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How to open multiple files with different file types in Vista Explorer

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
In WINXP Windows Explorer, if I selected FILE1.TXT and FILE2.DOC then pressed enter, WIndows would launch Notepad (my Default) and Word 2003. Now that I've moved to Vista, I have lost that capability it seems. EVEN IF it is the same program, selecting files with mildly different extensions prevents me from launching them. E.g., FILE3.XLSM and FILE4.XLSX are BOTH Excel 2007 files, but i cannot get them to launch from Vista when both are highlighted/selected.

Anyone know how to make Vista Explorer work like XP's Windows Explorer ?
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Question by:SQUIRRR
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Accepted Solution

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cj_1969 earned 250 total points
ID: 21812424
It looks like you are not alone ... http://www.vistaheads.com/forums/microsoft-public-windows-vista-performance-maintenance/161676-opening-multiple-files-w-different-extensions.html

You might be out of luck ... its a long thread but the very last post summarizes that you are asking ... http://www.vistax64.com/vista-music-pictures-video/119450-opening-multiple-files-2.html#post749024

I have not found any solutions ... only other people with the same problem and the one reference to this being the expected behaviour in Vista.

If I find anything else I will let you know.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SQUIRRR
ID: 31468350
Thanks. I had done similar, and reasonably extensive internet lookups using a variety of keywords, and came up dry. Using Experts-Exchange was a last resort. I'll accept this answer and close the question, we are all probably out of luck. I'll have to use a third-party File Manager product I guess.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 21815650
I don't use Vista but did find this information online which may lead you to an answer:

"Anyone upgrading from XP to Vista may be wondering what happened to the file-type association menu option that used to be in the Windows Explorer. For example, say that *.TXT files are currently associated with NotePad as the default editor, but you want to change them to be associated with WordPad, Textpad, NotePad++, or whatever your favorite editor may be. In XP, such associations were managed via the Windows Explorer under Tools >> Folder Options >> File Types.


In Vista, the UI for managing file associations, together with controls for a number of other functions including the AutoPlay options, have been centralized and relocated to the Windows Start menu. They can be found under the menu selection of Default Programs (which is an unfortunately ambiguous name, and should not be confused with Startup programs)."

I would think if you can set the file extensions to default to a certain program, then it should launch with that program when told to open in explorer....

Good luck.

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Author Comment

by:SQUIRRR
ID: 21816392
Thanks. While this is a good lead, it isn't actuallly the problem I'm having with Vista. In my example, both the XLSM and the XLSX are already associated with Excel 2007, and individually, if I highlight one or the other and press the Enter key, it launches Excel and opens the file correctly. But when I highlight BOTH files at the same time, even though they are BOTH EXCEL, Vista's Windows Explorer WILL NOT LAUNCH or do anything at all..

Having said that, if I highlight 3 .DOCX files (note they are all the same EXTENSION), then Word will indeed launch, as would Excel if all three files were .XLSX types. But when the multiple files have different Extensions (not different associations), NO GO.

However, I thank you for this follow up Comment, anything helps.
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Expert Comment

by:gmbrammer
ID: 25743797
Here is a possible work around for this problem,which I will be implementing on my computer:
http://www.vistax64.com/vista-file-management/187689-solution-opening-15-files-multiple-file-types-simultaneously-vista.html
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Author Comment

by:SQUIRRR
ID: 25743923
Excellent. Thank you !

The problem also exists in Windows 7.

I could not access the downloads, but copied the text, used Notepad, and saved in "SendTo" as "OpenMultiple.vbs" and it worked like a charm.

Much appreciated.
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