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Boot PowerPoint 2003 by default when 2003 and 2007 are installed

Posted on 2008-10-22
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I run an academic convention where hundreds of presenters come together to give panels. Due to the variety of presenters (over 1200), we use laptops with both PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2007 installed. In this way, we are prepared to accommodate both types of users whether they have upgraded or not.

We know that (a) you can download a patch that will allow PowerPoint 2003 to run on PowerPoint 2007, and (b) you can save PowerPoint 2007 files in PowerPoint 2003 format. However, both have some known errors that can prevent presentations from rendering correctly.

By default, we recommend that everyone save their presentations as PowerPoint 2003 to get as many people as possible working on a common format. Then, 2007 is there for those who have used some of the upgraded graphics formats that dont convert well. Because the vast majority will be using 2003, we want to set our computers to start up PowerPoint 2003 by default when a PowerPoint presentation is opened.

However, the default appears to be for them to open with whatever version was last running, regardless of the native format of the presentation being opened. Is there a way to set the default to 2003 regardless of the last version used?

Please advise, and thank you one and all.
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Question by:Kistcon
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Expert Comment

by:tajsimmons
ID: 22775378
Easiest trick is to START powerpoint 2003 manually, then open each file manually, instead of double clicking a powerpoint file.

Otherwise ...With CAUTION about editing the registry....

There's a registry trick for MS Word here that may also work for powerpoint
http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=762

The regedit trick should stop the last opened version of office making itself the default.

See also
Office files in Microsoft Windows Explorer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928091/en-us

Cheers
TAJ Simmons
microsoft powerpoint mvp
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Accepted Solution

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GlennaShaw earned 250 total points
ID: 22775475
File Association should do it.  You'll want to use Group Policies to set the File Associations for all PowerPoint file extensions to PowerPoint 2003 exe.  This article tells you about setting file associations with Group Policies: http://www.brianmadden.com/content/article/Creating-Custom-File-Associations-to-Support-Side-by-Side-Applications
You might also want to change Office 2007 SAVE AS default settings to PowerPoint 2003 format:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178949.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kistcon
ID: 31508660
Thank you.
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