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Windows Vista hints and tips

View files with Notepad

Notepad is a useful viewer for all sorts of file types and it's not just for viewing text files with a .txt extension. It is associated with log files too and you can double click them them to view the contents in Notepad, and ini files are associated with it too. If you come across a file type that you want to view in Notepad you can right click the file and select Open With from the menu that is displayed. Most files are associated with a program and choosing Open With lists alternatives. If Notepad is displayed, you can select it. If it isn't on the list, click Choose Program and find it in the list. To permanently change the association to Notepad you can tick the box labelled Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.

If a file isn't currently associated with any program, you won't see an Open With option on the menu when you right click it. Just double (left) click it and when Windows says it can't open the file, choose Select the program from a list. You can then choose Notepad from the list. You have the option to make the association permanent too.

Instead of associating Notepad with every new file type you come across, it is better to add Notepad to the Send To menu. Then you can just right click any file and select Send To, Notepad. The text editor starts and automatically loads the file you clicked for editing or viewing.

In Vista, open an Explorer window and navigate to C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo. An Explorer window opens and shows the contents of the folder that the Send To menu is made from. anything you put in here appears on the Send To menu, so either copy Notepad.exe from the Windows folder and paste it here, or right click and select New, Shortcut and create a shortcut to Notepad in the folder. As soon as you do this it appears on the Send To menu when you right click any file in an Explorer window.

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