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Controlling preferences


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I understand one can use .mcf files for deployment but what want to lock down certain preferences for the users on an ongoing basis. Also when I decide to make changes it would be nice if I could add a few lines that will update everyone’s preferences the next time it loads. My idea has been to fire ME at startup and use the command line option to launch the same file every time the user logs in. Now I wish to make sure some, but not all, preferences remain the same. My idea was to have a startup macro check that all the settings I care about are set correctly and make changes if necessary but I was wondering if there was a better way. Like if some stripped down mcf containing only a subset of settings could be used in some way.

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There are several things you can do.


Have a macro set the preferences.

You can have a macro that runs whenever Macro Express starts up or whenever the macro file is loaded. The macro could set the preferences you want. The preferences are stored in the registry in either HKLM or HKCU, depending on the permissions the user has and the 'All Users Use Same Setting' preference. A macro can determine where the preferences are using the Set Variable %T1% to "Preferences Registry Key" command access via the Variable Set from Misc command dialog. The macro can use the Write Registry commands to set the preferences in the registry. Once the macro has set the preferences the way you want them, you need to use the Reload Macro Express Preferences command to tell Macro Express to load them.


Export Program Configuration

When you get the preferences set the way you want them you can export them to an .mcf file. I recommend that you name it defprefs.mcf. You can use the defprefs.mcf file in several ways.



You can use it when Macro Express is installed using the CONFIGFILEPATH advanced option. This, however, sets the preferences for the person installing Macro Express.



You can set the preferences for other people logging in to a particular computer by copying defprefs.mcf to the same folder where Macro Express is installed. To do this, you simply put the Macro Express setup file and defprefs in the same folder and install from there.


Command Line

You can have Macro Express load in the preferences each time it starts by adding the /IC command line option to the shortcut that starts Macro Express.


Browse Mode

Once you set the preferences a certain way, you can prevent others from changing them by loading Macro Express in Browse Mode. To do this you need to set the /B command line option. Browse mode also prevents the user from editing macros. (Look in the Macro Express help for details.) We recently added the ability to set the command line parameters as part of the preferences. (I'm not sure if the command line preference setting is saved when you export the program configuration.)


Player Only

If you want to lock things down further, you could install Macro Express without the Editor using the NOEDITOR Advanced Installation option.



You can read more about these techniques in the Macro Express help file and the Macro Express Knowledgebase. Here are some articles of interest:


Set Specific Preferences

Setup/Installation issues


You should also refer to the Advanced Installation and Command Line Parameter topics in the Macro Express help.

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I think I have known about most of these but it was good to see a nice list like this. I started a preferences macro but now I’m wondering if one of these other approaches might be better. I mean if I lock it down they should never be able to change it so I shouldn’t need to check every time and if I want to distribute a change I can just do a one time startup macro for that. Many thinks for all the material, this will make it real easy for me to consider.

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