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How do I open external jpeg files from within an Excel spreadsheet, and have the jpeg come up in Windows Picture Viewer, not Internet Explorer?

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-01-25
I am trying to open external jpeg files from within an Excel spreadsheet.  The jpeg files are in a column, as a list.  The actual jpegs are on a server, and the path is part of the list/name of the jpeg.  I created a button for a user to click, with a hyperlink, and a vlookup to the list.  I have a pulldown menu tied to the list too.  All this works fine, but when the button is clicked, MS Internet Explorer is invoked, and the jpeg comes up in Explorer.  

Here's the issue: when I click on a jpeg in MS WINDOWS EXPLORER (not MS Internet Explorer, but rather the MS program that we all use to look at files and folders from the MS Start Button on the bottom Windows tool bar, WINDOWS EXPLORER), the jpeg comes up in the WINDOWS PHOTO VIEWER, which is where I need the jpeg to come up in -- not in MS Internet Explorer!  The reason I need the jpegs to come up in Windows Photo Viewer is because the user needs to see the entire series of jpegs, one after the other, and by them just pressing the arrow key in Windows Photo Viewer, they can view one after another, just by invoking the first one in the series from Excel.  In IE, only the one jpeg comes up there, and there is no way to see the others on the server, just the one jpeg invoked from Excel.

So I need the selected jpeg from the list in Excel to come up in Windows Picture Viewer (so the user can see the entire series of jpegs on the server in that folder), I don't want the jpeg to invoke and come up in Internet Explorer, which is what "=Hyperlink(file)" is currently doing, in other words, "=hyperlink"(file) brings only the one jpeg listed in Excel up in IE.  Not useful in this situation.

What can I do to properly solve this interesting problem?  Is there another command that can be used instead of "=Hyperlink" ?  I cannot edit HKEYS as I do not have admininstrator rights.  I am also trying to stay away from using visual basic.

THANK YOU!
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Question by:AvantGuardDog
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by:tailoreddigital
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The very last entry on this page worked for me,

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7835836/html-link-to-local-file-and-open-in-local-application

""I think you'll find success by linking to a properly configured shortcut (.lnk) instead of the file itself. Configure a shortcut to the application that passes the data file as a parameter. Then try setting your HTML link to the shortcut file. If this works, it will only work on Windows of course, and the user will have to have the app installed -- and in the same directory structure as the link specifies.""


I was able to link to a local JPG, it opened with picture viewer.    (i'm using Excel 2007)
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by:AvantGuardDog
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Hi tailoreddigital,  how did you accomplish your solution -- that is, to link to a local jpg, to open with picture viewer -- how did you create this shortcut -- in Excel?  I never did this -- could you walk me through the process?  Thank you!
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by:tailoreddigital
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I right-clicked the file and chose,  "create shortcut".     Windows will place it in the folder next to the original file.    

If you want to rename the shortcut for any reason, you can,  it'll still link to the original file.

Then in Excel i added the hyperlink to a cell and browsed to the shortcut.  

It works perfectly.
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by:AvantGuardDog
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Hi tailoreddigital, I did everything you described, and created the shortcut, however, it does not give a .lnk extension on the file as you can see it in the folder onscreen when the shortcut file is created (but does show it as a .lnk file in "properties" for the shortcut file), instead creating the duplicate shortcut file followed by "- shortcut" after the shortcut filename (all in the same folder, as you described).

So if the shortcut file name is "filename.jpg - shortcut" how do I tell Excel to invoke the short cut file?  I copied the entire shortcut file name into Excel just as you see it here in quotes, nothing happens with the "- shortcut" after the jpeg file name.

Am I missing something?  Of course I tested the actual shortcut name without the "-shortcut" suffix, and IE was invoked as before, not Picture Viewer.

I'm using Windows 7 and Excel 2007.

Thanks again!!
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by:tailoreddigital
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On right-click within a cell in Excel, there is an "hyperlink" option.   When clicked, it pops a browse box where you can browse to the shortcut.


I'm also in Windows 7  and Excel 2007
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by:AvantGuardDog
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tailoreddigital, thank you, you are speaking of the insert hyperlink box, which I know of but cannot use for my purposes.  As I outlined in my opening question (and will now describe in further detail), I have created a front-end dashboard with a pull-down menu and fixed dashboard features that look at a vlookup worksheet, which looks at a database worksheet. There are hyperlink formulas already imbedded in buttons on the front-end dashboard, and depending on item is selected by the user, the vlookup formulas will pull in the server location of the file to open via these buttons with embedded hyperlink fomulas working off the vlookups, which work off the db.  In the db is a column that contains the complete path of each jpeg file.  So the user selects the broader item, and the dashboard is populated with many things, among them the buttons with hyperlinks to various files.  Some of these buttons are dedicated exclusively to jpegs, located on the server.  The user wants to see and compare jpeg sequences.  Windows Picture Viewer allows the sequences to be viewed (by using the arrow keys), by just having the first jpeg in the sequence stored and selected in Excel -- whereas, as you are aware, Internet Explorer will only show that one first jpeg, and nothing more.

