When opening a file that Windows doesn’t recognize – use caution when choosing how to open the file by default.
Windows ‘Open With’ Trap
By Terry Stockdale for TerrysComputerTips.com
Windows has a great feature for handling unknown files — or even files that it does recognize.
When you right-click on the file, you can pick Open. If Windows has a program associated with that the file’s filename extension (e.g., .xlsx), it will open the appropriate program (e.g., Excel) and then open the file in the program.
But, if it doesn’t have an associated program for a file, you can still open the file in several ways.
First, if you know the program you want to use, you can open the program first, and then use it’s internal functions (usually File, Open) to open the data file.
Second, you often can drag the data file onto the program icon, assuming you can see both at the same time.
The neat option is to right-click on the data file and select Open With… The resulting dialog box looks very different in Windows 8 versus the earlier versions of Windows, but the same basic functions are there.
Windows will open a dialog box and allow you to pick among the programs that it knows will open that type of file. There’s even a button (or link, in the case of Windows 8) to browse for the program you want to use, if it’s not one of the programs that Windows offers.
All is well and good with this last approach — except that there is one ugly trap that is set by default.
This post is excerpted with the permission of Terry’s Computer Tips.
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