Subscriber Len Cartwright wrote from the U.K. to ask for some unusual help:
Hi Terry, I’m running XP with all updates. When I try to open an old Lotus *.WK3 file I get an error message "You are attempting to open a file type the is blocked by your registry policy setting". I suspect that "your" is more like Microsoft, but where, how do I fix it and others and why should it now be blocked, it was ok a long time ago? Regards Len
I wrote back to Len to ask for more information — he had left out some critical information for me to understand what was happening.
I asked him:
1) what program are you trying to use to open the file?
2) what version?
3) How are you trying to open it? From within a program using File/Open, or by double-clicking on the file, or what?
If you’re double-clicking, open the program and then use File/Open.
If you’re trying to open with Excel, make sure you have the .wk3 file filter loaded so it knows how to open the file.
Len wrote back with some answers:
Thanks for the rapid reply.
I’m trying to open the WK3 file in Excel 2003. I’ve tried using file open and also using explore double click and "choose a program," without success.
The only thing I’ve not tried is loading the WK3 filter. Would please enlighten me on the technique.
Is this a solution for other file types also?
Microsoft has a bad habit of not loading all the files that allow its programs to properly read other file formats. [If they make it too easy, people might use those other programs more…]
These files that interpret the other file formats are known as file fllters. They should be available on the Office 2003 cdrom. It’s been a long time, so I don’t recall how to install the filters, but I think you’ll get the option to install additional features if you insert the Office CDROM. I normally pick the "custom" installation so that I can install .
The easiest and cleanest way to tell if the filter has been installed, or not, is via the File/Open route. If you can select the option to display files of filetype .wk3 in that dialog box, it’s loaded. If you can only see them when you select "All files," then it’s not loaded.
Len wrote back to report success!
You were correct in thinking the file filter was probably missing, so I down-loaded it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=CF196DF0-70E5-4595-8A98-370278F40C57&displaylang=en
This did indeed put the Lotus family and others, in the drop-down list. I did a re-start, to have the best chance of everything working, went into Excel, selected the filter and clicked on the *.WK3 file. Sadly I still had the same message from Windows complaining about my registry security policy. Is it possible that the registry still needs to be tweaked in some way?
Microsoft offers several workarounds and solutions to the registry security warning, including a link to another Knowledge Base (KB) article explaining why the access is blocked and how you can unblock it, if you insist on exposing yourself to the risk. Check them out at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941636.