Microsoft Word/Versions 2003 AND 2010


QUESTION: Hello Suzanne.
I've been running MS Office on an XP machine for years using Word 2003 as the Outlook email editor. I've loaded MS Office 2010 because I need to handle documents and Access DBs in both versions BUT now Outlook won't use Word 2003 as the editor. It says it may be..... and one is having a different version Word registered. I tried the registry update:

reg add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftOffice11.0WordOptions /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

but that didn't work either. I would like to have both versions - .doc files for 2003 and .docx files for 2010 - and Outlook to use 2003. Do you know how to do this?

ANSWER: The NoReReg key allows you to use Word 2003 and Word 2010 side by side, without the annoying "Please wait while Windows configures..." message when you start one of them. But you can have only one version of Outlook installed. You don't say whether you're using Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2010, but in neither case do you really need to use Word 2003 as the editor for Outlook. If you're not using Outlook 2010, I suggest you try it. I admit I never used Outlook at all with previous versions of Office (I was happy enough with Outlook Express, but that is unavailable on a Windows 7 machine), but I've found it mostly satisfactory.

Here's what you can do when you have multiple versions of Word (I'm running 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 concurrently) and Outlook 2010:

* From any version of Word, you can send documents as attachments.

* In any version of Word, you can use Outlook Contacts as an address book for envelopes and labels.

What you apparently can no longer do is send a document as the body of an email message from Word 2003. You can do this in Word 2010 (by adding the Send to Mail Recipient Command to the QAT or Ribbon). However, the editor in Outlook 2010 itself is very similar to Word (not as similar as I'd like, but you can't have everything), and being able to send documents as attachments directly from any Office application is usually good enough for me.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the speedy reply.
In fact I have Outlook 2003 running and previously had Word 2003 as the editor and did most of my DB work in Access 2003. Now I frequently need to edit and save Word 2010 dox and Access 2010 front-ends but loading Office 2010 (without Outlook) has partially disabled the 2003 versions of Word and Access. At least I can't easily load them from the RightClick-OpenWith link or setting them as the default PRG through the Explorer folder options menu. I had to add shortcuts to the Start menu to easily load them and then find and open the document or file. That much is solved.
But how do I get Outlook 2003 to open Word 2003 as the editor? Right now it detects a conflict in versions and opens the HTML editor (I think).
- Chris

I'm guessing you're really going to need to ask an Outlook expert about this one, as I have no experience with Outlook 2003, but I would think that with Outlook 2003 you would be able to use it directly from Word 2003 (but not 2010).

As for how to get .doc files to open in Word 2003 (if that's your problem), it's really pretty simple. Search your hard drive for the Word 2003 executable (you can just search for "winword.exe" and then drill down to the one that is in an Office 11 folder). Copy the entire file path to that .exe; in my case (Windows 7, it's C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE). Open Start | Run and paste that in, in quotes, followed by the /r switch. For example:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" /r

Note the space before /r. Press Enter. This will reregister that version of Word, which will allow it to reclaim its association with .doc and .dot files. You may find that it also will want to open .docx files, but you can work around that using Open With or by starting Word 2010 first.
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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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