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How do I get Word documents on the web to show up in Word, rather than my browser?

How do I get Word documents on the web to show up in Word, rather than my browser?

This actually applies to many document types including Adobe
Acrobat, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. The common
default behavior for those documents on the web is to open up
within your browser. For casual surfing that may be enough but
if you’re like me you’re more comfortable with those documents within
their native applications. The good news is that for most document
types it’s a quick and easy fix.

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These instructions assume Windows XP but other versions of Windows
are very similar if not identical in most steps.

  • Fire up windows explorer (I like using WindowsKey-E as a quick
    shortcut or right-click on “My Computer” and select “Explore”).
  • Select the Tools menu
  • Click on Folder Options
  • Click on the File Types tab.
  • In the list of Registered File Types scroll down to the
    file extension that corresponds to the application you want to change.
    For example “.doc” for Word documents.
  • Click on the Advanced button.
  • Deselect the checkbox Browse in Same Window.
  • Press OK and repeat for any other document types you

Occasionally you will encounter document types for which the Browse
in Same Window option is grayed. In this case you should check the
application associated with that document type for an equivalent
option. Adobe Acrobat is one example on my system. If you fire up Adobe
Acrobat or Acrobat Reader it has its own option Display PDF in
that you can turn off.

Do this

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4 comments on “How do I get Word documents on the web to show up in Word, rather than my browser?”

  1. Any idea where this setting is held in the registry? I have a few hundred systems I need to change and I would like to script the change.

  2. How can I get word files to open in word on a Vista machine using Office 2003 instead of Internet Explorer. The browse in same window option is no longer available.

  3. Beaut article, but it doesn’t work for .Dot’s. Also, I want my .Dot to open up with full Word – meaning that it runs the VBA code behind when run from a website. How do I do that?


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