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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.
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