Launch Services Reference

Framework
ApplicationServices/ApplicationServices.h
Companion guide
Declared in
LSInfo.h
LSOpen.h

Overview

OS X Launch Services is an API that enables a running application to open other applications or their document files in a way similar to the Finder or the Dock. Using Launch Services, an application can perform such tasks as:

Although most of these services are normally performed by the Finder, other applications may also find them useful for purposes such as opening email attachments, following URLs embedded in a document, running helper applications, or opening embedded document components that were created by another application or require it for viewing or editing.

Many of Launch Services’ capabilities were formerly provided by the Desktop Manager. With the advent of Mac app bundles, however, the Desktop Manager has lost its usefulness, since it is not knowledgeable about bundled applications and simply ignores them. Similarly, Launch Services’ facilities for dealing with URLs were formerly implemented through the Internet Config API. Launch Services replaces and supersedes the Desktop Manager and Internet Config with a new API providing similar functionality, but designed to operate properly in the OS X environment.

Launch Services was created specifically to avoid the common need for applications to ask the Finder to open an application, document, or URL for them. In the past, opening such items in a way similar to the Finder required knowledge of several APIs, including the Desktop Manager, File Manager, Translation Manager, Internet Config, Process Manager, and Apple Event Manager. The Finder also had implicit knowledge of the desktop database and other information not available elsewhere for determining the correct application with which to open a given document.

Launch Services removes this specialized knowledge from the Finder and isolates it in a single, straightforward API available to any application. The OS X Finder itself uses Launch Services to open applications, documents, and URLs at the user’s request. Since the Finder does no additional processing beyond calling Launch Services, any client using Launch Services for these purposes is guaranteed to behave identically to the Finder itself.

Before reading this document, you should be familiar with the related document, Launch Services Programming Guide, which presents a conceptual overview of Launch Services and its operations.

Functions by Task

This section describes the functions defined in the Launch Services API.

Locating an Application

The functions described in this section locate the preferred application for opening a given item or family of items or the application matching a given set of defining characteristics, or test whether an application can open a designated item.

Opening Items

The functions described in this section open a designated item or collection of items, or launch or activate a designated application.

Obtaining Information About an Item

The functions described in this section obtain requested information about an item.

Getting and Setting Filename Extension Information

The functions described in this section obtain information about an item’s filename extension, or control whether the extension should be hidden or shown on the screen.

Registering an Application

The functions described in this section register an application in the Launch Services database.

Working With Role Handlers

The functions described in this section get and set application bundle identifiers for handlers of specified content types and URL schemes.

Functions No Longer Used

The functions described in this section are no longer used.

Functions

LSCanRefAcceptItem

Tests whether an application can accept (open) an item designated by file-system reference.

OSStatus LSCanRefAcceptItem (
   const FSRef *inItemFSRef,
   const FSRef *inTargetRef,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   LSAcceptanceFlags inFlags,
   Boolean *outAcceptsItem
);
Parameters
inItemFSRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the source item (the item to test for acceptance by the target application); see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inTargetFSRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the target application; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the target application’s desired role or roles with respect to the source item; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

inFlags

Flags specifying behavior to observe during the acceptance test; see “Acceptance Flags” for a description of these flags.

outAcceptsItem

A pointer to a Boolean value that, on return, will indicate whether the target application can accept the source item with at least one of the specified roles.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCanURLAcceptURL

Tests whether an application can accept (open) an item designated by URL.

OSStatus LSCanURLAcceptURL (
   CFURLRef inItemURL,
   CFURLRef inTargetURL,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   LSAcceptanceFlags inFlags,
   Boolean *outAcceptsItem
);
Parameters
inItemURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the source item (the item to test for acceptance by the target application); see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type.

inTargetURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the target application; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to an application file or application bundle.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the target application’s desired role or roles with respect to the source item; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. This parameter applies only to URLs with a scheme component of file, and is ignored for all other schemes. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

inFlags

Flags specifying behavior to observe during the acceptance test; see “Acceptance Flags” for a description of these flags.

outAcceptsItem

A pointer to a Boolean value that, on return, will indicate whether the target application can accept the source item with at least one of the specified roles.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the acceptance test is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature, along with the role specified by the inRolesMask parameter; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto).

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyAllHandlersForURLScheme

Returns an array of application bundle identifiers for applications capable of handling the specified URL scheme.

CFArrayRef LSCopyAllHandlersForURLScheme (
   CFStringRef inURLScheme
);
Parameters
inURLScheme

The URL scheme for which the application bundle identifiers are to be returned.

Return Value

An array containing the application bundle identifiers for applications capable of handling the URL scheme specified by inURLScheme, or NULL if no handlers are available.

Discussion

This function returns all of the application bundle identifiers that are capable of handling the specified URL scheme.

URL handling capability is determined according to the value of the CFBundleURLTypes key in an application’s Info.plist. For information on the CFBundleURLTypes key, see the section “CFBundleURLTypes” in OS X Runtime Configuration Guidelines.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyAllRoleHandlersForContentType

Returns an array of application bundle identifiers for applications capable of handling a specified content type with the specified roles.

CFArrayRef LSCopyAllRoleHandlersForContentType (
   CFStringRef inContentType,
   LSRolesMask inRole
);
Parameters
inContentType

The content type. The content type is a uniform type identifier (UTI).

inRole

The role. Pass kLSRolesAll if any role is acceptable. For additional possible values, see “Roles Mask.”

Return Value

The application bundle identifiers for applications capable of handling the specified content type in the specified roles, or NULL if no handlers are available.

Discussion

This function returns all of the application bundle identifiers that are capable of handling the specified content type in the specified roles.

The CFBundleDocumentTypes key in an application’s Info.plist can be used to set an application’s content handling capabilities. The LSItemContentTypes key is particularly useful because it supports the use of UTIs in document claims. For information on the CFBundleDocumentTypes key, see the section “CFBundleDocumentTypes” in OS X Runtime Configuration Guidelines.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyApplicationForMIMEType

Locates the preferred application for opening items with a specified MIME type.

OSStatus LSCopyApplicationForMIMEType (
   CFStringRef inMIMEType,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   CFURLRef *outAppURL
);
Parameters
inMIMEType

A Core Foundation string object specifying the MIME type to consider; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. Comparison of MIME types is case-insensitive.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the application’s desired role or roles with respect to items with the specified MIME type; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

outAppURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the preferred application for items with the specified MIME type; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. You are responsible for releasing the URL reference object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” If no application suitable for opening items with the specified MIME type is found in the Launch Services database, the function will return the result code kLSApplicationNotFoundErr.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyApplicationURLsForURL

Locates all known applications suitable for opening an item designated by URL.

CFArrayRef LSCopyApplicationURLsForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask
);
Parameters
inURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item for which all suitable applications are requested; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the applications’ desired role or roles with respect to the designated item; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. This parameter applies only to URLs with a scheme component of file, and is ignored for all other schemes. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

Return Value

An array of Core Foundation URL references, one for each application that can open the designated item with at least one of the specified roles. You are responsible for releasing the array object. If no suitable applications are found in the Launch Services database, the function will return NULL

Discussion

If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the selection of suitable applications is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature, along with the role specified by the inRolesMask parameter; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto).

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.3.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.3 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyDefaultHandlerForURLScheme

Returns the application bundle identifier of the user’s preferred default handler for the specified URL scheme.

CFStringRef LSCopyDefaultHandlerForURLScheme (
   CFStringRef inURLScheme
);
Parameters
inURLScheme

The URL scheme for which the application bundle identifier is to be returned.

Return Value

The application bundle identifier of the specified URL scheme.

