How to associate .PDE files with Arduino/Processing [SOLUTION]

I'm posting this for the benefit of those who are Googling "How to associate .PDE files with arduino" or "How to associate .PDE files with processing." Please note, the fix is contained in this keep reading!

I don't know how the developers of the Arduino development environment (also called Processing <- The world's worst name for a development environment...makes Googling for help completely impossible) have managed to screw this up for the last 5 versions of their software, but they have....

When you download a new version (ie 0021) from here: and unzip everything in a folder... your first thought is (or at least mine is) where's the installer? No setup.exe to run? Nope. This was written by people who are not native Windows users and therefore do not follow Windows conventions.

So you click on the only executable in the root folder "Arduino.exe" It opens up just fine... so you think to yourself, "Ok, that was easy enough. Now it's done the file associations and I can open the .PDE file in my project folder." So you double-click your .PDE file...and it opens your old version of Arduino. WTF!?!

Fine, so I'll right click the .PDE and select "Open With..." and choose the "new" Arduino.exe. So you do that...again, it opens the old version.

So now you're getting pissed. So you might open the registry and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.pde and find that it calls HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Processing.Document in which you drill all the way down and find that same pesky reference to your OLD Arduino you edit it to read your new folder\Arduio.exe "%1". But AGAIN, it opens the WRONG version of Arduino!?!?!

So now you're really pissed. So you rename your old .executable to arduino.old. So you double-click on the .PDE file AGAIN and are now prompted to select the program. So you browse to your new arduino folder and select arduino.exe. What is now selected is "Java Platform SE Binary" whatever that means...but who cares, as long as it opens with the right version.... but instead... Explorer.exe CRASHES!?!? Ok, now you're about to track down the developers of Arduino and Java and shove their Linux boxes up their.... ok... calm down....their must be a solution.

Here is the SOLUTION: Rename the executable arduino.exe to processing.exe and double-click on it. Then close the window that opened and you can now double-click on your .PDE files. I have no idea why the developers of Arduino/Processing are referencing a non-existant file in their file association call... but you'll notice that the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Processing.Document\Shell\Open|command\{Default} references processing.exe "%1" which hasn't existed in 0018-0021... PLEASE FIX THIS ARDUINO GUYS!

Views: 7551

Comment by Neil Baker on October 15, 2010 at 6:33pm
Check this thread out.

I was beating my head against the wall trying to figure it out. Thanks Happy!

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on October 15, 2010 at 6:47pm
Nice work Happy!

Comment by hoopty on October 17, 2010 at 7:06am
HK is right if you have those entries however those entries are not needed. If they do exist they can be deleted. perhaps that is what is causing others issues.
Comment by Knuckles904 on October 21, 2010 at 10:13pm
Worked great, Thanks!
Comment by Stijn van Iersel on June 8, 2012 at 4:29pm

Thanks man! it worked for us


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