In the December 2005 item “How to Fix a Scrambled Registry,” a reader asked how to repair a Word file that refused to open in Word. Since I assumed a worst-case situation, in which the registry was scrambled and thus all the Word files were similarly afflicted, I offered a rather complex solution that required going into the Disk Operating System (DOS). Another reader, Thomas Davis, CPA, director of financial analysis for Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, S.C., wrote to suggest an easier solution if the problem was limited to just one file.
He suggests these steps: While in Explorer, right-click on the affected file. That opens a menu (see screenshot below). But do not do the obvious: Do not click on Microsoft Office Word . Although it will open the file in Word, it will not open it in Word every time the file is evoked. Instead, click on Choose Program , which opens yet another menu.
Now place a check in the box Always use the selected program to open this kind of file , and then click on Microsoft Office Word .
From now on, every time you access this file, it will open in Word.