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File management

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How Windows Manages Files- Associations III
On a previous page, we learned how to change file associations. On this page we learn how to add new file associations.

Adding Associations

Sometimes it is advantageous to have a choice of programs to open a file. For example, occasionally you may wish to open a .txt file in Word instead of using Notepad. Or you may have two Internet browsers and want to be able to use either to open .html files. Also, it is sometimes desirable to have separate programs for different functions. You may wish to open (display) pictures with one program and do editing with another. In this case it is often convenient to have the extra functions listed explicitly in the right-click context menu.

The picture of part of a context menu shownabove illustrates the use of multiple actions for a single file type. In this example, which uses the HTM,HTML type, seven programs and eight functions are involved as listed in the table below.Note that separately listed actions do not have to actually be different types of functions. They just need to have different names. So, for example, you could "Open" a .txt file with Notepad, "View" it with Wordpad, and "Read" it with Microsoft Word, in all cases doing the same thing but using different programs. To keep track of what program is being invoked, you can use the name of the program in the description of the action. Thus for .jpg files you could name one action "Open with Internet Explorer" and name another "Open with Paint Shop Pro", where the content inside the quotes indicates the entries that will appear in your right-click menu. Similarly, for .html files, you could have both "Open with Internet Explorer" and "Open with Netscape". Click here to see a short slide show that details the steps for adding functions to the right-click context menu.

Example of different actions in a context menu
Action Program Function
Open Internet Explorer Display the page
Quickview Quick View Show code (no editing possible)
Read Notepad Simple Editing of code
Edit DevPad Editing with a number of features
Print Internet Explorer Print resolved page (not code)
Edit with Dreamweaver Dreamweaver Powerful editor for Web development
Open with Opera Opera Display the page with different browser
Edit with Word MS Word WYSIWYG editing