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File Associations for Windows 95/98/NT

by Don Penlington
2001/01/12

Quick File Associations
for Windows95/98/NT

by
Don Penlington

A reader recently raised the question of associating certain "File Types" with particular programs. The usual way, as is normally pointed out, is to use the cumbersome "Open With" dialogue. Or to use the equally messy
"View/Options/File types".

Neither of these methods is at all intuitive, and many people have difficulty understanding File Associations.

An oft-forgotten but simpler way to associate extensions to programs of your own choosing (or to change existing extension associations) is to use Winfile which used to be part of Win 3.1. In a rare moment of lucidity the kindly Microsoft developers included Winfile in Win 95 (not sure about Win98).

You'll find Winfile.exe in the Windows folder--make a shortcut to it and place it somewhere handy. To make or change an association, all you do is click on "File" then select "Associate", type in the extension and then browse to and select whichever program you want to use for that extension. Click OK and henceforth all .txt files will open in Wordpad instead of Notepad.

An example:
Suppose you want to have all .txt files open in Wordpad instead of Notepad.

  1. Open Winfile.exe
  2. Click File, then Associate.
  3. Type txt (you don't need the fullstop)
  4. If Wordpad isn't in the dropdown list, click "Browse"
  5. Navigate to Wordpad.exe. and select it. It will then appear in the dialogue box.
  6. Click OK.

Don Penlington

 

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