Configuring Windows 95 and Internet Explorer
to use an Application (MS-Word) to view RTF files.

If you have MS-Word for Windows or any of its derivatives (MS-Office, Office 97, etc.) currently installed on your computer, there is better than a 50/50 chance that it is already set-up to be launched when your Browser starts the download of a DOC, DOT or RTF file.

To test the process: Select one of our sample AD, TC or FAR files. There are three possibilities: (Test file TC P44GL)

  1. The "Save Location" dialog box will appear, asking for a location (directory) in which to save the file.
  2. A "Choice" dialog box will appear, asking if you want View the file in the application or download to a 'Location'.
  3. The application (MS-Word) will be launched and the file displayed while your Browser is still active.

In the case of No. 2 or 3 above; you're done. The association has already been created. You don't have to read anymore.

If all you see is the "Save Location" dialog box, then your goal is to create an 'association' between the File Type "RTF" and an application that can open the RTF File Type and display the text file data.

The following may seem a little convoluted, but that is the nature of MS-Windows. However, with just a little work here, the results are actually quite impressive. With your System properly configured, when you click on a Filename, the file will be downloaded, MS-Word will be launched and the file will be displayed retaining all of its formatting and giving you the power and flexibility of having the file in a "Full Blown" word processor with features like; Save, Save As and Cut & Paste at your fingertips.

Note: We are not big fans of Microsoft, however, for this part of the job RTF was the obvious choice and MS-Word does the best job of creating and then redisplaying an RFT file. Other Viewers, Editors and Word Processors can display RTF files, however, the formatting is frequently not reproduced correctly. The problem deals with Printer Definitions, Fonts and the way Tabs and Spaces are interpreted. That is why Adobe created the PDF file format, which we reject out-of-hand.

Internet Explorer is a bit more complicated (indirect) in this regard than Netscape in that you must work in Windows and not the Browser. If you have a copy of MS-Word for Windows or any of its derivatives (MS-Office, Office 97, etc.) currently installed on your computer, the task is not too hard.

  1. From the Windows 95 Desk Top, click on My Computer, then View, then Folder Options, and last File Types.
  2. Find MS-Word; it will probably be under "M" for Microsoft, Not "W" for Word.
  3. You can use other applications such Word Perfect or Quick View, however, the formatting may not be just right.
  4. Set the "Open" function to the path for the application you intend to use.
    (To find the path, click the right mouse button on the Application Icon and select "Properties" and then "Shortcut"; the path will be displayed in "Target".)

The following is an excerpt for the Windows 95 Help System (My Computer | View | Folder Options | File Types):

To change which program starts when you open a file:

  1. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, click the View menu, and then click Folder Options.
  2. Click the File Types tab.
  3. In the list of file types, click the one you want to change.
    The settings for that file type are shown in the File Type Details box.
  4. Click Edit.
  5. In the Actions box, click Open.
  6. Click Edit, and then specify the program you want to use to open files that have this extension.

Tip: For Help on an item, click on the “?” at the top of the dialog box, and then click the item.