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tech-y question
30-04-2005, 09:40 AM
Post: #1
tech-y question

You know when you click on a document on your PC the computer knows what package to use and opens it? So if it a spreadsheet and you doubleclick it gets opened in Excel?

My question is - where can you set up windows to tell it where to go look for the program it's going to open?

For some reason on my computer if I click on an Excel document the system wants me to load excel on my CD drive, even though Excel is there under c\program files\... like all my other office stuff like Word and Access. I simply want to tell Windows where to go find Excel from, like it does Word etc, but don't know how.

I use Windows XP.

Any bright spark know the answer?

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30-04-2005, 10:01 AM
Post: #2
tech-y question
have you been into your Windows Explorer and opened it from there, SF? it usually find the right programme by itself from there.

... i only came online to visit Delia's site for tips on how to season a frying pan ...
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30-04-2005, 10:05 AM
Post: #3
tech-y question
survivorfan Wrote:Any bright spark know the answer?
Yes. Big Grin But I shall have to keep you on tenterhooks until Tuesday, if you don't find out otherwise before then. Busy weekend...

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01-05-2005, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2005 09:22 AM by survivorfan.)
Post: #4
tech-y question
Dolores Wrote:have you been into your Windows Explorer and opened it from there, SF? it usually find the right programme by itself from there.

Yes Dol I can open Excel by itself then load a document, so it's not really a big deal, it's just that I'd like to be able to click a spreadsheet and let the computer do the rest as it does for every other kind of file.

By the way I have now royally screwed up Excel so it won't run at all! I went into Excel's options or preferences whatever it's called and found an empty box for an alternative startup location I think it said. So I entered c:\program files\microsoft office\office, which is where excel is, in the remote hope the system might try loading excel from there. But what happens now is if I try to start excel it comes up with an error saying excel9.olb and xl8galry.xls are locked by another user and then shuts down. So I'm right up sh*t creek now!

I think I'm going to find the MS Office disks and reload or repair Excel and see if that does the trick. It's just a case of finding the CDs ....

By the way Blink, even if I can fix it that way, I'd still be interested to know if, and how, you can tell Windows where to go to find the program it has to use to open a file. I've had a good old delve in the control panel but so far no joy - even though I suspect it's all a bit academic now as I now probably have to reinstall Excel.

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03-05-2005, 09:27 AM
Post: #5
tech-y question
Doing the repair with the installation disks really will be the simplest way to get yourself out of this problem SF. As to your first problem, this is to do with "File associations", i.e. which program is associated with which file extension. Hence, .doc and .dot are associated with Word, .xls and .xlt with Excel, .pub with Publisher and so on.

The controls for this system are accessible through Windows Explorer. I think the precise link varies between versions of Windows, but it's on the menu - either View-->Options, or Tools-->Folder Options. When the dialog box pops up, choose File Types (or File Associations).

You can break things using these settings, so make a note of anything you change, so that you can put things back again if needs be. Try using the help function (little [?] in top right hand corner) and play. The interface again varies between versions of Windows, but the principles are the same.

There's an alternative way of doing this, which may be a bit more straightforward, but which is less powerful. Using Windows Explorer, find the file you want to open. Left click (once on the file). Then, whilst holding down the shift key, right-click on the file, and choose "Open With". (On XP/2000, then click "choose program".) Choose the program from the list, then click the box "Always use this program...".

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03-05-2005, 09:39 AM
Post: #6
tech-y question
As always thanks for your helpful suggestions Blink.

One thing I would say though, re the system using Excel to open a spreadsheet, it does know that it is to use Excel, it's just that for some reason it wants to get it from the MS office CD rather than C\ program files .. so even if I try your last suggestions I won't be telling the system anything it doesn't know already will I? - by which I mean I can tell it to associate Ecxel with spreadsheets but I won't get the chance to tell it where Excel itself is to be found.

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03-05-2005, 10:02 AM
Post: #7
tech-y question
SF the trouble is that your version of Excel is screwed so it won't work...you need to reinstall it first and then it should be OK. Smile
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03-05-2005, 10:30 AM
Post: #8
tech-y question
survivorfan Wrote:One thing I would say though, re the system using Excel to open a spreadsheet, it does know that it is to use Excel, it's just that for some reason it wants to get it from the MS office CD rather than C\ program files .. so even if I try your last suggestions I won't be telling the system anything it doesn't know already will I? - by which I mean I can tell it to associate Ecxel with spreadsheets but I won't get the chance to tell it where Excel itself is to be found.
Using either of my two methods above, you should find a "browse" option, which enables you to locate the program on your hard drive.

Incidentally, this problem seems to me to be symptomatic of wrong installation options; when you install MS Office, use the custom installation, and make sure that things are installed onto your hard drive, rather than selected as "run from CD" or "install on first use" (both highly irritating defaults in some cases).

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