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Microsoft Word/opening email attachments


One of my customers sents me an email with a attachment in Adobe.  When I clicked on the attachment to open it I mistakenly clicked on open in Word.  Of course I could not open it in word (it was all weirdly coded etc) so when I went back to the email and clicked on opening the attachment the little symbol had changed from the adobe symbol to the Word symbol.  When I right click on it - it no longer gives me the option of "open with" - When I go back to try an open a previous attachment from this supplier I cannot - all of the attachments now want to open in word. - how can I fix this?  I will not be able to open any attachments from my suppliers or anyone else until we can figure this out. Please help, I cannot find anywhere in the settings etc where I could make such a change.  It used to automatically opening attachments using the proper program, I never had to choose a program before and obviously I chose the wrong one this time - I have messed it up somehow.

You just need to restore the correct file association. Instead of trying to open the PDF from the attachment, save the attachment to your hard drive. Then, in Windows Explorer, right-click and choose Open With | Choose Program. Select Adobe Reader (or Acrobat if you have it and prefer that) and make sure the box is checked to make that the default.

If you have Windows 7 or Vista, see one of these articles for further instruction:

Once you've corrected the file association, you should be able to open attachments by double-clicking.
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This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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