Discussion

This function returns the user’s currently preferred default handler for the specified URL scheme.

URL handling capability is determined according to the value of the CFBundleURLTypes key in an application’s Info.plist. For information on the CFBundleURLTypes key, see the section “CFBundleURLTypes” in OS X Runtime Configuration Guidelines.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType

Returns the application bundle identifier of the user’s preferred default handler for the specified content type with the specified role.

CFStringRef LSCopyDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType (
   CFStringRef inContentType,
   LSRolesMask inRole
);
Parameters
inContentType

The content type. The content type is a uniform type identifier (UTI).

inRole

The role. Pass kLSRolesAll if any role is acceptable. For additional possible values, see “Roles Mask.”

Return Value

The application bundle identifier of the default handler for the specified content type in the specified roles, or NULL if no handler is available.

Discussion

This function returns the user’s currently preferred default handler for the specified content type. Say, for example, that LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType has been used to set “com.Apple.TextEdit” for the “public.xml” content type. When a file whose content type is “public.xml” is double-clicked, TextEdit will be launched to open the file. If you call LSCopyDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType (CFSTR("public.xml"), kLSRolesAll), the string com.apple.TextEdit is returned.

The CFBundleDocumentTypes key in an application’s Info.plist can be used to set an application’s content handling capabilities. The LSItemContentTypes key is particularly useful because it supports the use of UTIs in document claims. For information on the CFBundleDocumentTypes key, see the section “CFBundleDocumentTypes” in OS X Runtime Configuration Guidelines.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyDisplayNameForRef

Obtains the display name for an item designated by file-system reference.

OSStatus LSCopyDisplayNameForRef (
   const FSRef *inRef,
   CFStringRef *outDisplayName
);
Parameters
inRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item whose display name is requested; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

outDisplayName

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the item’s display name; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The item’s display name is returned in the form in which it will appear on the user’s screen; it may be localized (for applications and folders), and it excludes the filename extension if the extension is set to be hidden and the Finder preference to always show extensions is not enabled.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.1 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyDisplayNameForURL

Obtains the display name for an item designated by URL.

OSStatus LSCopyDisplayNameForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   CFStringRef *outDisplayName
);
Parameters
inFileURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item whose display name is requested; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to either a file or a directory.

outDisplayName

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the item’s display name; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The item’s display name is returned in the form in which it will appear on the user’s screen; it may be localized (for applications and folders), and it excludes the filename extension if the extension is set to be hidden and the Finder preference to always show extensions is not enabled.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.1 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyItemAttribute

Obtains the value of an item’s attribute.

OSStatus LSCopyItemAttribute (
   const FSRef *inItem,
   LSRolesMask inRoles,
   CFStringRef inAttributeName,
   CFTypeRef *outValue
);
Parameters
inItem

The FSRef of the item to query.

inRoles

The roles. When obtaining attributes related to document binding (such as kLSItemRoleHandlerDisplayName), at least one of the roles must be provided by the application selected. Pass kLSRolesAll if any role is acceptable.

inAttributeName

The name of the attribute to copy. For possible values, see “Item Attribute Constants.”

outValue

A pointer to a CFTypeRef. On return, the CFTypeRef is set to the copied attribute value (a CF object), or is NULL if an error occurs. The type of the returned object varies depending on the attribute that is requested.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyItemAttributes

Obtains multiple item attribute values as a dictionary.

OSStatus LSCopyItemAttributes (
   const FSRef *inItem,
   LSRolesMask inRoles,
   CFArrayRef inAttributeNames,
   CFDictionaryRef *outValues
);
Parameters
inItem

The FSRef of the item to query.

inRoles

The roles. When obtaining attributes related to document binding (such as kLSItemRoleHandlerDisplayName), at least one of the roles must be provided by the application selected. Pass kLSRolesAll if any role is acceptable.

inAttributeNames

A CFArrayRef for an array containing the attribute names to copy. For possible values, see “Item Attribute Constants.”

outValues

On return, a pointer a CFDictionaryRef for a dictionary whose keys are the attribute names specified by the inAttributeNames parameter and whose values are the attribute’s values. The CFTypeID of each value in the dictionary varies by attribute. See “Item Attribute Constants” for the data type of each value. If the item does not have a specified attribute, the key for the attribute is not in the dictionary.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyItemInfoForRef

Obtains requested information about an item designated by file-system reference.

OSStatus LSCopyItemInfoForRef (
   const FSRef *inItemRef,
   LSRequestedInfo inWhichInfo,
   LSItemInfoRecord *outItemInfo
);
Parameters
inItemRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item about which information is requested; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inWhichInfo

Flags specifying what information to obtain; see “Requested-Information Flags” for a description of these flags.

outItemInfo

A pointer to an item-information record that, on return, will contain the requested information; see LSItemInfoRecord for a description of this structure.

If you request the item’s filename extension (field extension of the item-information record, requested by flag kLSRequestExtension), you are responsible for releasing the Core Foundation string object in which the extension is returned.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The information obtained about an item can include its filename extension, file type, creator signature, and various item-information flags (indicating, for example, whether the item is an application, or whether it has a hidden extension); see “Item-Information Flags” for a description of these flags.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyItemInfoForURL

Obtains requested information about an item designated by URL.

OSStatus LSCopyItemInfoForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   LSRequestedInfo inWhichInfo,
   LSItemInfoRecord *outItemInfo
);
Parameters
inFileURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item about which information is requested; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to either a file or a directory.

inWhichInfo

Flags specifying what information to obtain; see “Requested-Information Flags” for a description of these flags.

outItemInfo

A pointer to an item-information record that, on return, will contain the requested information; see LSItemInfoRecord for a description of this structure.

If you request the item’s filename extension (field extension of the item-information record, requested by flag kLSRequestExtension), you are responsible for releasing the Core Foundation string object in which the extension is returned.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The information obtained about an item can include its filename extension, file type, creator signature, and various item-information flags (indicating, for example, whether the item is an application, or whether it has a hidden extension); see “Item-Information Flags” for a description of these flags.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyKindStringForMIMEType

Obtains the kind string for a specified MIME type.

OSStatus LSCopyKindStringForMIMEType (
   CFStringRef inMIMEType,
   CFStringRef *outKindString
);
Parameters
inMIMEType

A Core Foundation string object specifying the MIME type whose kind string is requested; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. Comparison of MIME types is case-insensitive.

outKindString

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the kind string for the specified MIME type; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The kind string (which may be localized) is obtained from the preferred application for opening items of the specified the MIME type, if one is found in the Launch Services database; otherwise, a more generic kind string is chosen.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyKindStringForRef

Obtains the kind string for an item designated by file-system reference.

OSStatus LSCopyKindStringForRef (
   const FSRef *inFSRef,
   CFStringRef *outKindString
);
Parameters
inFSRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item whose kind string is requested; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

outKindString

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the item’s kind string; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The kind string (which may be localized) is obtained from the item’s preferred application, if one is found in the Launch Services database; otherwise, a more generic kind string is chosen. For example, the kind string might be FrameMaker Document, or just Document if the item is a document for which no application is found.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyKindStringForTypeInfo

Obtains a kind string for items with a specified file type, creator signature, filename extension, or any combination of these characteristics.

OSStatus LSCopyKindStringForTypeInfo (
   OSType inType,
   OSType inCreator,
   CFStringRef inExtension,
   CFStringRef *outKindString
);
Parameters
inType

The file type to consider. Comparison of file types is case-sensitive. Pass kLSUnknownType if the items’ file type is unimportant.

inCreator

The creator signature to consider. Comparison of creator signatures is case-sensitive. Pass kLSUnknownCreator if the items’ creator signature is unimportant.

