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File Association Editor - keeps three letter words from turning into four

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ File Management


Sometimes the three letter file types make me speak some four letter words. Most of you know how these work. Windows file names generally use a dot and three letters at the end of every file name to help Windows figure out how the file should be handled. The oldest version of Windows called these File Associations, but they are now called File Types.


Good examples of this:

myfile.doc - opens in MS Word

myfile.txt - opens in Notepad

myfile.mp3 - opens in a music player (Windows Media Player)

myfile.wmv - opens in a video player (Windows Media Player)


If you change those last three letters, you can change which program opens the file. You can also change which program is assigned to each three letter combination. I don't like MS Word, so my .DOC files open in AbiWord.


Recently at work, I'd been having a little trouble with a file type that had been accidently assigned to Adobe Reader. I kept trying to fix the file type by using Windows built in File Types applet. Any time you have your file browser open, you can get to the File Types applet by clicking on "Tools" and "Folder Options", then opening the "File Types" tab. It just wasn't working for me. Not only that, but I've noticed over the years that the File Types applet takes forever to load.


I installed the "File Association Editor" program at home. I then made it into a stand-alone program by copying the program folder onto my thumb drive. I took it to work and a few minutes after launching it, I had my problem fixed. File Association Editor doesn't have all the features that Windows File Type applet contains, but it's been around since the Windows 95 days and really hasn't changed much over the years. As they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and File Association Editor definitely isn't broken. It also loads up far faster than the Windows applet and is just a little easier to use.


Quote from the website

File Association Editor is a program for examining and editing the Registry settings which tell Windows how to open files depending on the extension name. You can easily:

  • add new Explorer right mouse click menu items,
  • change the Icon shown by Explorer,
  • repair corrupted file associations, such as damage caused by installing and removing software,
  • create new associations.