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

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Sat May 12 05:59:59 CEST 2007

This is yet another guess but it might be that its not a matter of whether
its installed or not but whether its running (possibly in the
background).  If that
were the case then forcing a new instance might solve it.

Have a look at the last page of the following for the command line switches:


The /n switch forces a new instance of either to run, i.e. from the Windows
command line:

start acrobat.exe /n myfile.pdf
start acrord32.exe /n myfile.pdf

On 5/11/07, Richard M. Heiberger <rmh at temple.edu> wrote:
> Duncan is on the right track.
> Thanks.
> 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
>   Open
>   Print
> 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
>   Print
>   Printto
> 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
> used.
> 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.
> Rich
> ---- 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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