Note: In OS X version 10.6 and later, the inCreator parameter is ignored.

inExtension

A Core Foundation string object specifying the filename extension to consider; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. Comparison of filename extensions is case-insensitive. Pass NULL if the items’ filename extension is unimportant.

outKindString

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the requested kind string; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function obtains the kind string that most closely describes items having the specified characteristics. It is useful when you want to display the kind string for a document you do not yet have (such as an email attachment).

You can request any combination of one, two, or all three of the characteristics specified by the inType, inCreator, and inExtension parameters; at least one of these characteristics must be supplied. The kind string (which may be localized) is obtained from the preferred application for opening such items, if one is found in the Launch Services database; otherwise, a more generic kind string is chosen. For example, the kind string might be FrameMaker Document, or just Document if no suitable application is found.

Note that since the choice of a preferred application is subject to any document binding preferences the user may have set, the kind string will not necessarily be obtained from the default application that matches the specified creator signature (if any), but may instead be taken from a user-specified application that overrides the default. For example, if the user has specified that files of type 'PDF ' and creator 'ACRO' should be opened in the Preview application rather than in Acrobat, the kind string for this combination of characteristics will be that defined for 'PDF ' files by Preview and not by Acrobat.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSCopyKindStringForURL

Obtains the kind string for an item designated by URL.

OSStatus LSCopyKindStringForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   CFStringRef *outKindString
);
Parameters
inURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item whose kind string is requested; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type.

outKindString

A pointer to a Core Foundation string object that, on return, will contain the item’s kind string; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. You are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The kind string (which may be localized) is obtained from the item’s preferred application, if one is found in the Launch Services database; otherwise, a more generic kind string is chosen. For example, the kind string might be FrameMaker Document, or just Document if the item is a document for which no application is found. If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the selection of the preferred application is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto).

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSFindApplicationForInfo

Locates an application with a specified creator signature, bundle ID, filename, or any combination of these characteristics.

OSStatus LSFindApplicationForInfo (
   OSType inCreator,
   CFStringRef inBundleID,
   CFStringRef inName,
   FSRef *outAppRef,
   CFURLRef *outAppURL
);
Parameters
inCreator

The creator signature to consider. Comparison of creator signatures is case-sensitive. Pass kLSUnknownCreator if the application’s creator signature is unimportant.

inBundleID

A Core Foundation string object specifying the bundle ID to consider; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. Comparison of bundle IDs is case-insensitive. Pass NULL if the application’s bundle ID is unimportant.

inName

A Core Foundation string object specifying the filename to consider; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. The string must include any extension (such as '.app') that is part of the filename. Comparison of filenames is case-insensitive. Pass NULL if the application’s filename is unimportant.

outAppRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the requested application; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppURL cannot both be NULL.

outAppURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the requested application; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppRef cannot both be NULL.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” If no suitable application is found in the Launch Services database, the function will return the result code kLSApplicationNotFoundErr.

Discussion

You can request any combination of one, two, or all three of the characteristics specified by the inCreator, inBundleID, and inName parameters; at least one of these characteristics must be supplied. If more than one application is found matching the specified characteristics, Launch Services chooses one in the same manner as when locating the preferred application for opening an item.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSGetApplicationForInfo

Locates the preferred application for opening items with a specified file type, creator signature, filename extension, or any combination of these characteristics.

OSStatus LSGetApplicationForInfo (
   OSType inType,
   OSType inCreator,
   CFStringRef inExtension,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   FSRef *outAppRef,
   CFURLRef *outAppURL
);
Parameters
inType

The file type to consider. Comparison of file types is case-sensitive. Pass kLSUnknownType if the items’ file type is unimportant.

inCreator

The creator signature to consider. Comparison of creator signatures is case-sensitive. Pass kLSUnknownCreator if the items’ creator signature is unimportant.

Note: In OS X version 10.6 and later, the inCreator parameter is ignored.

inExtension

A Core Foundation string object specifying the filename extension to consider; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type. Comparison of filename extensions is case-insensitive. Pass NULL if the items’ filename extension is unimportant.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the application’s desired role or roles with respect to items with the specified characteristics; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

outAppRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the preferred application for opening items with the specified characteristics; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppURL cannot both be NULL.

outAppURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the preferred application for items with the specified characteristics; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppRef cannot both be NULL.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” If no application suitable for opening items with the specified characteristics is found in the Launch Services database, the function will return the result code kLSApplicationNotFoundErr.

Discussion

You can request any combination of one, two, or all three of the characteristics specified by the inType, inCreator, and inExtension parameters; at least one of these characteristics must be supplied. Note that since the choice of a preferred application is subject to any document binding preferences the user may have set, the application chosen will not necessarily be the default application that matches the input characteristics, but may instead be a user-specified application that overrides the default.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSGetApplicationForItem

Locates the preferred application for opening an item designated by file-system reference.

OSStatus LSGetApplicationForItem (
   const FSRef *inItemRef,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   FSRef *outAppRef,
   CFURLRef *outAppURL
);
Parameters
inItemRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item whose preferred application is requested; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the application’s desired role or roles with respect to the designated item; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

outAppRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the item’s preferred application; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppURL cannot both be NULL.

outAppURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the item’s preferred application; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppRef cannot both be NULL.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” If no application suitable for opening the item is found in the Launch Services database, the function will return the result code kLSApplicationNotFoundErr.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSGetApplicationForURL

Locates the preferred application for opening an item designated by URL.

OSStatus LSGetApplicationForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   LSRolesMask inRoleMask,
   FSRef *outAppRef,
   CFURLRef *outAppURL
);
Parameters
inURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item whose preferred application is requested; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type.

inRolesMask

A bit mask specifying the application’s desired role or roles with respect to the designated item; see “Roles Mask” for a description of this mask. This parameter applies only to URLs with a scheme component of file, and is ignored for all other schemes. If the role is unimportant, pass kLSRolesAll.

outAppRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the item’s preferred application; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppURL cannot both be NULL.

outAppURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the item’s preferred application; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. Pass NULL if you are not interested in identifying the preferred application in this form; however, this parameter and outAppRef cannot both be NULL.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” If no application suitable for opening the item is found in the Launch Services database, the function will return the result code kLSApplicationNotFoundErr.

Discussion

If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the selection of the preferred application is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature, along with the role specified by the inRolesMask parameter; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto).

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSGetExtensionInfo

Obtains the starting index of the extension within a filename.

OSStatus LSGetExtensionInfo (
   UniCharCount inNameLen,
   const UniChar inNameBuffer[],
   UniCharCount *outExtStartIndex
);
Parameters
inNameLen

The number of characters in the filename specified by the inNameBuffer parameter.

inNameBuffer

The buffer containing the filename’s Unicode characters.

outExtStartIndex

A pointer to a value of type UniCharCount that, on return, will give the starting index of the extension within the filename. If the name does not contain a valid extension (one with no spaces in it), the value on return will be kLSInvalidExtensionIndex.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The starting index is the number of Unicode characters from the start of the filename buffer to the first character of the extension (not including the period).

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.1 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSGetHandlerOptionsForContentType

Gets the handler options for the specified content type.

LSHandlerOptions LSGetHandlerOptionsForContentType (
   CFStringRef inContentType
);
Parameters
inContentType

The content type for which the handler options are to be obtained. The content type is a uniform type identifier (UTI).

Return Value

The handler option that is set for the specified content type. For possible values, see “Handler Option Constants.”

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSOpenApplication

Launches the specified application.

