Thank you for your replies. I tried what you suggested in your second post and it worked.
That was actually a mistake in the app_list.xml file. As you said: <app name="LibreOffice Writer">%ProgramFiles%\LibreOffice 4\program\swriter.exe "C:\Users\Timothy\Documents\myfile.odt"</app> should instead be: <app name="LibreOffice Writer">"%ProgramFiles%\LibreOffice 4\program\swriter.exe" "C:\Users\Timothy\Documents\myfile.odt"</app> I just made that file as a sample, and didn't actually test it. My "shlex dance" has nothing to do with that, though. A few examples from the interactive interpreter should explain why I am doing it (I used raw strings in these examples so that I wouldn't need to escape the backslashes): >>> import shlex >>> shlex.split(r'C:\Users\Timothy\Documents\Python\myscript.py') ['C:UsersTimothyDocumentsPythonmyscript.py'] >>> shlex.split(r'C:\\Users\\Timothy\\Documents\\Python\\myscript.py') ['C:\\Users\\Timothy\\Documents\\Python\\myscript.py'] >>> shlex.split(r'C:\Users\Timothy\Documents\Python\myscript.py', posix=False) ['C:\\Users\\Timothy\\Documents\\Python\\myscript.py'] The first example shows that single backslashes get removed. The second example shows that double backslashes are preserved intact. The third example shows that if posix=False, single backslashes are converted to double backslashes. None of these three behaviors are acceptable to correctly parse a Windows path, which is why I am doing what I am to work around the issue. I think I'll use PyWin32 as you suggested if it's available on the user's system. If it's not, the user will just be required to prefix path-to-script.py with python.exe. (When I first asked my question, I was thinking I might just need to pass a certain STARTUPINFO flag to subprocess.Popen, but it looks like that's not the solution.) -- Timothy -- https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list