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Setting default programs

From: Windows 7 Essential Training

Video: Setting default programs

Different types of files will be opened by different types of programs, usually by the program that it was created in. For example, if you create a Microsoft Word document in Microsoft Word, that's the program that's going to open up the document when you go to access it again. However, there are times when you might want to override the default program. For example, if you've received a Microsoft Word document, but you haven't installed Microsoft Word you can still view it in another program. Here is where we talk about choosing a default program for different file types and there is a number of different ways to do this.

Setting default programs

Different types of files will be opened by different types of programs, usually by the program that it was created in. For example, if you create a Microsoft Word document in Microsoft Word, that's the program that's going to open up the document when you go to access it again. However, there are times when you might want to override the default program. For example, if you've received a Microsoft Word document, but you haven't installed Microsoft Word you can still view it in another program. Here is where we talk about choosing a default program for different file types and there is a number of different ways to do this.

We are going to start with Control panel. Here, on the Home screen, you will notice the category Programs, so we'll select that and the sub category Default Programs is where we are going to go. There is two different ways to tackle this. We can make a file type always open in a specific program, so we'll get a list of file types and we get to choose the program or if you prefer, see a list of programs and choose the file types that they can open. So let's start with Make a file type always open in a specific program. So we select that.

It takes a moment to list all of the different file types and there is a very long list. And what you're going to see is the file type, the extension on the left-hand side, a description and then the actual default program that opens up that type of file. So let's say every time that we go to open up a txt file, we want to use WordPad instead of Notepad. So let's scroll all the way down to the Ts until we see the txt file, a Text Document and you can see the default program is indeed Notepad.

But we want to change that, so we click Change program and there's another option here, which is WordPad. So we can select it and choose OK. So that's just one way to change a file type's protocol, in this case, selecting the file type and choosing the program. Let's close this up, which takes us back to Control panel and try the other method, which is to set your default programs. Now in this case, you are going to see your programs on the left-hand side and let's say that we want to use WordPad to open up Microsoft Word documents as well.

In that case, choose WordPad and you will notice over here on the right-hand side, a brief description of what WordPad is, down below we can set this program as the default to open all file types and protocols it can open by default, which it already does. We can also Choose defaults for this program, so I'll select that. Notice that txt has a check mark in it. Now this didn't appear until we made that change a moment ago. But we can also have Microsoft Word documents open up in WordPad, so we can select that checkbox or if we know we are not going to have Microsoft Word installed, we can choose it to open up every one of these by clicking the Select All checkbox and then saving that change by clicking Save.

So now, we are going to test this out. Let's click OK. You can see it's has taken us back to Choose the programs that Windows uses by default. This is part of Control panel, we are going to close it up though and we are going to go to the Exercise Files. You can use any files you like but here in the 06_05 sub folder of the Chapter 06 folder, in our exercise files, we do have some different types of documents. Now our Annual Report on Revenues was actually a Microsoft Word document and you will notice over here, the type is changed when we changed the actual program to an Office Open XML Document.

So when I double-click this you can see what happens. It opens up in WordPad. Perfect. Now WordPad doesn't support all of the features of this document's format. So some things may not appear perfectly formatted for you. It depends on the complexity of the Word document you're opening. But you can close that message and continue working in WordPad, on your Word Document. Let's close it up. Now the other thing here is a text document, which typically would open with Notepad, but we changed that as well.

So, if we select it you will notice up here under Open, it's the icon for WordPad. So double-clicking is the same as clicking the Open button right here and you can see again, we are in WordPad. All right. Let's close it up. There is still one more way to change the default. Let's work with our image, which is called Otters, so you can see it's a JPG image. With it selected, you can see there is a Preview program that's going to be used to view this. But if we click the little dropdown, we can choose a different program for this one time only.

Or if we want to change the default, we can do it from here as well. Click Choose default program and let's say if you've got Windows Live Essentials installed, you have got the Windows Live Photo Gallery. So you might want to select that one. Now, when we click OK, every time we go to view this particular image it's going to open up in Photo Gallery and this gives us a whole bunch of options for working with the file, fixing it up, sending it off via e-mail and so on. So that's the new default and that was very simple.

So we'll close it up and we'll close up our Exercise Files and that's how you set up Default Programs.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Windows 7 Essential Training

73 video lessons · 45262 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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