OSStatus LSOpenApplication (
   const LSApplicationParameters *appParams,
   ProcessSerialNumber *outPSN
);
Parameters
inAppParams

A LSApplicationParameters structure specifying the application to launch and its launch parameters. This parameter cannot be NULL.

outPSN

On input, a pointer to a value of type ProcessSerialNumber that, on return, contains the process serial number (PSN) of the application specified by inAppParams, or NULL if you don’t want to receive the PSN.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The LSOpenApplication launches one application. This function is an updated alternative to the Process Manager's LaunchApplication function. Launch arguments are specified in the inAppParams argument, which must be supplied. If the application is already running in the current session, it is made the front process (unless the kLSLaunchNewInstance flag is used, which always causes a new process to be created).

If outPSN is not NULL, on return, the structure it points to contains the PSN of the launched (or activated) process. Note that for asynchronous launches, the application may not have finished launching when this function returns.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenCFURLRef

Opens an item designated by URL, in the default manner in its preferred application.

OSStatus LSOpenCFURLRef (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   CFURLRef *outLaunchedURL
);
Parameters
inURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item to open; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type.

outLaunchedURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the application launched. Pass NULL if this information is unimportant.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The designated item is opened in the default manner, as if it had been opened with the LSOpenFromURLSpec function with a launch specification specifying the launch flag kLSLaunchDefaults: that is, asynchronously, starting the Classic emulation environment if necessary, and with the remaining launch parameters taken from the application’s information property list. For greater control, call LSOpenFromURLSpec directly. See “Launch Flags” for more information about launch flags.

If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the selection of the preferred application is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto). The application is launched or activated, as required, and sent an appropriate Apple event depending on the circumstances:

  • If the URL’s scheme is file and it designates a document, the document’s preferred application is launched (or activated if it is already running).

    • If the application claims to accept file URLs, it is sent a 'GURL' (“get URL”) Apple event containing the item’s URL.

    • If the application does not claim to accept file URLs, it is sent an 'odoc' (“open document”) Apple event identifying the document to open.

  • If the URL’s scheme is file and it designates an application:

    • If the application is not already running, it is launched and sent an 'oapp' (“open application”) Apple event.

    • If the application is already running, it is activated and sent an 'rapp' (“reopen application”) Apple event.

  • If the URL has a scheme other than file, the scheme’s preferred application is launched (or activated if it is already running) and sent a 'GURL' (“get URL”) Apple event containing the item’s URL.

As of OS X v10.4 and later, LSOpenURLsWithRole is the preferred way of opening a URL.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenFromRefSpec

Opens one or more items designated by file-system reference, in either their preferred applications or a designated application.

OSStatus LSOpenFromRefSpec (
   const LSLaunchFSRefSpec *inLaunchSpec,
   FSRef *outLaunchedRef
);
Parameters
inLaunchSpec

A pointer to a file-based launch specification indicating what to open and how to launch the relevant application or applications; see LSLaunchFSRefSpec for a description of this structure.

outLaunchedRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the application launched; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Pass NULL if this information is unimportant. If more than one application is launched, the one identified will be the one corresponding to the first item designated in the launch specification.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function affords greater control of how items are opened or applications launched than is possible with the LSOpenFSRef function. For instance, you can use it to open multiple items in a single call, in either the same or different applications; open documents for printing rather than for simple viewing or editing; or force a document to open in an application other than its own preferred application.

The launch specification supplied for the inLaunchSpec parameter may designate an application to launch, items to open, or both. The relevant application or applications are launched or activated, as required, and sent an appropriate Apple event depending on the circumstances:

  • If the launch specification designates both items to open and an application with which to open them, the designated application is used to open all of the items. The application is launched (or activated if it is already running) and sent an 'odoc' (“open document”) Apple event containing the list of items to open; if the items are to be printed, the Apple event is 'pdoc' (“print document”) instead.

  • If the launch specification designates items to open but not an application with which to open them, each item is opened in its own preferred application. Each application is launched or activated and sent an 'odoc' or 'pdoc' Apple event, as described for the preceding case. (If two or more of the items have the same preferred application, the application receives a single 'odoc' or 'pdoc' event listing all of the relevant items.)

  • If the launch specification designates only an application to launch (or if one or more of the items to open are applications):

    • If the application is not already running, it is launched and sent an 'oapp' (“open application”) Apple event.

    • If the application is already running, it is activated and sent an 'rapp' (“reopen application”) Apple event.

As of OS X v10.4 and later, LSOpenItemsWithRole is the preferred way of opening items.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenFromURLSpec

Opens one or more items designated by URL, in either their preferred applications or a designated application.

OSStatus LSOpenFromURLSpec (
   const LSLaunchURLSpec *inLaunchSpec,
   CFURLRef *outLaunchedURL
);
Parameters
inLaunchSpec

A pointer to a URL-based launch specification indicating what to open and how to launch the relevant application or applications; see LSLaunchURLSpec for a description of this structure.

outLaunchedURL

A pointer to a Core Foundation URL reference that, on return, will identify the application launched; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. Pass NULL if this information is unimportant. If more than one application is launched, the one identified will be the one corresponding to the first item designated in the launch specification.

Despite the absence of the word Copy in its name, this function retains the URL reference object on your behalf; you are responsible for releasing this object.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function affords greater control of how items are opened or applications launched than is possible with the LSOpenCFURLRef function. For instance, you can use it to open multiple items in a single call, in either the same or different applications; open documents for printing rather than for simple viewing or editing; or force a document to open in an application other than its own preferred application.

The launch specification supplied for the inLaunchSpec parameter may designate an application to launch, items to open, or both. The relevant application or applications are launched or activated, as required, and sent an appropriate Apple event depending on the circumstances:

  • If the launch specification designates both items to open and an application with which to open them, the designated application is used to open all of the items. The application is launched (or activated if it is already running) and sent one or more Apple events:

    • If one or more of the item URLs have scheme file and designate documents to open, and if the application claims to accept file URLs, it is sent a 'GURL' (“get URL”) Apple event for each such URL.

    • If one or more of the item URLs have scheme file and designate documents to open, and if the application does not claim to accept file URLs, it is sent a single 'odoc' (“open document”) Apple event containing the list of items to open; if the items are to be printed, the Apple event is 'pdoc' (“print document”) instead.

    • For each item URL with a scheme other than file, the application is sent a 'GURL' (“get URL”) Apple event containing the item’s URL.

  • If the launch specification designates items to open but not an application with which to open them, each item is opened in its own preferred application. Each application is launched or activated and sent one or more Apple events, as described for the preceding case. (If two or more of the items have the same preferred application, the application receives a single 'odoc' or 'pdoc' event listing all of the relevant items.)

  • If the launch specification designates only an application to launch (or if one or more of the items to open are file URLs designating applications):

    • If the application is not already running, it is launched and sent an 'oapp' (“open application”) Apple event.

    • If the application is already running, it is activated and sent an 'rapp' (“reopen application”) Apple event.

As of OS X v10.4 and later, LSOpenURLsWithRole is the preferred way of opening URLs.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenFSRef

Opens an item designated by file-system reference, in the default manner in its preferred application.

OSStatus LSOpenFSRef (
   const FSRef *inRef,
   FSRef *outLaunchedRef
);
Parameters
inRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item to open; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

outLaunchedRef

A pointer to a file-system reference that, on return, will identify the application launched. Pass NULL if this information is unimportant.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

The designated item is opened in the default manner, as if it had been opened with the LSOpenFromRefSpec function with a launch specification specifying the launch flag kLSLaunchDefaults: that is, asynchronously, starting the Classic emulation environment if necessary, and with the remaining launch parameters taken from the application’s information property list. For greater control, call LSOpenFromRefSpec directly. See “Launch Flags” for more information about launch flags.

