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Weekly Computer Tip # 189
24 February 2007

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change the program you want to use to open specific kind of files (Microsoft Windows)

This whole moving house malarkey is taking up more time than expected so I'm a bit late with my tip; hope it won't get buried among masses of junk email coming in over the weekend. (Deep sigh.)

Some time ago (in tip 177 if you must know; see http://www.roem.co.uk/tip_177.html) I explained how you can change the default application Windows uses to open music and audio files. I "made you" use "Set Program Access and Defaults" from the Start menu. But what if the kind of file you want to open isn't listed in the various options mentioned on that page? Or, what if some Microsoft package opens up every time you want to view one of your images, whereas what you're after is using something like Picasa, Photopaint or (my favourite) Irfanview. Well, you can simply use the right-click dropdown menu to specify the program you want to use to open specific kind of files.

Here's how:

  1. Right-click one of your (image) files.
  2. From the dropdown menu, choose Open With, followed by Choose Program.
  3. In the dialog box, choose the program you want to use to open your (image) files. (If necessary, use the vertical scroll bar to find your preferred program.)
  4. Tick the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" check-box.
  5. Click OK.

It might be a good idea to make a mental note (or a written one if you're chronologically gifted!) of your previous setting, just in case the file is not opened correctly in the program that you specify.

Until next week.

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February 2007