Today, I had one of those moments of minor frustration where a ‘feature’ bugged me. So I tried to find a way to fix it and it took about 10 minutes to figure out and confirm it worked. That’s about 9.5 minutes longer than I would have liked, so I figured I’d post a quick entry on it in case someone else can save a few minutes in the future.
My problem was having Word documents show up in IE whenever I clicked on a link to a document. I can’t count the number of times that’s happened and I end up saving it out to my desktop and opening it with Word directly. So I went off to see if there was a way to always make it come up in Word. There was a way, though it’s not exactly amazingly easy to find. Here’s how you do it:
- Launch Windows Explorer.
- Select “Folder Options…“ from the Tools menu.
- Select the “File Types“ tab.
- Scroll down the list of “Registered file types“ until you find “DOC – Microsoft Word Document“ and select it.
- Click on the “Advanced…“ button at the bottom of the dialog.
- Uncheck the “Browse in same window“ checkbox.
That should do the trick. Absolutely far from mind-blowing, but if you’re like me, it’s a lot nicer this way. This also works for some other file types such as Powerpoint (PPT). Though, I do find that having Powerpoint decks showing up in the browser is more often a good way to go than it is for Word documents.
Update (4/29): Omar Shahine has gone ahead and figured out what registry keys affect these settings so it can be done via a registry update script instead of the GUI. You can find more info here. He also went through a similar exercise for PDF files which you can find here.