Configuring Netscape Navigator
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. (Test file TC P44GL)

There are three possibilities:

  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 'relationship' between the File Type "RTF" and an application that can open the RTF File Type and display the text file data.

In Netscape 3 and 4 the process is very simple. However, you must first know what application (MS-Word, etc.) you are going to use as the RTF viewer and where it's application ".EXE" is located on your computer. If you do not know where the ".EXE" is located: Right-Mouse click on either the Application Icon or the Application Name in "Start | Programs"; then select Properties. The path to the ".EXE" will be under the Shortcut Tab in the box labeled "Target".

With knowledge of the Application and it's ".EXE" location, do the following with Netscape loaded and open:

  1. Select Options and then General Preferences.
  2. Select the Helpers Tab and go to the bottom of the list.
  3. Two or three items from the bottom will be "application/rtf" followed by the "Action" to be taken and extension "rtf".
  4. Select (Highlight) the line "application/rtf", then select the desired "Action"; in this case "Launch the Application".
  5. Click on the Browse Button and find the Application ".EXE" location: Click on OK.

Netscape is now configured to launch the Applicaiton (MS-Word, etc.) whenever an RTF file is selected to view. 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.