The application is launched or activated, as required, and sent an appropriate Apple event depending on the circumstances:

  • If the item is a document, its preferred application is launched (or activated if it is already running) and sent an 'odoc' (“open document”) Apple event.

  • If the item is an application that is not already running, it is launched and sent an 'oapp' (“open application”) Apple event.

  • If the item is an application that is already running, it is activated and sent an 'rapp' (“reopen application”) Apple event.

As of OS X v10.4 and later, LSOpenItemsWithRole is the preferred way of opening an item.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenItemsWithRole

Opens items specified as an array of values of type FSRef with a specified role.

OSStatus LSOpenItemsWithRole (
   const FSRef *inItems,
   CFIndex inItemCount,
   LSRolesMask inRole,
   const AEKeyDesc *inAEParam,
   const LSApplicationParameters *inAppParams,
   ProcessSerialNumber *outPSNs,
   CFIndex inMaxPSNCount
);
Parameters
inItems

An array of values of type FSRef.

inItemCount

The number of items specified in inItems.

inRole

A value of type LSRolesMask specifying one or more roles. If the role doesn’t matter, use kLSRolesAll. For possible values, see “Roles Mask.” If the inAppParams parameter is not NULL, this parameter is ignored.

inAEParam

An AEKeyDesc that is to be attached to the Apple Event(s) generated by Launch Services with the specified AEKeyword. This parameter can be NULL.

inAppParams

An LSApplicationParameters structure specifying the application to launch and its launch parameters, in which case the inRole parameter is ignored. This parameter can be NULL, in which case an application is selected that can handle each input item in at least one of the roles specified by the inRole parameter.

outPSNs

On input, a pointer to a caller-allocated buffer or NULL if you don’t want to receive process serial number (PSN) information. If not NULL on input, on return, the buffer contains at each index the PSN that was used to open the item at the same index of the input item array (inItems).

inMaxPSNCount

The maximum number of PSNs that the buffer pointed to by outPSNs can hold.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function opens the specified items with the specified role. You can optionally specify the application and launch parameters in the inAppParams parameter. If an application is specified in the inAppParams parameter, the inRole parameter is ignored and the application is launched (if necessary).

Each application (regardless of whether it is launched or already running) receives an 'odoc' Apple Event specifying the items that are to be opened.

If the inItems array contains any applications, this function launches them only if the kLSRolesShell bit is set in the inRoles parameter to indicate that the operating system should use the application itself as the execution shell of the new process.

If not NULL, the outPSNs buffer is filled with the PSN that was used to open each item at the same index of the inItems array. The PSN capacity of the output buffer is specified by inMaxPSNCount.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSOpenURLsWithRole

Opens one or more URLs with the specified roles.

OSStatus LSOpenURLsWithRole (
   CFArrayRef inURLs,
   LSRolesMask inRole,
   const AEKeyDesc *inAEParam,
   const LSApplicationParameters *inAppParams,
   ProcessSerialNumber *outPSNs,
   CFIndex inMaxPSNCount
);
Parameters
inURLs

An array of values of type CFURLRef.

inRole

A value of type LSRolesMask specifying one or more roles. If the role doesn’t matter, use kLSRolesAll. For possible values, see “Roles Mask.” This parameter is ignored if the inAppParams parameter is not NULL.

inAEParam

A value of type AEKeyDesc that is to be attached to the Apple Event(s) generated by Launch Services with the specified AEKeyword. This parameter can be NULL.

inAppParams

An LSApplicationParameters structure specifying the application to launch and its launch parameters, in which case the inRole parameter is ignored. This parameter can be NULL, in which case an application is selected that can handle each input URL in at least one of the roles specified by the inRole parameter.

outPSNs

On input, a pointer to a caller-allocated buffer or NULL if you don’t want to receive process serial number (PSN) information. If not NULL on input, on return, the buffer contains at each index the PSN that was used to open the URL at the same index of the input URL array (inURLs).

inMaxPSNCount

The maximum number of PSNs that the buffer pointed to by outPSNs can hold.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function opens the URLs specified by inURLs with the roles specified by inRole.

Each launched application receives one or more 'GURL' Apple Events specifying the URLs to be opened. You can also pass file URLs, which are interpreted as file system items and opened in the manner of LSOpenItemsWithRole (that is, a handler is selected based on the item’s filesystem metadata).If inURLs contains any application URLs, this function launches them only if the kLSRolesShell bit is set in the inRoles parameter, in which case the application is its own shell.If not NULL, the outPSNs buffer is filled with the process serial numbers that were used to open each URL at the same index of the input URL array specified by the inURLs parameter. The PSN capacity of the output buffer is specified by inMaxPSNCount.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSRegisterFSRef

Registers an application, designated by file-system reference, in the Launch Services database.

OSStatus LSRegisterFSRef (
   const FSRef *inRef,
   Boolean inUpdate
);
Parameters
inRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the application to be registered; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inUpdate

A Boolean value specifying whether Launch Services should update existing information registered for the application, if any. If this parameter is false, the application will not be registered if it has already been registered previously and its current modification date has not changed from when it was last registered; if the parameter is true, the application’s registered information will be updated even if its modification date has not changed.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function adds the designated application and its document and URL claims (if any) to the Launch Services database, making the application a candidate for document and URL binding.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.3.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.3 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSRegisterURL

Registers an application, designated by URL, in the Launch Services database.

OSStatus LSRegisterURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   Boolean inUpdate
);
Parameters
inFileURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the application to be registered; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to an application file or application bundle.

inUpdate

A Boolean value specifying whether Launch Services should update existing information registered for the application, if any. If this parameter is false, the application will not be registered if it has already been registered previously and its current modification date has not changed from when it was last registered; if the parameter is true, the application’s registered information will be updated even if its modification date has not changed.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

This function adds the designated application and its document and URL claims (if any) to the Launch Services database, making the application a candidate for document and URL binding.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.3.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.3 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSSetDefaultHandlerForURLScheme

Sets the user’s preferred default handler for the specified URL scheme.

OSStatus LSSetDefaultHandlerForURLScheme (
   CFStringRef inURLScheme,
   CFStringRef inHandlerBundleID
);
Parameters
inURLScheme

The URL scheme for which the handler is to be set.

inHandlerBundleID

The application bundle identifier that is to be set as the handler for the URL scheme specified by inURLScheme.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

Call LSCopyDefaultHandlerForURLScheme to get the current setting of the user’s preferred default handler for a specified content type.

URL handling capability is determined according to the value of the CFBundleURLTypes key in an application’s Info.plist. For information on the CFBundleURLTypes key, see the section “CFBundleURLTypes” in OS X Runtime Configuration Guidelines.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType

Sets the user’s preferred default handler for the specified content type in the specified roles.

OSStatus LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType (
   CFStringRef inContentType,
   LSRolesMask inRole,
   CFStringRef inHandlerBundleID
);
Parameters
inContentType

The content type for which the default role handler is being set. The content type is a uniform type identifier (UTI).

inRole

The roles for which the default role handler is being set. Pass kLSRolesAll to specify all roles. For additional possible values, see “Roles Mask.”

inHandlerBundleID

The application bundle identifier that is to be set as the default handler for the specified content type and roles.

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Discussion

Call LSCopyDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType to get the current setting of the user’s preferred default handler for a specified content type.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSSetExtensionHiddenForRef

Specifies whether the filename extension for an item designated by file-system reference should be hidden or shown.

