Tips & Tricks Pages for SamLogic Software’s Products

Did you knew that there are tips & tricks pages available for our programs? In the tips & tricks pages we show how to use the software in different circumstances, and we describe some technical details about the programs that are not found in the program’s User’s guides. The tips are in step-by-step format which makes them easy to follow. Many of the tips contain images (screen dumps etc.), and some of the tips have also informative video clips that demonstrate the tip.

Below are direct links to tips index pages for our programs. Click on a link to read more about the tips that are available for every program:

> Tips & tricks for SamLogic CD-Menu Creator
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator / Small Office
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic Visual Installer
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic MultiMailer

The tips index pages are also available via the Help menu in our programs. If you click on the Tips and Tricks menu item, your web browser is opened with the tips index page (for your product) opened.

Visual Installer’s file list can be refreshed automatically

You may already know that if you press the F5 key on your keyboard or choose the List – Refresh List menu item in Visual Installer’s editor, the contents of the file list (in the editor’s File List tab) is refreshed.

When a file list is refreshed, file dates and size information etc. is updated. If a file is missing at a source file path, you will be informed about that.

If you want to have the file list refreshed automatically when a project is opened, this is also possible. If you choose the Special – Editor options menu item and select the Update file list automatically option in the dialog box that is shown (see the picture below)

the file list will be updated automatically when the .VIP project file is opened.

How to ask for a drive instead of a folder during an installation

Normally when a user runs an installation, the installer will ask for a destination folder. A default folder name and folder path is shown, but the user can usually change the folder name and the folder path, and enter his/her own.

But there are situations when the folder name and folder path must stay unchanged, but the user should have the possibility to change the drive letter.

In Visual Installer we have a special setup dialog box that is designed for this purpose. You can include this dialog box in your installation by checking the Drive option in the Dialog boxes tab in the Visual Installer editor.

If you check this option, the following setup dialog box will be shown in the installation:

In this dialog box the end-user can change the drive letter, but not the folder path. The folder path is shown for the end-user, but it is a read-only field. He can not change the path.

The ‘Version’ tab in CD-Menu Creator

The CD-Menu Creator editor contains 8 main tabs, from where the most of the work to create a menu interface is made from. The last (the rightmost) tab is the Version tab.

In this tab you can enter version information for your menu project. For example company name, product name, product description and version number. In this tab you can also see the date when your menu was last created. This text field is updated automatically, so you don’t need to enter any information here.

Some of the text fields in the Version tab can also be used as variables in menu interfaces. That includes the following text fields: Company, Product Name, Product Description, and Version Number. More information about these variables is available in this tip.

How to test an installation before you create it

Before you actually create an installation package on your hard drive or USB stick, with Visual Installer, you can test it. You can step through all setup dialog boxes in your project and simulate an installation of you files. The tip below explains how to do it:

1. Start Visual Installer.
2. Open a current Visual Installer project or create a new one.
3. Open the File menu.
4. Choose Test on the menu.
5. In the dialog box that is opened, click on the Start simulation button.

Now the simulation will start.

The simulation will look like a real installation, but no files are copied and no folders are created. The Registry will also remain untouched. There will be no changes in the computer at all, so you can run it safely to test your installation.

More tips
More tips for Visual Installer are available here:
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic Visual Installer

How to change source folder paths for a group of files

Sometimes it is necessary to change source folder paths for a group of files in Visual Installer’s file list. This is necessary if for example some files have been moved to another folder location or if you change computer and the folder paths that are used in the new computer are different. But luckily, this is very easy done in Visual Installer. In the tip below we show how to do this.

How to change source folder paths for a group of files

1. Start Visual Installer and open your Visual Installer project file (.VIP file).
2. Open the List – Replace – Replace source folders menu item (see picture below).

List - Replace - Replace source folders

3. Enter the existing folder path and the new folder path in the dialog box that is shown.

Search and replace source folder

4. Click OK in the dialog box to do the replace operation.

Now every folder path that match the criteria will be updated in the file list.

To make sure that folder paths are correct spelled and really exists on the drive, you can hit the F5 button. If the folders do not exists, Visual Installer will show a warning message and show which files in the file list that have wrong folder paths.

See also
> How to view source paths in the file list in Visual Installer

How to make sure that a shortcut (icon) is created for all Windows accounts

In Visual Installer you can choose whether you want to add shortcuts (icons) for the Windows account that is used to install your files, or for all Windows accounts in the computer.

Mostly the Windows account that is used for installation is the same as the Windows account that is used to run the software or access the files. But this is not always the case. If different Windows accounts are used for installation and for daily use, you might end in a situation where there is no shortcut (icon) to access your software or files.

To prevent that this situation occurs, you can open the Program group / menu dialog box (via the List menu) in Visual Installer, and make sure that the Create program group / menu for all users option is selected in the dialog box. If not, you can select this option.

Program group / Menu

Now your shortcuts (icons) will be accessible for all users (all Windows accounts) in the computer. This affects also desktop shortcuts and other types of shortcuts.

How to write-protect a file after installation

Sometimes it is necessary to write-protect a file after it has been installed on a hard drive. If you use Visual Installer to install your files, this is very easy done if you follow these steps:

1. Open your project file or create a new one.
2. In the File list tab, select the file that you want to write-protect.
3. Choose the List – File copy options menu item.
4. Select the Turn on write protection option:

The 'Copy Options' dialog box (1)

5. Click OK.

If you want to be able to update the write-protected file during a future update, you can also select the Replace also write protected file option:

The 'Copy Options' dialog box (2)

Now when you install your files, the file that you selected at step 2 above, will be write-protected after the installation. You can check that this really works as expected by right-clicking on the file in Windows Explorer and thereafter choosing the Properties menu item in the local menu that is shown. In the General tab in the Properties dialog box, the Read-only check box should be checked (as shown in the picture below):

The 'Properties' dialog box

See also
> How to set file copy options in Visual Installer
> The ‘Inst’ column in the ‘File list’ tab in Visual Installer

How to remember installation date

When you install a software it can sometimes be useful to remember the installation date. In Visual Installer you can do it by using the %DATE variable, which retrieves the current date from the system during an installation. The contents of the %DATE variable can then be stored in the Registry or in an INI file.

If you want to store the current date in the Registry during the installation, you can enter a line like this in Visual Installer’s Registry tab:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MyCompany\MySoftware :: InstallationDate=”%DATE

See also the picture below (the screen dump is from the Registry tab):

The 'Registry' tab in Visual Installer

The %DATE variable will be replaced with the current date when your files are installed in the end user’s computer. The picture below shows how it may look like:

The Windows Registry

See also
> Variables in Visual Installer

Visual Installer: Does SETPERM change folder permissions also for sub folders?

With the SETPERM script command in Visual Installer’s script language you can change permissions for a folder on the user’s hard disk during an installation. But what happen with the sub folders? Are the folder permissions inherited?

Yes. They are normally. But if you really want to be sure that all sub folders have the same permission settings as the main folder, you can set the permissions for them separately. For example like this:


With this method you can also give a sub folder another folder permissions than the main folders. For example like:


See also
> How to give a standard user write permission to a folder in Program Files
> Visual Installer’s Scripting Language