Help me make use Word 2004 instead of Word 2008
May 9, 2008 6:03 AM   Subscribe

How do I change the version of Word that uses to open Word documents?

I hate Word 2008 for the Mac (because it's slow and buggy and doesn't play nice with Expose). Currently, I have both Word 2004 and Word 2008 installed on my computer, and I'd like to keep both of them. However, I would like Word 2004 to be the default version of Word that (suitable) documents open with, both in the Finder and in I can change all in the Finder, but Mail still insists in opening attached files with Word 2008.

Can anyone give me instructions for making use Word 2004 instead of Word 2008?
posted by leahwrenn to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Have you tried:

1) Right click (Ctrl+click) on Word 2008 in your Applications folder and select "Create Archive". It will still be there in a zipped archive so you can get it back easily in the future, be it will take it out of play.

2) Find a Word document, right click on it and choose "Get Info", select "open with..." and choose Word 2004.

Another option would be to try Open Office an use just step 2 to associate .doc files with it.
posted by quarterframer at 6:32 AM on May 9, 2008

If you archive, then unarchive Word 2004, that should ensure its entry in the launch services database is the more recent one, so it'll be chosen for documents it can open. At least, this used to be the case. I like the idea of zipping it, but it might be even better to make a disk image, so you can easily mount it if you want to use it and unmount it afterward.
posted by kindall at 8:35 AM on May 9, 2008

I don't know why you need to archive anything. Just select any Word document in the Finder, Get Info, and choose "Open with: Word 2004." Then hit the Change All… button.
posted by designbot at 10:14 AM on May 9, 2008

Never mind; I see you already did that. Oops!
posted by designbot at 10:15 AM on May 9, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, the problem is that doesn't seem to pay attention to the "open with:word 2004" setting that the Finder (mostly) seems to pay attention to, and I haven't found a preference in Mail that lets me choose the default application to have it use for various document types.

I don't want to have Word 2008 archived, because I imagine that I will be receiving documents at some point that can only be opened in Word 2008. But most of what I'm currently receiving is still word 2004 (or the windows equivalent).
posted by leahwrenn at 10:24 AM on May 9, 2008

That's very, very odd. Mail uses what the finder uses for this.

But, here's something to try as a shot.

I think that what's going on, is that microsoft doesn't expect both to be there and running on the same machine. So, when you assign all to 2004, it works fine (and would inside of mail)...but then you go an launch 2008 and it takes over the association of (newer) .doc files.

Try testing it: set it (again) in the finder. Test it out in mail. Then launch 2008...and test it again. I'm guessing it works right the first time (2004) and then, once you launch then uses 2008 instead

My guess is that microsoft (and apple) aren't really prepared for you to have both versions from the same manufacturer on your system.
posted by filmgeek at 12:02 PM on May 9, 2008

hi leahwrenn, if you don't get a better method suggested, the archiving method will work for this exact issue. I wouldn't suggest it again but it seemed like you thought it might make 2008 a pain to access again, which it does not.

Whenever you decide you want 2008 again or have a document that requires it for some reason, it takes, like, one second to unzip the archive.
posted by quarterframer at 1:07 PM on May 9, 2008

The reason the Mac gets confused is because both versions of the Office applications have the same creator signature. In the old (Mac OS 8-9) days, I would have just changed the creator type on the Word 2008 application itself and rebuilt the desktop. Then, double-clicking documents would have opened them in Word 2004, but I could still open them in Word 2008 by dropping them on the Word 2008 icon. You can probably do something like this under Mac OS X as well, but I've never bothered to figure out how all this works under the new regime. Still, it might give you an approach to try.
posted by kindall at 6:03 AM on May 10, 2008

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