File Associations, Why Should I Care?

Last post we discussed the differences between Adobe’s Reader and Acrobat. Many times when you’re wanting to just view a PDF file and you double-click on its icon… it opens up inside Acrobat (the conversion program) when you’re expecting (or wanting) it to open up inside Reader (the viewing program). This has to do with an operating system feature called “file association”. Your computer has a list of files and the programs to be used to open or edit a specific file type. If you want your computer to open Adobe’s Reader program when you double-click on a PDF icon, yet the document opens up inside Acrobat… we need to reset the file association for your PDF files. On a PC, this feature is located in your “Explore” window. Here’s how you can set or change your file associations on a PC:
To change which program starts when you double-click a file, follow these steps:
• Right-click your Start button > select Explore > Navigate to a folder that contains the file type for which you want to set up a file association.
• Right-click the file > select Open With > The Open With dialog box is displayed.
• In the Programs list, click the program that you want to use. If it is not shown here > select Browse, locate and then click the program that you want to use, and then click Open.
• Click to select the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” check box > Click OK.
You have just setup a file association for that file type. From now on, when you click to open that file type, Windows will open that file type using the program you selected.

Here’s how you can change/set your file associations on a MAC.
First you need to open the file’s information window by:
• Selecting the file
• Click “Get Info” from the File menu
• Select “Open with:”
• Click the “Open With” drop-down menu
• Select the program you want to open the file > close the window
When you double-click the document, the MAC operating system will now open it using the program you selected. Cool eh?

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