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Windows 7: Change DOC file association back to Word 2003, after Word 2016 install

28 Jan 2017   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Change DOC file association back to Word 2003, after Word 2016 install

Hello everyone

Until yesterday, I had only Word 2003 and Word 2010 on my computer. When I double-clicked a DOC file, it would open it in Word 2003. When I double-clicked a DOCX file, it would attempt to open it in Word 2010. I could open a DOCX file in Word 2003 if I first ran Word 2003 by itself and then either double-clicked the DOCX file or drag-dropped the DOCX file into Word 2003. And of course I could open a DOC file in Word 2010 by first running Word 2010, and then opening the DOC file in it.

I preferred to use Word 2003, so to prevent me from accidentally running Word 2010, I changed the privileges for Word 2010 to "use administrator", so I would get a UAC prompt if Word 2010 tried to launch (where I then clicked "No" unless I really, really intended to run Word 2010).

Anyway, I just installed Word 2016 (i.e. 365 Home), and now Windows 7 thinks that Word 2016 is "Microsoft Word". The Default Programs option in the Control panel does not give me the option to specify that DOC must be opened in Word 2003. FileTypeMan also does not allow me to do that. Even if I try to change the file association by actually browsing to the winword.exe program of Word 2003, the selection automatically changes to Word 2016 as soon as I hit OK.

I'm going to put a UAC prompt on Word 2016 as well, so prevent me from launching it accidentally, but it would be really, really nice if I could open DOC files by simply double-clicking it, without having to run Word 2003 itself first.

Does anyone know how to make Windows use Word 2003 when I double-click a DOC file?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2017   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

I have many older .doc files created in Word 2003 as I had Office 2003. I upgraded a couple of months ago to Office 365. All my old .doc files open in the current Word version. I also have the Office 365 Word version set to automatically save as .doc. That would be the best option. Word 2003 is no longer supported (at the same time Microsoft stopped supporting Win XP). It took a little bit to get used to the new Word but after using it for 3 months I'm comfortable with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2017   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by leuce View Post
I'm going to put a UAC prompt on Word 2016 as well, so prevent me from launching it accidentally, but it would be really, really nice if I could open DOC files by simply double-clicking it, without having to run Word 2003 itself first.
An additional problem cropped up a day or so later, which caused Word 2003 to refuse to open any DOCX files at all (always telling me that I need to install the Compatibility Pack). I solved both problems by uninstalling and then removing all traces of Office from my computer, then installing Office 2016, then Office 2003, then the compatibility pack, and then SP3 for Office 2003. Now when I double-click either a DOC or DOCX file, it opens in Word 2003. I did have some trouble getting third-party spellchecking to work in Word 2003, but re-installing the spell checker two or three times did the trick (touch wood!).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
Word 2003 is no longer supported...
I have never, ever used the "support" of any Microsoft product, so the fact that it is no longer supported is not really an issue for me.

Word 2003 still works, even on the latest version of Windows, and it opens the latest version of DOCX files (there are a few issues with certain types of documents, but you learn about them as you go along).

The reasons I prefer Word 2003 include (a) you can create custom toolbars with any command on them that are always accessible, (b) you can scroll through menus without having to click, and (c) the UI reflects the Windows theme used by the user.

W.r.t. (a), Word 2016 does have the "quick access toolbar" but that is not the same as custom toolbars, and you can only access custom toolbars if you switch to the tab that contain them (i.e. they are not permanently visible). W.r.t. (b), you have to click each tab on the ribbon individually to open that tab. You can't just click one tab, and then move your mouse to the left or right. And w.r.t. (c), Word 2016 has a permanent tablet-friendly "Windows 10" type theme (with e.g. an ultra narrow scroll bar and no window borders, and a particularly thin "window resize grab" zone), that remains unaffected by the Windows theme.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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