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Customize the New menu

Posted December 2002 by Steve Sinchak

Customizing the New Menu

xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" / The New menu is a handy tool, but it gets even handier if you customize it by adding your own commands and by remov­ing existing commands that you don't need. This is all possible through the Registry.

Go to HKEY CLASSES ROOT and then open the .bmp subkey. This subkey includes a ShellNew subkey.  The existence of ShellNew tells Windows to include this file type on the New menu. How Windows creates the new file is determined by extra settings (other than Default) in ShellNew. There are four different settings used:

NullFile: When Windows sees this string setting, it cre­ates an empty document of the associated file type. This is the method used by the Bitmap Image (.bmp) and Text Document (.txt) file types.

FileName: The value of this string setting is always a file­name. When Windows sees this setting, it looks in the Windows\ShellNew folder for that filename, and then cre­ates the new file by making a copy of the file that's in ShellNew. This method is used by the Wave Sound (.wav) and WordPad Document (.doc) file types. For the latter, the filename (winword.doc) is defined in the following key:

HKEY CLASSES ROOT.doc\Wordpad.Document.1\ShellNew

Command: The value of this string setting is a command. When Windows sees this setting, it creates the new doc­ument by running the command. This is the method used by the Shortcut (.lnk) and Briefcase (.bfc) file types.

Data: This setting is set to a binary value. When Windows sees this setting, it creates a new document of the asso­ciated file type and copies the binary value into the docu­ment.

Given all this, it's relatively easy to add file types to and remove file types from the New menu:

To add a file type to the New menu: In HKEY-CLASSES-ROOT, find the extension subkey for the file type and add a new subkey named ShellNew. Within this new subkey, create a setting using one of the four names discussed above.                                                                                                        To remove a file type from the New menu: In HKEY-CLASSES-ROOT, find the extension subkey for the file type and delete the subkey named ShellNew

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