[R] Fwd: Re: shell.exec() on Windows, unexpected behavior

Richard M. Heiberger rmh at temple.edu
Sat May 12 05:28:08 CEST 2007

Duncan is on the right track.


In the CMD window
   start "c:\Program Files\R\R-2.5.0\doc\manual\R-admin.pdf"
opens another CMD window with the quoted string as title.

In the CMD window
   start c:\Progra~1\R\R-2.5.0\doc\manual\R-admin.pdf
(with the 8.3 name and no embedded blanks) opens Adobe Reader 8

Windows Explorer shows the Adobe 6 icon by the PDF files.

The Windows Explorer right-click menu shows three actions
   Open with Adobe Reader 8
The "Open" item uses Adobe Acrobat 6.

The "Tools/Folder Options/File Types" menu shows and Adobe 6
icon.  The details sections shows the Adobe 8 icon.  The "Advanced"
button shows three actions
   Open with Acrobat 6

I attempted to edit the "Open with Acrobat 6" to "Open with
Acrobat 8".  It didn't take.  So I did a restore.  I will now
just have an open Acrobat 8 around when I care which version is

I am guessing that Adobe Reader 8 (a read-only program) saw that
Adobe Acrobat 6 (a read/write program) was installed.  Therefore
it assumed that the user would want the write potential of the
older program to take precedence over the read-only potential of
the newer program.  It looks to me like there are some inconsistencies
in how it made those arrangements.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 21:14:31 -0400
>From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch at stats.uwo.ca>  
>shell.exec("foo.pdf") does the same thing that "start foo.pdf" would do 
>from a Windows command line.  Do you see the same behaviour there?  I 
>think this is also usually the same thing as a right click Open does, 
>but that may be changeable.
>What may be happening is that Acrobat has installed some fancy shell 
>extension that doesn't execute an "open" on the file, it does something 
>else instead.
>Duncan Murdoch

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