Easy Thumbnails
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Friday, 31 July 2009
Article Index
Easy Thumbnails
Creating the shortcut
The UI
Converting the list
Improving the thumbnails


This project deals with the conversion of an image into a JPEG compressed thumbnail. The user interface allows interactive selection of a thumbnail size and implements batch conversion of a set of selected files at that resolution.

It makes use of the Send To menu that appears when you right click a file. Adding an item to the Send To menu is very easy and it provides a really simple  way of adding file processing utilities to Windows.It may not be perfect in that "Send To" isn't always the right message but you can often overlook this for the ease of implementation.

Send To

So how does “Send To” work?

The answer, when you know how complex other aspects of the Windows “Shell” are, is pleasingly simple. For each user there is a special directory called:

Documents and Settings\user name\Send To

Any shortcuts that you store in this directory automatically appear in the Send To sub-menu as options.

It really is this simple!

You can also place “Drop Targets” and “DeskLink” files in the Send To directory and these are used to implement Send To Mail Recipient, Desktop (create shortcut) and many other options. However, these are just more complicated ways of getting applications running when the user selects the option and there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason for getting involved in how they work when a simple shortcut does exactly the same thing.

When the user selects a set of files (all in the same directory), right clicks and selects the shortcut from the Send To sub-menu the application that the shortcut is started. The full path names of the all of the selected files are provided to the application via a set of command line arguments.

If you would like to try this find Notepad in the Start menu – this is in fact a shortcut to Notepad.exe. Use Ctrl-C to copy this shortcut to the clipboard. Next navigate to the Send To directory – the only problem you might have is working out the correct user name – and use Ctrl-V to paste the shortcut to Notepad into it.

Now when you right-click any file and navigate down to Send To you will see Notepad as a new option. If you select the option Notepad opens with the file ready to edit.


Adding a new “Send To” menu item is very easy




Last Updated ( Friday, 31 July 2009 )