OSStatus LSSetExtensionHiddenForRef (
   const FSRef *inRef,
   Boolean inHide
);
Parameters
inRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the item whose filename extension is to be hidden or shown; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type.

inHide

A Boolean value specifying whether the filename extension should be hidden (true) or shown (false).

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” The function will return the result code kLSCannotSetInfoErr if:

  • The extension is not valid (contains spaces)

  • The extension is not active (is not claimed by an application registered with Launch Services)

  • Hiding the extension would make the filename appear to have an active but incorrect extension (for example, in the filename Photo.jpeg.scpt, where hiding the extension would make an AppleScript file appear to be a JPEG file)

Discussion

This function sets the necessary file-system state controlling whether the filename extension should be hidden in the display name of the item designated by the inRef parameter. To determine whether an item’s extension is currently hidden, you can use the LSCopyItemInfoForRef function.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.1 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSSetExtensionHiddenForURL

Specifies whether the filename extension for an item designated by URL should be hidden or shown.

OSStatus LSSetExtensionHiddenForURL (
   CFURLRef inURL,
   Boolean inHide
);
Parameters
inFileURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the item whose filename extension is to be hidden or shown; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to either a file or a directory.

inHide

A Boolean value specifying whether the extension should be hidden (true) or shown (false).

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.” The function will return the result code kLSCannotSetInfoErr if:

  • The extension is not valid (contains spaces)

  • The extension is not active (is not claimed by an application registered with Launch Services)

  • Hiding the extension would make the filename appear to have an active but incorrect extension (for example, in the filename Photo.jpeg.scpt, where hiding the extension would make an AppleScript file appear to be a JPEG file)

Discussion

This function sets the necessary file-system state controlling whether the filename extension should be hidden in the display name of the item designated by the inFileURL parameter. To determine whether an item’s extension is currently hidden, you can use the LSCopyItemInfoForURL function.

Version Notes

Thread-safe since Mac OS version 10.2.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.1 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSSetHandlerOptionsForContentType

Sets the handler option for the specified content type.

OSStatus LSSetHandlerOptionsForContentType (
   CFStringRef inContentType,
   LSHandlerOptions inOptions
);
Parameters
inContentType

The content type for which the handler options are to be set. The content type is a uniform type identifier (UTI).

inOptions

The handler options to set. For possible values, see “Handler Option Constants.”

Return Value

A result code; see “Launch Services Result Codes.”

Version Notes

Thread-safe since OS X v10.4.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

Data Types

This section describes the data types defined in the Launch Services API.

LSApplicationParameters

Specifies the application, launch flags, and additional parameters that control how an application is launched.

struct LSApplicationParameters {
   CFIndex version;
   LSLaunchFlags flags;
   const FSRef * application;
   void * asyncLaunchRefCon;
   CFDictionaryRef environment;
   CFArrayRef argv;
   AppleEvent * initialEvent
};
typedef struct LSApplicationParameters LSApplicationParameters;
Fields
version

The version of the structure. The value of this field must be 0.

flags

Launch flags. For possible values, see “Launch Flags.”

application

The FSRef of the application to open.

asyncLaunchRefCon

The client refCon that is to appear in subsequent launch notifications.

environment

A dictionary of CFStringRef keys and values for environment variables to set in the launched process. The value of this field can be NULL.

argv

An array of values of type CFStringRef that specify the arguments that are to be passed to main() in the launched process. The value of this field can be NULL. This field is ignored in OS X v10.4.

initialEvent

The first Apple Event to send to the launched process. The value of this field can be NULL.

Discussion

This structure is passed as a parameter to LSOpenApplication, LSOpenItemsWithRole, and LSOpenURLsWithRole.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSLaunchFSRefSpec

Specifies, by file-system reference, an application to launch, items to open, or both, along with related information.

struct LSLaunchFSRefSpec {
   const FSRef *appRef;
   UInt32 numDocs;
   const FSRef *itemRefs;
   const AEDesc *passThruParams;
   LSLaunchFlags launchFlags;
   void *asyncRefCon;
};
typedef struct LSLaunchFSRefSpec LSLaunchFSRefSpec;
Fields
appRef

A pointer to a file-system reference designating the application to launch; see the File Manager Reference in the Carbon File Management Documentation for a description of the FSRef data type. Set this field to NULL to request that each item in the itemRefs array be opened in its own preferred application.

numDocs

The number of elements in the array specified by the itemRefs field. The value of this field can be 0, in which case the application designated by appRef is launched without opening any items.

itemRefs

An array of file-system references designating the item or items to open. If the value of numDocs is 0, this field is ignored and can be set to NULL.

passThruParams

A pointer to an Apple event descriptor that is passed untouched as an optional parameter, with keyword keyAEPropData ('prdt'), in the Apple event sent to each application launched or activated (whether individual preferred applications or the application designated by appRef). See the Apple Event Manager Reference in the Carbon Interapplication Communication Documentation for a description of the AEDesc data type. The value of this field can be NULL.

launchFlags

Launch flags specifying how to launch each application (including whether to print or merely open documents); see “Launch Flags” for a description of these flags.

asyncRefCon

A pointer to an arbitrary application-defined value, passed in the Carbon event notifying you of an application’s launch or termination (if you have registered for such notification). The value of this field can be NULL.

Discussion

This data type defines a file-based launch specification designating, by file-system reference, an application to launch, items to open, or both. To request that items be opened in a particular application, set appRef, numDocs, and itemRefs accordingly. To request that each designated item be opened in its own preferred application, set appRef to NULL. To request that a particular application be launched without opening any documents, set appRef accordingly and set numDocs to 0.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSLaunchURLSpec

Specifies, by URL, an application to launch, items to open, or both, along with related information.

struct LSLaunchURLSpec {
   CFURLRef appURL;
   CFArrayRef itemURLs;
   const AEDesc *passThruParams;
   LSLaunchFlags launchFlags;
   void *asyncRefCon;
};
typedef struct LSLaunchURLSpec LSLaunchURLSpec;
Fields
appURL

A Core Foundation URL reference designating the application to launch; see the CFURL Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFURLRef data type. The URL must have scheme file and contain a valid path to an application file or application bundle. Set this field to NULL to request that each item in the itemURLs array be opened in its own preferred application.

itemURLs

A reference to an array of Core Foundation URL references designating the item or items to open; see the CFArray Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFArrayRef data type. The value of this field can be NULL, in which case the application designated by appURL will be launched without opening any items.

passThruParams

A pointer to an Apple event descriptor that is passed untouched as an optional parameter, with keyword keyAEPropData ('prdt'), in the Apple event sent to each application launched or activated (whether individual preferred applications or the application designated by appURL). See the Apple Event Manager Reference in the Carbon Interapplication Communication Documentation for a description of the AEDesc data type. The value of this field can be NULL.

launchFlags

Launch flags specifying how to launch each application (including whether to print or merely open documents); see “Launch Flags” for a description of these flags.

asyncRefCon

A pointer to an arbitrary application-defined value, passed in the Carbon event notifying you of an application’s launch or termination (if you have registered for such notification). The value of this field can be NULL.

