Detect an application instance.

We currently have a simple batch file which when kicked off by the user opens an Excel spreadsheet in a new instance of Excel. The user requirement is to open that file in an existing instance of Excel (it makes it easier for users to copu/paste from one to the other).

Can this be done from a batch file, or do we need to switch a VBScript?
LVL 29
leonstrykerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

ploftinCommented:
I would suggest you switch to VBScript.  It is much more powerful and will do what you need.
0
leonstrykerAuthor Commented:
I know it can be done easialy in VBScript, but would prefer a strictly batch solution to maintain current setup.
0
t0t0Commented:
As far as i'm aware, if you start excel.exe with the command line option /e then invoke a file, followed by another file, both files will open in the single instance of excel.

I have actually tried this in Excel 2007 without the /e command line switch and it still works.

1) have your batch file open an instance of excel by specifying it's full path including the /e switch - something like this:

   "%programfiles%\microsoft office\office12\EXCEL.EXE /E"

2) then open your first excel document by reference (let's say it's called ACCOUNTS.XLS) - something like this:

   "%userprofile%\my documents\accounts\ACCOUNTS.XLS"

3) Now open your second excel document (let's say it's called OLDACC.XLS) - something like this:

   "%userprofile%\my documents\accounts\OLDACC.XLS"

Both XLS documents are now open in a single instance of Excel. You can verify this with the TASKLIST command. It only shows one instance of EXCEL.EXE running.

Putting this all together then, you might have something like this:


   @echo off
   set myfiles=%userprofile%\my documents\accounts

   "%programfiles%\microsoft office\office12\excel.exe /e"

   "%myfiles%\accounts.xls"
   "%myfiles%\oldacc.xls"


This will:

   1) open excel with the /e command line switch.
   2) set a variable (myfiles) to the path of my xls documents
   3) open accounts.xls file
   4) open oldacc.xls file

a simple check with TASKLIST will reveal just one instance of EXCEL.EXE running.




0
Cloud Class® Course: Amazon Web Services - Basic

Are you thinking about creating an Amazon Web Services account for your business? Not sure where to start? In this course you’ll get an overview of the history of AWS and take a tour of their user interface.

leonstrykerAuthor Commented:
The problem is that the user will likely has an instance of Excel running before the batch starts executing, so doing:
"%programfiles%\microsoft office\office12\excel.exe /e"
would open an additional instance. Not running it we are fine except then the user does not have an instance of Excel open in which case the batch will fail.
Leon
0
t0t0Commented:
That's not a problem.... Try the rest of the code for now and see if that does the trick...

Alternatively, where the user opens his excel (most likely by clicking a shortcut link to it) edit the shortcut's properites to include the '/e' switch on the command line. At that point, you could also add additional switches including the documents' working folders (always handy) as well as specifying the working directory in the shortcut too.

So for now, leave out the following line

   "%programfiles%\microsoft office\office12\excel.exe /e"

and try opening files by referencing just the files themselves.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
leonstrykerAuthor Commented:
Just leaving the file without Excel.exe and putting the /e switch after it did the trick. Thank you.
0
t0t0Commented:
oh great stuff. well done. and thank you.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Batch

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.