Not able to move a link (on Windows) to playlist

I’m coming from a Linux-Environment where I use to create (symbolic) links in one single folder for all videos I like to use in a shotcut project. These videos are spread over my file-system, and I do not want to create copies in the single folder in order to save disk space. As you might know, in Linux the name of the link can be identical to the original name. This works perfectly, especially I’m able to move the links inside the playlist of the shotcut application.

If I do the same in Windows, I can’t to the moving. The video is simply not added to the playlist.

Is there anything I can do to enable this? Or is it a wanted (mis-)bahavior?

Thanks a lot, Thomas

You might want to read this:

Hi, thanks for that information which is very interesting.
But please note that my complain is not about organizing my projects. It’s just about dragging a video from the file-explorer (with e.g. the mouse) and move it to the playlist in shotcut. If you take the original video (which might have an extension .mp4), it works however fine.
But if you select a link to the same video, shotcut doesn’n add the video to the playlist.
I guess that shotcut doesn’t recognise the extension of the link (which is obviously .lnk) as a possible clip source and simply ignores it.

My apologies, I had the wrong idea of what you was wanting to do.

Drag/drop from mouse yes, produces an error.

If you use Open File, the shortcut link works fine.

  1. Open Shotcut
  2. Open File (shortcut.lnk) in Source viewer
  3. Drag to Playlist

What it looks like in the MLT project code.
notepad  _2020-08-15_14-21-20

Consider a Windows shortcut (link) called XXX.mp4: if you drag it into Shotcut 's playlist (or into the source player window) you get the following error message in the log:

“Failed to open C:/Users/xxxxxxi/Desktop/XXX.mp4.lnk”

Note the final extension (.lnk).

However, if you Open the shortcut (link) then the file to which the link is pointing is correctly opened in the source player window.

Windows shortcuts are not the same as Linux symbolic links

To create a real symlink use the mklink command in a command prompt window. It’s a PIA and cumbersome to use.

There is a LInk Shell Extension Utiity that’s very easy to use.

The symlinks made with this extension are like LInux symlinks. The link can dropped from the file manager directly on the source viewer, playlist panel, or timeline. They behave like the actual video, image, or audio file(s).


For me just clicking on the shortcut link directly opens the file in the source viewer. It doesn’t switch to that directory for me to select the actual file that I have shortcut linked at that time of opening. When I go to choose another file to open, then it opens to that directory where the shortcut link defaults to.

I’m using Windows 10 Home (Version 1909).

Does this work differently for you? As in your version of Windows may differ in how Shotcut handles opening shortcut links.

I can confirm that when using the “Open file” option from within shotcut also links to media data files (as videos) work as expected.

But when I select the “Open File” option a second time, it starts in the folder where the physical file resides - not where the link is. This is definitely not what I would expect!

Besides that I see no reason why shotcut shouldn’t be able to handle moving such a link with the mouse.

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