Discussion

This data type defines a URL-based launch specification designating, by URL, an application to launch, items to open, or both. To request that items be opened in a particular application, set appURL and itemURLs accordingly. To request that each designated item be opened in its own preferred application, set appURL to NULL. If the item URL’s scheme is file (designating either a file or a directory), the selection of the preferred application is based on the designated item’s filename extension, file type, and creator signature; otherwise, it is based on the URL scheme (such as http, ftp, or mailto). To request that a particular application be launched without opening any document, set appURL accordingly and set itemURLs to NULL.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSOpen.h

LSItemInfoRecord

Contains requested information about an item.

struct LSItemInfoRecord {
   LSItemInfoFlags flags;
   OSType filetype;
   OSType creator;
   CFStringRef extension;
   CFStringRef iconFileName;
   LSKindID kindID;
};
typedef struct LSItemInfoRecord LSItemInfoRecord;
Fields
flags

Item-information flags specifying information about the item; see “Item-Information Flags” for a description of these flags.

filetype

The item’s file type.

creator

The item’s creator signature.

extension

A Core Foundation string object specifying the item’s filename extension; see the CFString Reference in the Core Foundation Reference Documentation for a description of the CFStringRef data type.

iconFileName

No longer used.

kindID

No longer used.

Discussion

This data type defines an item-information record used by the LSCopyItemInfoForRef and LSCopyItemInfoForURL functions to return requested information about an item.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

LSKindID

Data type of the kindID field of an item-information record (LSItemInfoRecord); no longer used.

typedef UInt32 LSKindID;
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
  • Not available to 64-bit applications.
Declared In
LSInfo.h

Constants

This section describes the constants defined in the Launch Services API.

Roles Mask

Specify the desired role or roles for an application to claim with respect to an item or family of items.

typedef OptionBits LSRolesMask;enum {
   kLSRolesNone = 0x00000001,
   kLSRolesViewer = 0x00000002,
   kLSRolesEditor = 0x00000004,
   kLSRolesShell = 0x00000008,
   kLSRolesAll = 0xFFFFFFFF
};
Constants
kLSRolesNone

Requests the role None (the application cannot open the item, but provides an icon and a kind string for it).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRolesViewer

Requests the role Viewer (the application can read and present the item, but cannot manipulate or save it).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRolesEditor

Requests the role Editor (the application can read, present, manipulate, and save the item).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRolesShell

Requests the role Shell (the application can execute the item).

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRolesAll

Accepts any role with respect to the item.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Discussion

This bit mask is passed to functions that find the preferred application for a given item or family of items (LSGetApplicationForItem, LSGetApplicationForURL, LSGetApplicationForInfo), or that determine whether a given application can open a designated item (LSCanRefAcceptItem, LSCanURLAcceptURL), to specify the application’s desired role or roles with respect to the item. For example, to request only an editor application, specify kLSRolesEditor; if either an editor or a viewer application is acceptable, specify kLSRolesEditor | kLSRolesViewer.

Launch Flags

Specify how to launch an application.

typedef OptionBits LSLaunchFlags;enum {
   kLSLaunchDefaults = 0x00000001,
   kLSLaunchAndPrint = 0x00000002,
   kLSLaunchReserved2 = 0x00000004,
   kLSLaunchReserved3 = 0x00000008,
   kLSLaunchReserved4 = 0x00000010,
   kLSLaunchReserved5 = 0x00000020,
   kLSLaunchAndDisplayErrors = 0x00000040,
   kLSLaunchInhibitBGOnly = 0x00000080,
   kLSLaunchDontAddToRecents = 0x00000100,
   kLSLaunchDontSwitch = 0x00000200,
   kLSLaunchNoParams = 0x00000800,
   kLSLaunchAsync = 0x00010000,
   kLSLaunchStartClassic = 0x00020000,
   kLSLaunchInClassic = 0x00040000,
   kLSLaunchNewInstance = 0x00080000,
   kLSLaunchAndHide = 0x00100000,
   kLSLaunchAndHideOthers = 0x00200000,
   kLSLaunchHasUntrustedContents = 0x00400000
};
Constants
kLSLaunchDefaults

Requests launching in the default manner (as if the only flags set were kLSLaunchNoParams, kLSLaunchAsync, and kLSLaunchStartClassic).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchAndPrint

Requests that documents opened in the application be printed.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchReserved2

Reserved for future use.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchReserved3

Reserved for future use.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchReserved4

Reserved for future use.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchReserved5

Reserved for future use.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchAndDisplayErrors

Requests that launch and open failures be displayed in the UI.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchInhibitBGOnly

Requests that the launch be made to fail if the application is background-only.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchDontAddToRecents

Requests that the application or documents not be added to the Finder’s Recent Items menu.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchDontSwitch

Requests that the application be launched without being brought to the foreground.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchNoParams

Requests that the application’s information property list be used to determine the launch parameters.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchAsync

Requests that the application be launched asynchronously: that is, the Launch Services function launching it return control immediately, without waiting for it to complete its launch sequence (indicated visually to the user when the application’s icon stops “bouncing” in the Dock).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchStartClassic

Requests that the Classic emulation environment be started up if the application requires it. If this flag is not set and the application requires the Classic environment, the launch will fail.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchInClassic

Requests that the application be forced to launch in the Classic emulation environment.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchNewInstance

Requests that a new instance of the application be started, even if one is already running.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchAndHide

Requests that the application be hidden as soon as it completes its launch sequence.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchAndHideOthers

Requests that other applications be hidden as soon as the opened application completes its launch sequence.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

kLSLaunchHasUntrustedContents

Requests that the items to be launched should be marked as untrusted.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSOpen.h.

Discussion

They are passed in a launch specification structure (LSLaunchFSRefSpec to the LSOpenFromRefSpec function or LSLaunchURLSpec to the LSOpenFromURLSpec function), to control the manner in which applications are launched.

Requested-Information Flags

Specify what information to obtain about an item.

typedef OptionBits LSRequestedInfo;enum {
   kLSRequestExtension = 0x00000001,
   kLSRequestTypeCreator = 0x00000002,
   kLSRequestBasicFlagsOnly = 0x00000004,
   kLSRequestAppTypeFlags = 0x00000008,
   kLSRequestAllFlags = 0x00000010,
   kLSRequestIconAndKind = 0x00000020,
   kLSRequestExtensionFlagsOnly = 0x00000040,
   kLSRequestAllInfo = 0xFFFFFFFF
};
Constants
kLSRequestExtension

Requests the item’s filename extension.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestTypeCreator

Requests the item’s file type and creator signature.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestBasicFlagsOnly

Requests all item-information flags that are not application-specific: that is, all except kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp through kLSItemInfoAppIsScriptable.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestAppTypeFlags

Requests all application-specific item-information flags: that is, kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp through kLSItemInfoAppIsScriptable.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestAllFlags

Requests all item-information flags.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestIconAndKind

Not used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestExtensionFlagsOnly

Requests only the kLSItemInfoExtensionIsHidden item-information flag.

Available in OS X v10.1 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSRequestAllInfo

Requests all available item information.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Discussion

These flags are passed to the LSCopyItemInfoForRef and LSCopyItemInfoForURL functions to specify the type of information to be obtained in an item-information record; see LSItemInfoRecord for a description of this structure.

