When I installed Microsoft Word 2007, I recall that it asked it I wanted it to be the default editor for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Perhaps I was mistaken, or perhaps Microsoft uses a much broader definition of the term.
I found the hard way that Microsoft Word 2007 was now my default editor for HTML files. That’s not my choice, because I like to have a lot more control over the HTML code than Word allows. Also, Word likes to do things that are Microsoft-centric, don’t lend themselves to easy editing, and don’t always play nicely with web browsers other than Internet Explorer.
Fixing the default program for an individual file type is easy to do in Windows XP.
The first step is to open Windows Explorer, the file manager program. Just right-click on the Start Button and then click on Explore. You’ll get a window that looks something like this:
When you left-click on the Tools menu bar item, the pull-down menu has an item Folder Options…
Click on it. This will open the Folder Options dialog box seen below.
Now, click on the File Types tab to switch to it.
On the File Types tab, you can type the first letter to jump to the file types starrting with that letter. However, this is not a smart find, just the first letter. If you type the second letter, it will jump elsewhere, e.g. typing the T of HTML will jump to file types starting with T.
Alteratively, you can use the down arrow or the scroll bar to move to the file type you want to change.
If I wanted to change the program that is the default program to open if I double-click on a file or icon of that type, I would click the Change… button.
To change which program is used as the default editor, click the Advanced button.
That opens the Edit File Type dialog box. In this case, the first choice is Edit. The underscore indicates that you can use Alt-E to open that selection and don’t have to click the Edit button. This seems to be a particularly useless selection to me.
With the Editing action for type dialog box open, we can see tat one of the Microsoft Office 2007 programs is the default editor.
We can change that by either directly typing the path to our program choice into the text box, or we can click the Browse… button
In the following image, we see the Open With dialog box opened use the standard Windows Open With dialog box to find and pick the program we want — in this case the text-based programmer’s editor EditPad Pro from Just Great Software Co. Ltd. They also offer a freeware version called EditPad Lite.
In the final image, we see that EditPad Pro is now the selected editor.
I need to click OK to close this window, and then another OK or two to close the other dialog boxes that were needed to get to this point.