File Associations & Office 2003/2007 Dual Install

By rmolnar ·
My wife and I share a laptop computer on which I've installed Office 2007, while keeping Office 2003. I need Office 2007 for my work, while my wife needs Office 2003 for her work.

We are also using Windows XP Professional, SP2. We have separate user accounts on the machine.

Does anyone know of a way that I can re-associate Office 2003 applications with office file types for her user account?

So far, I've tried re-associating the types using Control Panel --> Folder Options --> File Types. This doesn't seem to work. Specifically, (1) I select the PPT extension; (2) Click the Change button; (3) Click browse; (4) Navigate to Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 11\Powerpnt.exe; (4) I then select the executable and click Open. However, it does not update the Open With list. Instead, PowerPoint 2007 still appears in the list. By the way, the install path for Office 2007 is Program Files\Microsoft Office 2007\; Office 2003 is located at Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 11\

My end goal is for my wife to be able to double-click any PowerPoint (or other Office file) and have that file open in the associated Office 2003 application instead of opening in Office 2007. It would also be nice if I could preserve my file associations in my user account such that Office files open in Office 2007.

Any thoughts? Thank you!

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All Answers

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No it's not possible

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to File Associations & Offic ...

The problem is that Office installs itself and adds hooks into Windows these Hooks are the same for the different Office Products so when you install 2007 it cripples 2003.

If you don't very carefully install the new version it will also overwrite the old version as they both attempt to install to the same directory. But even if you install them to different Directories the 2003 version can not work with 2007 installed.

The only way around this is to resize the HDD and install another copy of XP and Dual Boot. You would then need to change OS each time that you or your wife needs to use the computer which would involve rebooting and selecting the other OS when presented with the option to chose which OS to boot.

When you do this remember to install the copy of Office to the new Partition that you have created and do the same with XP as you can not install 2 copies to the same partition and have both working.


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Installing to different drives...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to No it's not possible

under the same OS is no fun either. Open an 03 program after running an 07 program and Office 03 reconfigures to be the 'primary' Office program. Open an 07 program after running an 03 program and Office 07 reconfigures to be the 'primary' package. Did it for the summer semester out of minor necessity and it was no fun - spent way too much time waiting for Office whatever version to configure. Never did find any registry settings that would put a stop to the constant reconfiguring.

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Yes it is a Right Royal Pain but this is the only possibility

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Installing to different d ...

That would work as a solution to the question being asked isn't it?


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Thank you for the suggestions ...

by rmolnar In reply to Yes it is a Right Royal P ...

Thank you both for the suggestions. I think we'll just manage until my wife's work switches over to Office 2007.

What a pain. I wish that Windows products installed more like Unix products and didn't have to always hook into the Registry!

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You may be waiting a very long time

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thank you for the suggest ...

Most sensible business will not be moving to Office 2007 for a very long time as it is different to 2003 and unless steps are taken it is not backward compatible with 2003 so it is no longer possible to electronically Lodge Documents.

Currently I advise all of my customers not to adopt 2007 yet and I have no intention of changing this advice in the short term.

If they use 2003 they can send documents to everyone no matter what they use without bothering to save in a different format to the Native File Format that Office 2007 provides. If they use Office 2003 they can exchange documents with everyone without problems but if you send a Word 2007 Document to a copy of Word 2003 or older it is not readable without extra software installed.


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There is a way to associate them right!

by avallejor In reply to File Associations & Offic ...

Just rename 2003 executables (e.g. Excel.exe => Excellence.exe, Word.exe => Wordor.exe...). Then associate them right clicking any office file and selecting "Open with..." and then choose the new names of executables... If you want to have everything right, you can leave copies of original executables in place.


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Also add this reg file.

by IC-IT In reply to There is a way to associa ...

I know this is a ressurected Zombie Question but ....
As linked by another poster to the MSKB article, here is the reg entry. Copy the text below and save it as anything.reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"PROGRAMDIR"="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\OFFICE11\\"


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