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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    File Association Problem

    Hello all,

    We have a recurring situation here whereby, from time to time, the file association for PDF files is changed from Adobe Acrobat Reader to Notepad. We're not sure how it arises, whether it's user error or some kind of system fault - we're only ever called in when the problem has occurred and the Users can't usually remember what they'd done differently to cause this to happen, (yeah, right!).

    The outcome of the problem is that, whenever the users tried to look at an Acrobat file, whether by launching it from an email attachment or double-clicking on it in Explorer, the file opens in Notepad and the content is, obviously, uninteligible to mere mortals.

    I would like to know if there is a way, without manipulating the registry directly, (for such useful tools as Regedit are disallowed to us mere Tech Support peons by those wise system administrators, [bless 'em all!]), to amend the assiciation of just one of several file types for a particular application in Explorer.

    I've tried shift clicking on a PDF file, choosing "Open With" and making sure the "always use this application" checkbox is ticked, but this makes all other files associated with Notepad, (ie .txt, .log, .dic etc) open in Acrobat, too, which is equally wrong and frustrating.

    We've also tried to delete just the association for PDFs manually from the "Edit File Type" dialog in the Options of NT Explorer, but this manages to remove all associations to Notepad, not just the desired one.

    For the record, we're using Windows NT4 SP6, but I guess this is immaterial - it sounds like a generic Windows problem.

    Can anyone help? There must be a way to do this simply, mustn't there...?
    Regards,

    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: File Association Problem

    Not exactly answering your question, but JSI Tip 2292 may give you some ideas about locking it down.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: File Association Problem

    If a .reg file is too crude, you could create a little VBS file to fix the association for the relevant extensions. The script in post #121209 demonstrates how to use the RegWrite method to add or change registry keys and values from VBScript.

    (Note: Edited 4 Mar 2009 to fix the post link.)

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: File Association Problem

    Do these users have a Palm Pilot?

    I'm running a copy of AportisDoc that allows me to convert text files to a file format readable on my Palm Pilot. When I installed this software, it did exactly that for me, changed the association of PDFs to notepad. I don't know why, but it hasn't bothered me as I'm perfectly happy shift-right-clicking to open it (I'm strange that way).
    Christopher Baldrey

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: File Association Problem

    OK, can you not use regedit, or is it just hard to find it?? No matter. There are third party program that allow you to modify file extension associations. My favorite is:

    WAssociate -- pictured below. You can just look over the interface and get the idea how it works. It does not work for Win2K, so if you are using that, you might need an alternative.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: File Association Problem

    Another choice that does work inWin2K (supposedly) is PCMag's ContextEdit. It is also fairly straight forward.

    There are always ways around road blocks! Good luck.
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  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Re: File Association Problem

    If you can open a command prompt, a plain and simple solution might be the use of 'assoc'. Use 'assoc /?' for more details.

    Disclaimer: 'assoc' may not be available in all Windows versions, though I've seen and used it in NT4 and 2000 Professional.

    Bart.
    Bart.

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