(ID: UINT; out VerbName: string): Boolean;
var
  Buffer: string;
  BufLen: Integer;
  Handle: HMODULE;
begin
  Result := False;

  Handle := LoadLibrary(ExpandConstant('{sys}\Shell32.dll'));
  if Handle <> 0 then
  try
    SetLength(Buffer, 255);
    BufLen := LoadString(Handle, ID, Buffer, Length(Buffer));

    if BufLen <> 0 then
    begin
      Result := True;
      VerbName := Copy(Buffer, 1, BufLen);
    end;
  finally
    FreeLibrary(Handle);
  end;
end;

function ExecVerb(const FileName, VerbName: string): Boolean;
var
  I: Integer;
  Shell: Variant;
  Folder: Variant;
  FolderItem: Variant;
begin
  Result := False;

  Shell := CreateOleObject('Shell.Application');
  Folder := Shell.NameSpace(ExtractFilePath(FileName));
  FolderItem := Folder.ParseName(ExtractFileName(FileName));

  for I := 1 to FolderItem.Verbs.Count do
  begin
    if FolderItem.Verbs.Item(I).Name = VerbName then
    begin
      FolderItem.Verbs.Item(I).DoIt;
      Result := True;
      Exit;
    end;
  end;  
end;

function PinAppTo(const FileName: string; PinDest: TPinDest): Boolean;
var
  ResStrID: UINT;
  VerbName: string;
begin
  case PinDest of
    pdTaskbar: ResStrID := SHELL32_STRING_ID_PIN_TO_TASKBAR;
    pdStartMenu: ResStrID := SHELL32_STRING_ID_PIN_TO_STARTMENU;
  end;
  Result := TryGetVerbName(ResStrID, VerbName) and ExecVerb(FileName, VerbName);
end;

function UnpinAppFrom(const FileName: string; PinDest: TPinDest): Boolean;
var
  ResStrID: UINT;
  VerbName: string;
begin
  case PinDest of
    pdTaskbar: ResStrID := SHELL32_STRING_ID_UNPIN_FROM_TASKBAR;
    pdStartMenu: ResStrID := SHELL32_STRING_ID_UNPIN_FROM_STARTMENU;
  end;
  Result := TryGetVerbName(ResStrID, VerbName) and ExecVerb(FileName, VerbName);
end;

The above code first reads the caption of the menu item for pinning or unpinning applications from the string table of the Shell32.dll library. Then connects to the Windows Shell, and for the target app. path creates the Folder object, then obtains the FolderItem object and on this object iterates all the available verbs and checks if their name matches to the one read from the Shell32.dll library string table. If so, it invokes the verb item action by calling the DoIt method and exits the iteration.

Here is a possible usage of the above code, for pinning:

if PinAppTo(ExpandConstant('{sys}\calc.exe'), pdTaskbar) then
  MsgBox('Calc has been pinned to the taskbar.', mbInformation, MB_OK);
if PinAppTo(ExpandConstant('{sys}\calc.exe'), pdStartMenu) then
  MsgBox('Calc has been pinned to the start menu.', mbInformation, MB_OK);

And for unpinning:

if UnpinAppFrom(ExpandConstant('{sys}\calc.exe'), pdTaskbar) then
  MsgBox('Calc is not pinned to the taskbar anymore.', mbInformation, MB_OK);
if UnpinAppFrom(ExpandConstant('{sys}\calc.exe'), pdStartMenu) then
  MsgBox('Calc is not pinned to the start menu anymore.', mbInformation, MB_OK);

Please note that even though this code works on Windows 7 (and taskbar pinning also on Windows 8.1 where I've tested it), it is really hacky way, since there is no official way to programatically pin programs to taskbar, nor start menu. That's what the users should do by their own choice.

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