Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

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King Author
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Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby King Author » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:49 pm UTC

I'm running XP and use Open Office, not Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office, so the other day I uninstalled both of the latter from the XP program manager thing.

After I did that, for some reason, all of the html files and document files (.odt, .rtf, .doc, etc.) on my computer had their icons changed to the generic file icon. I made no other changes to my computer between uninstalling Word/Office, and the icons changing, so it must be that. Can't imagine why it'd mess with the html files though. (I use Firefox, not IE, so I'm even more stumped why removing the programs I did would change html icons.)

It's not a big deal, I'm just curious if anyone knows why this happened or how to fix it.
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Jorpho
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Jorpho » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:18 am UTC

Well, did any of those document types use the MS Word icon before? And what happens when you double-click on any of them now?

Word is quite capable of opening HTML files (though you probably wouldn't want to do so). Evidently whoever designed the uninstaller wanted to make sure that nothing would try to open up Word once Word was uninstalled, and thus removed the file associations of any document type that might have been set to open up Word when it was double-clicked. Of course it would have been much more sensible if the uninstaller checked to see if each of those document types was actually associated with Word, but that would potentially cause a lot more headaches than the scorched-earth approach.

As for fixing the file associations, you can set them manually if you need to, but it would probably be easiest to take a look at the options in Firefox or OpenOffice and find some setting that will let you associate those extensions with the appropriate application.

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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Carlington » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:29 am UTC

I'm not sure whether the default program used to open a filetype has any effect on icons, or whether this applies to XP (it's been a while), but you should be able to right-click and choose "Open With...", which should give you a list of programs you can use to open a given file. There should also be a checkbox saying something like "Use this program for all files of this type". Make sure the checkbox is checked, and choose whatever program you want as the default.
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King Author
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby King Author » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:43 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Well, did any of those document types use the MS Word icon before? And what happens when you double-click on any of them now?


No, HTML defaulted to Firefox and all documents except plain .txts and archaic .rtfs defaulted to OpenOffice, and they had the proper icons (Firefox and OO respectively). They open Firefox and OpenOffice like they should. The only thing messed up is the icons, so this is thankfully purely cosmetic.

Jorpho wrote:Word is quite capable of opening HTML files (though you probably wouldn't want to do so). Evidently whoever designed the uninstaller wanted to make sure that nothing would try to open up Word once Word was uninstalled, and thus removed the file associations of any document type that might have been set to open up Word when it was double-clicked. Of course it would have been much more sensible if the uninstaller checked to see if each of those document types was actually associated with Word, but that would potentially cause a lot more headaches than the scorched-earth approach.


Lazy programming, of course!

Jorpho wrote:As for fixing the file associations, you can set them manually if you need to, but it would probably be easiest to take a look at the options in Firefox or OpenOffice and find some setting that will let you associate those extensions with the appropriate application.


I'll google to find out how to set file associations within the programs themselves, but how would I do it "manually?" You mean cracking open the Registry? 'cause I'm comfortable doing that.

Carlington wrote:I'm not sure whether the default program used to open a filetype has any effect on icons, or whether this applies to XP (it's been a while), but you should be able to right-click and choose "Open With...", which should give you a list of programs you can use to open a given file. There should also be a checkbox saying something like "Use this program for all files of this type". Make sure the checkbox is checked, and choose whatever program you want as the default.


I tried that and unfortunatley, it didn't change the icon. Man, why are the cosmetics of icons so viciously separated from their functionality? Bizarre.
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:10 am UTC

King Author wrote:Lazy programming, of course!
I can see how the alternative here could be much more trouble than it was worth.

I'll google to find out how to set file associations within the programs themselves, but how would I do it "manually?" You mean cracking open the Registry? 'cause I'm comfortable doing that.
Just go to the Folder Options control panel. (This is also accessible from the Tools menu in any Explorer window, under Folder Options.) Then select the File Types tab. You may need to be logged in as a user with Administrative privileges in order to change anything, though.

Failing that, there are many fine free utilities for managing file associations; digging around in the registry is an absolute last resort.

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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby King Author » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:05 pm UTC

One week and about nine powerdowns later, the problem somehow fixed itself for no apparent reason. I turned on the computer like five minutes ago, and documents are showing the Open Office icon again and HTML files the Firefox icon.

...

You know, I love Windows XP, it's my favorite OS I've ever used, but it sure is apocryphal. Once again, I did nothing, and all of a sudden, the icons are just back to what they should be. I swear, if someone purposefully tried to make an OS that was as random as possible, they couldn't make one as random as Windows.

Thanks for your help, though, guys.
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Jorpho » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:44 am UTC

Oh... That would probably be the Icon Cache refreshing. I did not think about that. Obvious, in retrospect.
http://www.winability.com/repair-window ... con-cache/

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King Author
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby King Author » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:55 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Oh... That would probably be the Icon Cache refreshing. I did not think about that. Obvious, in retrospect.
http://www.winability.com/repair-window ... con-cache/


*shakes head*
Oh, Windows...

I only lament that I can't find an OS I like 1/10th as much as XP.
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby cphite » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

King Author wrote:I'm running XP and use Open Office, not Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office, so the other day I uninstalled both of the latter from the XP program manager thing.

After I did that, for some reason, all of the html files and document files (.odt, .rtf, .doc, etc.) on my computer had their icons changed to the generic file icon. I made no other changes to my computer between uninstalling Word/Office, and the icons changing, so it must be that. Can't imagine why it'd mess with the html files though. (I use Firefox, not IE, so I'm even more stumped why removing the programs I did would change html icons.)

It's not a big deal, I'm just curious if anyone knows why this happened or how to fix it.


Windows keeps a cached list of what icons to use for each file type, and whenever you remove an application that is the default for something, it refreshes that cached list.

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King Author
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby King Author » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:04 am UTC

Okay, either I was wrong in the first place or something happened again for no reason. HTML files and word documents of all types are showing the blank, default file icon again.

The thing is, the files are properly associated with the programs -- if I double-click on a Word document for instance, it opens with Open Office. If I double-click an html file, it opens with Firefox.

I've gone into Folder Options but the only thing you can do there is change the file type association, which doesn't help me because the file type is correctly associated, it's just not showing the correct icon.

Is there any way I can directly or manually access the icon cache? Or is the registry location for file icons documented?

EDIT: BTW, I tried this...
http://superuser.com/questions/386281/w ... -mp3-files
...and this...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/59512 ... -correctly
...and TweakUI and nothing works.

Notably, when I browse to .doc files in Folder Options > File Types, there is no "Advanced" button, only a Restore button where the Advanced one should be. Also notably is that .html files in that dialogue are correctly associated with Firefox and the thing SAYS it's displaying the proper Firefox HTML icon for html files, but it's not.

The only thing I haven't tried is uninstalling and re-installing the programs in question, which I am highly hesitant to do because I always have horrible luck uninstalling and reinstalling programs -- they never work quite right after a reinstall.

This is so frustrating!
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Sizik » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:37 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
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Re: Microsoft Word is being vindictive...

Postby Jorpho » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:45 am UTC

Yes, that last link I posted also describes a method of clearing the icon cache.


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