Cannot use MS Word as email editor

Posted on 2006-05-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I've recently installed Office XP 2003 and everything was installed correctly with no error messages.

When I use Outlook 2003 and view any sent items I have kept, I get an error msg to the effect that I cannot use MS Word as my email editor.

I can however use MS Word to read and compose new and existing mail.

I have the two checkboxes selected to use MS Word to edit email msgs, and to read rich email msgs, in Tools > Options > Mail Format.

Any ideas on how to further troubleshoot this problem? Thanks for your help.
Question by:Frohike
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Thats a wierd one. Can you post the entire error.
    In control panel >add remove programs - select office 2003 and run a detect and repair. Install the latest office service pack as well. Then try and see.
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    Which did you install?

    Office XP or Office 2003? They aren't the same.
    Furthermore, did you install Office XP and Outlook 2003? You can't mix versions of Office and Outlook to use the Word as email editor.


    Author Comment

    I had previously ran a detect and repair but no errors were reported. I will post the entire error msg when I get a chance this evening.

    I previously used Office 2000 for WinXP. However, prior to installing Office 2003 for WinXP, I had completely removed Office 2000. I have also installed Office SP that came separately to the main CD.

    I've checked the version numbers of both Outlook and Word, and are both the same and are 2003 versions.

    Also, I never had this problem when I previously used Office 2000 for WinXP under WinXP SP1. I am now using WinXP SP2 with Advance Security.

    This sounds a lot more difficult than I had first thought. Is there anything else I can check, e.g. regedit entries, etc or simple tricks I can carry out to determine the cause of the problem?

    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    will wait for the message....

    Author Comment

    When I navigate to Sent Items folder and double-click on a previously sent email (a different one to the above this time), here's the error msg I get:
    Title: Microsoft Office Outlook.
    Body: Microsoft is set to be your e-mail editor. However, Word is unavailable, not installed, or is not the same version as Outlook. The Outlook e-mail editor will be used instead.
    Button: Show Help. When the button is clicked, the following is displayed. Note, I have already tried everything as per the troubleshoot.

    This error message may appear if:
    You have Word configured as your e-mail editor and Word is no longer present on the computer.
    The form is corrupt.
    Word has faulted.
    You are running a version of Word that does not support e-mail editing.
    This can also occur if Microsoft Office Outlook was started in Safe mode (achieved by pressing and holding the CTRL key while starting Outlook).
    To work around this problem:
    Start Outlook in normal mode.
    Configure Outlook to use the Outlook editor as the e-mail editor.
    On the Outlook Tools menu, click Options.
    On the Mail Format tab, set Use Microsoft Office Word to edit e-mail messages to unchecked and click OK.
    Reset Word (reboot may be needed or Detect and Repair should be run).
    Reinstall Word.
    Upgrade Word.
    More information about this error message online.

    Further details about my system:
    - My OS is Windows XP 2002 SP2 v5.1.2600.
    - Both Outlook 2003 and Word 2003 version no's are identical being 11.6568.6568 SP2.
    - As soon as the above error msg is clicked away, I then go back to the options and re-select the checkbox so it enables Word as the email editor (I have to do this because it auto de-selects this option whenever I get the above error msg).
    - I then compose a new email and it is loads Word as my email editor. It appears to be okay when I'm composing a new email, but when I want to read any email I had already sent or forwarded in the Sent Items folder, it doesn't seem to work. It doesn't seem to be a problem when I open up a unfinished/unsent email from the Drafts folder which had been saved.
    - This is also an inconsistent issue (at least I cannot find a pattern/cause) with my sent/forwarded emails sitting in a folder I had created. Some will not open with Word and some will. All of these emails are originated by me (i.e. they have not been replied from anyone as yet).

    I hope there is enough info to work with. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide you with.
    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution

    Please check this. In control Panel > Add Remove programs - check if there are multiple installations of Office. Most probably different versions. If there is another version remove it completely and retry. If not proceed as follows.

    Find and rename the Outcmd.dat and extend.dat. They can be found at C:\Documents and Settings\USER NAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (the path may be slightly different). These are hidden files and you will need to enable view hidden files and folders.

    Then search for and rename the file. This can be found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\1033. If it is not there, do a full search within the c: drive. If you have multiple instances of the file, rename all.

    Then finally, run a detect and repair from control panel > add remove programs > Office 2003.

    Tell us how it went.

    Expert Comment

    There are a lot of suggestions for this issue and some of them are elaborate. This simple solution got me back up and running in less than a minute. Just rename the "" file!

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