Item Attribute Constants

Constants used to retrieve item attributes.

const CFStringRef kLSItemContentType;
const CFStringRef kLSItemFileType;
const CFStringRef kLSItemFileCreator;
const CFStringRef kLSItemExtension;
const CFStringRef kLSItemDisplayName
const CFStringRef kLSItemDisplayKind;
const CFStringRef kLSItemRoleHandlerDisplayName;
const CFStringRef kLSItemIsInvisible;
const CFStringRef kLSItemExtensionIsHidden;
Constants
kLSItemContentType

The item’s content type identifier, which is a uniform type identifier string. The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemFileType

The item’s file type (OSType). The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemFileCreator

The item’s file creator (OSType). The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemExtension

The item’s filename extension. The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemDisplayName

The item’s name as displayed to the user. The display name reflects localization and extension hiding that may be in effect. The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemDisplayKind

The localized kind string describing the item’s type. The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemRoleHandlerDisplayName

The display name of the application that is set to handle this item, subject to the role mask. The value type of this attribute is CFStringRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemIsInvisible

A value of kCFBooleanTrue if the item is normally hidden from users; otherwise, kCFBooleanFalse. The value type of this attribute is CFBooleanRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemExtensionIsHidden

A value of kCFBooleanTrue if the item’s extension is set to be hidden; otherwise, kCFBooleanFalse. The value type of this attribute is CFBooleanRef.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Item-Information Flags

Provide information about an item.

typedef OptionBits LSItemInfoFlags;enum {
   kLSItemInfoIsPlainFile = 0x00000001,
   kLSItemInfoIsPackage = 0x00000002,
   kLSItemInfoIsApplication = 0x00000004,
   kLSItemInfoIsContainer = 0x00000008,
   kLSItemInfoIsAliasFile = 0x00000010,
   kLSItemInfoIsSymlink = 0x00000020,
   kLSItemInfoIsInvisible = 0x00000040,
   kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp = 0x00000080,
   kLSItemInfoIsClassicApp = 0x00000100,
   kLSItemInfoAppPrefersNative = 0x00000200,
   kLSItemInfoAppPrefersClassic = 0x00000400,
   kLSItemInfoAppIsScriptable = 0x00000800,
   kLSItemInfoIsVolume = 0x00001000,
   kLSItemInfoExtensionIsHidden = 0x00100000
};
Constants
kLSItemInfoIsPlainFile

Item is a data file (and not, for example, a directory, volume, or UNIX symbolic link).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsPackage

Item is a packaged directory.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsApplication

Item is a single-file or packaged application.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsContainer

Item is a directory (includes packages) or volume.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsAliasFile

Item is an alias file (includes symbolic links).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsSymlink

Item is a UNIX symbolic link.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsInvisible

Item is invisible, because either its name begins with a period or its isInvisible Finder flag is set.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp

Item is an application that can run natively in OS X.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsClassicApp

Item is an application that cannot run natively and must be launched in the Classic emulation environment.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoAppPrefersNative

Item is an application that can run either natively or in the Classic emulation environment, but prefers to be launched natively. This flag is valid only when kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp is set.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoAppPrefersClassic

Item is an application that can run either natively or in the Classic emulation environment, but prefers to be launched in the Classic environment. This flag is valid only when kLSItemInfoIsNativeApp is set.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoAppIsScriptable

Item is an application that can be scripted.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoIsVolume

Item is the root directory of a volume or mount point.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSItemInfoExtensionIsHidden

Item has a hidden filename extension.

Available in OS X v10.1 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Discussion

These flags are set in an item-information record to provide information about an item; see LSItemInfoRecord for a description of this structure.

Acceptance Flags

Specify behavior to observe when testing whether an application can accept (open) an item.

typedef OptionBits LSAcceptanceFlags;enum {
   kLSAcceptDefault = 0x00000001,
   kLSAcceptAllowLoginUI = 0x00000002
};
Constants
kLSAcceptDefault

Requests the default behavior (as opposed to the behavior specified by the kLSAcceptAllowLoginUI flag).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSAcceptAllowLoginUI

Requests that the user interface to log in be presented if necessary. If LSCanRefAcceptItem or LSCanURLAcceptURL is called during a drag-and-drop operation, showing a server login dialog would be an inappropriate user experience. If the target designated in the function call is an alias to an application, Launch Services needs to resolve the alias to ascertain what file types the application can open; however, if the application is on a server that needs to be authenticated, Launch Services will by default fail to resolve the alias, to avoid having to present the login interface. To override this default behavior by allowing the server login interface, set the kLSAcceptAllowLoginUI flag.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Discussion

These flags are passed to the functions LSCanRefAcceptItem and LSCanURLAcceptURL.

Handler Option Constants

Specify the options for controlling how content handlers are selected.

typedef OptionBits LSHandlerOptions;enum {
   kLSHandlerOptionsDefault = 0,
   kLSHandlerOptionsIgnoreCreator = 1
};
Constants
kLSHandlerOptionsDefault

When set, causes Launch Services to use a content item’s creator (when available) to select a handler. This is the default setting.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSHandlerOptionsIgnoreCreator

When set, causes Launch Services to ignore the content item’s creator when selecting a role handler for the specified content type.

Available in OS X v10.4 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Invalid Extension Index

Represents an invalid filename extension index.

enum {
   kLSInvalidExtensionIndex = 0xFFFFFFFF
};
Constants
kLSInvalidExtensionIndex

The value obtained by the LSGetExtensionInfo function if the filename does not contain a valid extension.

Available in OS X v10.1 through OS X v10.4.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Unknown Type or Creator

Represent an unknown file type or creator.

enum {
   kLSUnknownType = 0,
   kLSUnknownCreator = 0
};
Constants
kLSUnknownType

The value to supply as the file type (for example, to the LSGetApplicationForInfo function) if no file type information is available.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSUnknownCreator

The value to supply as the creator signature if no file creator information is available.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Constants No Longer Used

The following constants are no longer used.

typedef OptionBits LSInitializeFlags;enum {
   kLSInitializeDefaults = 0x00000001
};enum {
   kLSUnknownKindID = 0
};enum {
   kLSMinCatInfoBitmap = (kFSCatInfoNodeFlags | kFSCatInfoParentDirID
| kFSCatInfoFinderInfo | kFSCatInfoFinderXInfo)
};
Constants
kLSInitializeDefaults

Formerly passed to the LSInit function, which is no longer used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSUnknownKindID

A possible value of the kindID field of an item-information record, which is no longer used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Not available to 64-bit applications.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

kLSMinCatInfoBitmap

A minimal catalog information bitmap; no longer used.

Available in OS X v10.1 and later.

Declared in LSInfo.h.

Result Codes

The table below lists the most common result codes returned by Launch Services functions.

Result CodeValueDescription
kLSAppInTrashErr -10660

The application cannot be run because it is inside a Trash folder.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSUnknownErr -10810

An unknown error has occurred.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSNotAnApplicationErr -10811

The item to be registered is not an application.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSNotInitializedErr -10812

Formerly returned by LSInit on initialization failure; no longer used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSDataUnavailableErr -10813

Data of the desired type is not available (for example, there is no kind string).

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSApplicationNotFoundErr -10814

No application in the Launch Services database matches the input criteria.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSUnknownTypeErr -10815

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSDataTooOldErr -10816

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSDataErr -10817

Data is structured improperly (for example, an item’s information property list is malformed). Not used in OS X v10.4.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSLaunchInProgressErr -10818

A launch of the application is already in progress.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSNotRegisteredErr -10819

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSAppDoesNotClaimTypeErr -10820

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSAppDoesNotSupportSchemeWarning -10821

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSServerCommunicationErr -10822

There is a problem communicating with the server process that maintains the Launch Services database.

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

kLSCannotSetInfoErr -10823

The filename extension to be hidden cannot be hidden.

Available in OS X v10.1 and later.

kLSNoRegistrationInfoErr -10824

Not currently used.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSIncompatibleSystemVersionErr -10825

The application to be launched cannot run on the current Mac OS version.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSNoLaunchPermissionErr -10826

The user does not have permission to launch the application (on a managed network).

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSNoExecutableErr -10827

The executable file is missing or has an unusable format.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSNoClassicEnvironmentErr -10828

The Classic emulation environment was required but is not available.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.

kLSMultipleSessionsNotSupportedErr -10829

The application to be launched cannot run simultaneously in two different user sessions.

Available in OS X v10.3 and later.