Windows

Add Google Docs to the Windows 7 New menu (revised)

With a Windows Registry edit, you can add Google Docs to the entries listed in the Windows 7 New menu.
This tip was originally published in February 2012. With the release of Google Drive, the shortcut URL links used in February have changed. This is the revised version, which includes updated shortcuts. All the other steps in the tip remain the same. The Windows Registry modification file has also been revised and updated.

Previously, in the Google in the Enterprise Blog, I showed you how to create Windows desktop shortcuts for Google Docs. To take it one step further, I'll explain how to add Google Doc entries to the Windows 7 New menu using a registry hack.

I want to send out kudos to How-To Geek for giving me the idea. I used their article "How to Add Google Documents to the Windows Explorer "New" Menu," as the basis for this step-by-step tutorial. I made some changes to their described process that simplifies things just a bit. You can use this post and their article as a basis for your own unique circumstances.

The technique shown in this blog post involves the editing of the Windows Registry file. This file is vital to the proper operation of Windows. Be sure to back up the Windows Registry file before editing to avoid system failure.

Download

Typically, in a tip that requires the editing of the Windows Registry file, I would lead you through the key creation process in the file itself, but for this tip that would be a very long process and would offer many opportunities for error, so I have provided a registry modification file for you to download. The Zip file includes the registry install file, an uninstall file, and a few icons that you can use. (The icons are available free from How-To Geek.)

Download the file.

Prepare

After downloading the Zip file, extract the contents to its own folder. Copy the four icon files (.ico) to the Windows folder where the system can easily find them later (Figure A).

Figure A

Copy the icon files to the Windows folder.
If you are interested in how the Registry modification works, open the AddGoogleDocsToNewMenu.reg file in Notepad by right-clicking it (don't run the file -- edit the file, as shown in Figure B).

Figure B

Edit the Registry modification file. Ignore the highlighted part of the image -- that link is different after Google Drive.

As you can see, we have to add several keys to the registry for each type of Google Doc we want to add to the New menu. The second entry in each section is where some editing may be required.

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.googledoc\ShellNew]
"NullFile"=""
"command"="chrome.exe https://docs.google.com/document/create?hl=en"

The command section specifies Chrome, but you can change it to your preferred browser. You may also want to change the command to reflect your domain by adding the appropriate path. The new command section would look something like:

"command"="chrome.exe https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com/document/create?hl=en

Fill in the YourDomain placeholder, of course. After you are finished editing the file, save and then close it.

Running the file

Right-click on an empty part of the desktop and navigate to the New menu. The typical Windows 7 New menu looks something like Figure C. This is the menu we are going to change.

Figure C

This is the typical New menu with no Google Docs.

Now, run the Registry modification file you downloaded by double-clicking it. You will have to appropriately answer several warning messages before it will work its magic.

Once it runs, the Windows Registry file will have been modified to include several new items on the New menu.

Note: You may have to refresh the Desktop to see the changes. Figure D shows you what you should see added to the New menu.

Figure D

Now there are Google Docs in the list of New menu items.

If you later decide you don't want the Google Doc entries on the New menu, run the uninstall file (UninstallGoogleNewMenu.reg), and they will be removed.

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

6 comments
n.champaigne
n.champaigne

Imagine a fellow comes to your door, knocks, you open the door and he walks through your home examining every possession, every item, every reciept, everything, carefully documenting all your personal habits: favorite sports, disabilities, education (hint: sexual behavior too). Then the fellow takes up residence, and he tells you this accomodation is the only way you can exit that door to travel the rest of your planet? China? Not even, it's a Google marriage. Why would I want to invite Google to take up residence in any way with my basic communication tool to the World?

verd
verd

Being a TRUE American I would not even have Google Docs on my computer let alone short cuts Don't use Google to search use Startpage.com instead

databaseben
databaseben

imho, making google doc's more accessible other than using chrome or the google connect add-in for ms applications, is up to google to make and provide to us. but i would like to access and see google doc's via the windows explorer, like i can with microsoft's skydrive. so it's possible for google to do the same.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I am finding that I need to access Google Docs more and more. This is why I have been exploring productivity shortcuts. Do you have any tricks or shortcuts for being more productive when using Google Apps?

Freetime000
Freetime000

So true americans use a search engine powered by google rather than the real deal?

n.champaigne
n.champaigne

Years ago Microsoft had this concept that would have made home computers obsolete. All they wanted to see was terminals everywhere, and the applications and storage medium would be centralized with Microsoft HQ. People who advocate this form of delivery are predators. Not in the sexual sense although big business is heavily invested in pornography distribution, but in the corporate sense. I often wonder what advantage a priest acquires by hearing literally thousands of personal stories and confessions? That kind of intimacy can't be purchased, or can it? One thing for damn sure, corporation's don't want the Microsofts of this world poking into their business. There are always great concerns toward personal privacy when using any tool over the internet. One should not permanently couple internal documents, applications, tools and system to anyone or anything located on the internet.

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