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By default - Select program from list and uncheck always uses selected program...?

Posted on 2005-02-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
On a regular basis I need to check the contents of files with a variety of extensions - typically just with Notepad or Excel.  Since the extensions on these files aren't associated with any programs, I'm always prompted with the options:
- Use the Web service to find the appropriate program.  
- Select the program from a list.
...with "Use the Web..." radio button pre-selected.  

First, is there a registry setting where I can set "Select the Program..." as the default? (Or bypass this window completely.)  I *always* want to select the program to use.

Then, on the next screen, where I select the program to use, the checkbox for "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." is checked by default.  I'd like it unchecked by default.  Again, is this a registry setting that can be modified?  Thanks in advance.


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Question by:tmcdonal
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10 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:craizlee
ID: 13406986
Click Start|Control Panel|Folder Options|File Types tab - From here scroll down to the extension you are referring to.  Highlight the extension and click "Change" button.  Uncheck "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" and click OK.
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Expert Comment

by:craizlee
ID: 13406996
If you want to make a default for a specific extension, in the same location, select what program you'd like to use on a permanent basis to open up the extension through the Change button.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tmcdonal
ID: 13407420
Sorry if this wasn't clear.  I know how to assign default programs and remove them.  

I'm working with a variety of different extensions that I specifically *do not* want to assign to a program and the file names/extensions change regularly.  

What I'm doing is viewing these in Windows Explorer, and wanting to open them with a program of my choosing for that one time only.  However, I also want to save myself a couple of clicks each time.
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LVL 34

Accepted Solution

by:
sramesh2k earned 1600 total points
ID: 13408962
Hi tmcdonal,

Skip the file association Web service dialog while opening a unknown file type:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/nowebservice.htm
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tmcdonal
ID: 13415540
sramesh2k, This is great for the first half of my problem and does successfully bypass the Web service dialog.  

Now on the screen to select which program to use, is there a setting to uncheck the option of "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." by default?

Thanks.

(Doubling point value of question.)
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 13417759
tmcdonal,

There is a solution for the second part as well.

Assuming that your file extension is .BAR, create a new key named .BAR under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

That's it. No need to assign any ProgID / Association etc. Now, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" will remain unchecked by default.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tmcdonal
ID: 13422450
This is a production job where the extension changes every time (by design).  So where it might be *.bar today, it will be *.bas the next time, *.123 down the road, etc.  It's impractical to make an entry for every one, yet it seems like there's a default and custom setting to everything in the Registry. I just can't figure this one out.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 13422949
I'm sorry, but that's the way the Shell operates.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:tmcdonal
ID: 13460621
I was hoping someone else might jump in with a solution for the second part, but I'm already appreciating not seeing the web dialog screen.  Awarding points for that answer, and thanks for your help.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 13461107
You're welcome tmcdonal. For the 2nd part, I was trying to pass the openwith argument from a VBS and that did not work out too well. Sorry.
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