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Windows 7: Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific


11 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific

I don't like the fact that if, for ex. I own Microsoft Office, in Explorer under "Type" for a word document it says, "Microsoft Word Document" and if I were to change to say Open Office suddenly that same type of file would no longer be called, "Microsoft Word Document" but rather, "Open Office Document" (or something).
Is it possible to have Explorer name a file simply for what it is (A text file, an image file) etc.? regardless of what software is actually used to open it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

No, not possible the usual way (or maybe yes, I have never tried). That name you are talking about is given by the software itself (eg. Ms word or open office here) to which the document file is associated with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2013   #3

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

It might not be practical to change the info that the OP wants changed via the method mentioned below and there maybe software that can do this in a safer manner. Since I did this inside a frozen virtual machine, I was not worried about barfing things by manually changing the registry. If the OP wants to do this - then Registry - Backup and Restore

In some cases, the text string that appears in the file type column comes from within the application that is set to open it. This screenshot shows the registry key that is telling the operating system which string number to use from within the notepad exe file.
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific-type-1.png

If I change string index number (and then open a new explorer instance rather than rebooting)...
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific-type-2.png

...I'll see a new string being pulled from within the notepad exe*.
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific-type-3.png

If I remove the index number all together (and the comma), the operating system will revert to getting the string from the default value (which one can change).
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific-type-4.png


*string 46 appears to be used as part of the File > Save As dialog box. The leading ampersand (&) in &Encoding is whar causes the underscore (when Alt is pressed).
Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific-notepad.png


If a Windows Update applies a patch to MS Office or MS Office is repaired, the manual changes might need to be repeated :-(


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Here is a program that can do what you want:
FileTypesMan - Alternative to 'File Types' manager of Windows

It does what UsernameIssues, but with a somewhat friendlier UI.
I like that method, but messing with the registry is a bit tricky if you don't know how.

Unfortunately, those descriptions are created by many programs (like MS Office or OpenOffice as the OP said) and installing or even update them may revert any changes sometimes, as programs often "want" simply to be associated in their ways and not how the user likes.
For those cases, exporting a reg file after the your changes and saving them, just to import it back if something messes the descriptions again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

UsenameIssues gave an awesome explanation. Hereby I would like to extend his explanation a bit:

Note   Note
The following will only work if you have your Word files associated with Microsoft Word (2007 and above) (I don't know which folder to choose in the registry incase of Open office since I don't have it).


Open registry and navigate to this folder:

Name:  1.PNG
Views: 34
Size:  3.3 KB

Name:  2.PNG
Views: 1
Size:  6.7 KB

Now on the right pane, change the marked value to anything you like:

Name:  3.PNG
Views: 3
Size:  6.6 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roboticarm View Post
I don't know which folder to choose in the registry incase of Open office since I don't have it
That's easy to determine, even if you don't know anything about the program in question. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and search for a key named "point<the extension>" you want to change, for example ".docx" or ".txt" or anything else. The "default" value is the name of the key containing the details for that extension:

Howto rename file types in Explorer as default &amp; not Software specific-docx.png

That means "For files with extension docx, go to Word.Document.12, the default entry there will be shown in the description in Windows Explorer".
Using that search, you can edit any file type manually, not just the ones you know about previously.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks Alejandro85. This will definitely solve OP's problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #8

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roboticarm View Post
I don't know which folder to choose in the registry incase of Open office since I don't have it
That's easy to determine, even if you don't know anything about the program in question. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and search for a key named "point<the extension>" you want to change, for example ".docx" or ".txt" or anything else. The "default" value is the name of the key containing the details for that extension:

Attachment 263994

That means "For files with extension docx, go to Word.Document.12, the default entry there will be shown in the description in Windows Explorer".
Using that search, you can edit any file type manually, not just the ones you know about previously.
Unless there is an entry named FriendlyTypeName. (As I show in my screenshots.) You must deal with that entry first, then the OS will use the default entry's text. The app that you linked to is the best option for the OP, it renames the FriendlyTypeName entry to ~FriendlyTypeName. I can only hope that it changes all of those FriendlyTypeName entries back to normal is a person uninstalls the app.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yeah, I forgot about the FriendlyTypeName, it seems to take precedence over the default, and is always used to pull the description from a DLL instead of hardcoding it, so it's better to just delete it beforehand.
If the program is uninstalled, it doesn't matters anymore if it's renamed back, most likely the file association altogether will be deleted by the uninstaller (should be, at least).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #10

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I was saying if this app was uninstalled - I would hope that it would undo the changes that had been made. But now I remember that the NirSoft app does not install - so no uninstall. Any changes made with that app will stay until another app adds the FriendlyTypeName back. The app is still the best option for the OP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Howto rename file types in Explorer as default & not Software specific




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