So, since the jpeg addresses and files names are hardcoded in the db, and then, via the vlookups, are being identified by hyperlink formulas embedded in the buttons, dynamically (and there are literally thousands of jpegs), using "Insert Hyperlink" to create static access to the shortcut isn't feasible in this situation.

What I need is the ability to have either the original jpeg file or the shortcut file tied to it come up in Picture Viewer, not IE, as you know.  I can't browse to the one file manually and store that on the page, since the dashboard absolutely has to be dynamic via vlooksup.

Much more complicated, there HAS to be a solution!

I am very grateful for your answers and help, tailoreddigital !!!
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by:tailoreddigital
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I apologize if i accidently steer us in the wrong direction (excel isn't a specialty of mine), just trying to figure this,  

Take a look at this thread,

http://forums.techguy.org/business-applications/968525-solved-excel-vlookup-hyperlink.html


I don't know if it can help, but sounds close to what we're trying to accomplish.
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by:AvantGuardDog
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Thank you tailoreddigital, for your time and for trying to help me solve this problem, I really appreciate your efforts!  Unfortunately, the thread was not applicable to my situation either, I already use such a formula as they describe -- I think that the real problem is the shortcut name -- I need to dynamically invoke the actual shortcut, but the way Windows is: "filename.jpg - shortcut" and not "filename.lnk" I truly believe is the essence of the problem here.  The shortcut invokes Picture viewer (which is what I want), and the jpg invokes Internet Explorer (which is what I don't want), for the reasons explained above.

How to get that name changed in Windows to its actual .lnk extension instead of the .jpg extension (just editing will not work, of course) -- the answer to that, if one exists, is how I believe this problem will be solved.
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by:tailoreddigital
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The shortcut can be renamed to anything, it'll still link to the original file.    If the file was renamed "filename", it still won't work?
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by:AvantGuardDog
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Oh yes, I renamed the file as it sat in the database, and tried renaming the extension too, tried everything.  When the vlookups call it up, and the button (with the hyperlink formula looking at the vlookup cell) was clicked, nothing.  Nothing works.  I'm thinking of looking into converting the jpegs into some other type of file (in Photoshop) that would not be called up into Internet Explorer, but rather would default to coming up in Picture Viewer instead.  Do you know of any picture file types that would not invoke IE, and instead, invoke Picture Viewer?
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tailoreddigital earned 500 total points
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Great idea,

I ran with that and here's what i discovered,

I created a JPG, PNG, TIF, BMP

JPG and PNG opened with IE
TIF and BMP opened with Photoshop

So i'm not sure what TIF and BMP would have opened with if i didn't have Photoshop.   Maybe Paint, not sure.    But 2 things,   if TIF or BMP open with Windows Photo Viewer by default then this would be an option.   The problem is the file size of these formats.   Plus you wouldn't want to convert all these files.    I learned that if the first file clicked (hyperlinked in excel) is BMP/TIF and there are a pile of JPG in the same folder, the BMP/TIF will trigger Windows Photo Viewer, and the forward/back arrows will now cycle through all the files in the folder.  In other words, you might be able to use the TIF/BMP as the trigger for Windows Photo Viewer.   Any reason why you wouldn't want to create a title image describing the image collection (as the TIF/BMP)?

In case you need a BMP or TIF for testing, they're attached.
Iguazu-Falls.bmp
Iguazu-Falls.tif
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by:tailoreddigital
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I just remoted over to a Windows 7 system that has minimal software installed, just the basics.     By default,  it opened both the TIF and BMP with Windows Photo Viewer (not Paint).
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by:AvantGuardDog
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Thank you tailoreddigital -- this solution worked! -- with my dynamic front-end vlookup-based dashboard -- the hyperlinks connected to buttons all worked, bringing up the TIF file, which, brought up Windows Picture Viewer (not IE, which is what I wanted to happen, finally) and because the jpegs sat in the same folder, it was followed by all the jpegs in that folder, in the proper order, which is what I needed to happen to solve this problem!

Thank you for your great suggestions and help, and for taking the time to help me solve this very unique problem!
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