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Windows 7: Set file type associations to a specific version of an application

15 Oct 2015   #1
hellopaul

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Set file type associations to a specific version of an application

Hello,
I have several versions of an application (Adobe After Effects) installed (I help test out prerelease versions of the software - which is nice) and I'd like to be able to set the precise application / file type association.

If I get a file's properties and 'Change...' the 'Opens with:' and browse to the exact application I want it to open with (After Effects version 13.6x123), then Apply/OK it, when I open the file, it just loads up the oldest version of the app (After Effects version 13.2) that Windows can find. Is there a better way to set filetype associations than the broken method that Windows is clearly attempting to use?

I have four versions of this app currently installed, all in C:\Program Files\Adobe. 90% of the time, I want to use the latest version, but occasionally need to use an older (public release) version to check how certain bugs/behaviours have changed, so need to keep all those versions installed.

I can use the workaround of opening the specific app and File > opening the file from within it, but it would be nice if I could get Windows to behave properly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

~ Paul


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2015   #2
hellopaul

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

No thoughts on this, anyone?
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18 Oct 2015   #3
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I understand what you're trying to do, but unfortunately, I don't think Windows does.

The problem is that the file types don't make the distinction of which version of an installed program to use, and I don't think that there is any way to make them that way. If the file extensions were physically different between versions, you wouldn't have a problem, like:

File.xyz -> loads old version of program

File.xzz -> loads new version of program

But I assume that that isn't the case here. Windows sees the same extension and by default loads a particular version of the app, whatever that might be.

Unfortunately, I don't think that there is a solution here, beyond using the "Open with..." dialog.
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18 Oct 2015   #4
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I don't know how to solve the issue. I drag/drop files onto the applicable desktop shortcut to get files to open in the desired version.
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18 Oct 2015   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Just a idea.
Install each version of Adobe on a different flash drive.
Plug in the one you want to test. See if Windows 7 can live with that.
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19 Oct 2015   #6
hellopaul

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for your input. I suspected there probably wasn't a way to fix it.

I've gone with UsernameIssues' suggestion and put a shortcut on the desktop to drag the file icon onto - I didn't know Windows supported dragging-onto-an-icon to open (I'm a long-time Mac user, and know that MacOS can do that, but I'd previously tried dragging the file icon onto the application's icon in the taskbar, and that didn't work).
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19 Oct 2015   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I was successful within Windows 7 with metapad taking the place of notepad. Obviously since your versions are each in their own directory, I think, with CTL-PNL --> File Assocations section, using the option Other Programs [?], you can TreeClimb to the desired directory housing version X and associate that file extension. I cannot duplicate the steps right now, hence the cloudy info above.
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19 Oct 2015   #8
hellopaul

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Bizarrely, going through the control panel > Default Programs > Set Associations also does not work.

I can scroll down to the filetype (.aep), click Change Program..., browse to the CORRECT version of After Effects, but when I select it and close the file selector, the 'Open with' box just displays the old version. Maddening, and obviously a bug in the OS.

Oh well...as I mentioned, I'll stick to the dragging the file icon onto a shortcut to the correct program/version.
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19 Oct 2015   #9
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Since Windows Explorer uses file extensions to figure which program to use and obviously all files have the same extension, file associations would only relate to one version, regardless on how many you have installed. Windows has no way to know which one you want in each particular case.

Another option could be to adding multiple entries to the context menu of such files, so that a right click gives the choice between different programs versions. Double clicking will still be associated to one particular one, but with a more complete submenu to chose from.
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19 Oct 2015   #10
hellopaul

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
Since Windows Explorer uses file extensions to figure which program to use and obviously all files have the same extension, file associations would only relate to one version, regardless on how many you have installed. Windows has no way to know which one you want in each particular case.
But I'd be happy to make ALL .aep filetypes associated with After Effects 13.6.123, and NO filetypes associated with any of the other After Effects versions.

As an experiment, I tried associating the .aep extension with another app (Sublime Text). Windows went ahead and correctly changed all the .aep files' icons appropriately to Sublime Text icons. I then tried to change it to After Effects 13.6.123, but Windows interpreted this as After Effects 13.2. It just refuses to acknowledge that any version other than 13.2 exists.
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