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Adding Explorer Bars

This tutorial explains how to add an Explorer Bar in Windows Internet Explorer. If you also want to create a toolbar button for the Explorer Bar, see the Adding Toolbar Buttons tutorial.

Requirements and Dependencies

Developers who want to add menu items to the Tools menu in Internet Explorer must be familiar with the registry. Developers should also be familiar with band objects. For more information on band objects, see the Windows Shell API documentation in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).

The implementation described here is valid for Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. To learn how to implement Explorer Bars in Internet Explorer 4.0, see the band objects documentation in the Windows Software Development Kit.

Implementation Steps

The following list contains the steps for adding an Explorer Bar to Internet Explorer.

Icons and strings stored inside a resource can be referenced by providing the path to the resource and reference identification in the format "path, resource_id". For example, if you wanted to use string resource 123 in Example.dll, you would use "Example.dll, 123".

Note  

This tutorial describes how to add an Explorer Bar for all users. You can substitute HKEY_CURRENT_USER for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the steps below for settings that you want to make per user.

  1. Create a valid GUID.
  2. Create a new key, with the GUID as the name, in the registry under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>
    

    <Your GUID> is the valid GUID that you created in step 1.

    The default value of the key should be set to the name of the Explorer Bar in the View menu.

  3. Create a new key, Implemented Categories, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Implemented Categories
    
  4. Create a new key using the category identifier (CATID) of the type of Explorer Bar you are creating as the name of the key. This can be one of the following values:
    CATIDDescription
    {00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}Defines a horizontal Explorer Bar.
    {00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}Defines a vertical Explorer Bar.

    The result should look like:

    
    //for a horizontal Explorer Bar
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\
        Implemented Categories\{00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
    
    //for a vertical Explorer Bar
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\
        Implemented Categories\{00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
    
  5. Create a new key, InProcServer32, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\InProcServer32
    

    Set the default value of the key to the full path of the Shdocvw.dll for HTML pages or the .dll file of the Explorer Bar.

  6. Create a new string value, ThreadingModel, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\InProcServer32

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\InProcServer32\ThreadingModel
    

    Set the value of ThreadingModel to "Apartment".

  7. Create a new key, Instance, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance
    
  8. Required for Explorer Bars that display an HTML page, but optional otherwise. Create a new string value, CLSID, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance\

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance\CLSID
    

    Set the value of CLSID to {4D5C8C2A-D075-11d0-B416-00C04FB90376}.

  9. Create a new key, InitPropertyBag, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance\InitPropertyBag
    
  10. Required for Explorer Bars that display an HTML page, but optional otherwise. Create a new string value, Url, under:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance\InitPropertyBag

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\<Your GUID>\Instance\InitPropertyBag\Url
    

    Set the value of Url to the location of the HTML file that contains the content for the Explorer Bar.

  11. Remove the following registry entries:
    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\
        {00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum
    
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\
        {00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum
    
  12. Optional. Create a new key, using the GUID you created in step 1 as the name, in the registry under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars

    
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\<Your GUID>
    
  13. Optional. Create a new binary value, BarSize, under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\<Your GUID>

    The result should look like:

    
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\<Your GUID>\BarSize
    

    Set the value of BarSize to an 8-byte binary value in hexadecimal notation that sets the default size for the Explorer Bar. The value is interpreted in pixels, so the value "97 00 00 00 00 00 00 00" would be equivalent to setting the default size of the bar to 151 pixels.

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