Problem with command-line switches: Can't open Word by clicking on documents

Using Windows 7 64-bit.

When I click a Word document in Explorer or on the Start menu, I get the error "There was a problem sending the command to the program". I'm using Word 2003, but I don't get this problem with Excel 2003.

I know that when I try to open a document this way, the program uses the command switches "/n" -- which means "open a new instance of Word", -- and "/dde" -- which I don't know what it means. I do know that I don't want the /n switch. 

1) How can I remove the /n switch? Remember, I'm not clicking on a shortcut, but on a document icon. I know how to assign the "Open With" command, but I don't see any options about changing command-line switches.

2) Is the /dde switch causing my problem? How do I remove it? 

Compatibility mode doesn't seem to make a difference.

This doesn't happen with Excel 2003, or with any version of Office 2007. I'm sure this has something to do with how I associated .doc files to Word 2003: I'm guessing that it added the switches, and they're causing the problem. I wish I knew how to change the switches. 
 

Question Info


Last updated July 17, 2019 Views 87,357 Applies to:
Answer
Answer
 

Hello ShawnVW,

 

Thank you for visiting the Microsoft Windows Vista Community site.

 

Try the following:

 

Method 1: Change File Type Association Directly from the File Properties

 

  1. Right click on a file with the type or extension that want to change its associated application program.
  2. Select Properties on right click context menu.
  3. In the General tab, click on Change button.
  4. An Open With window will appear. Choose a program to open the kind of file from the list of programs available. By default, Recommended Programs is automatically expanded. However, there is more detected programs in the section of Other Programs, which can be expanded to select by clicking on Down Arrow at the end of the separator line.
    If the program that want to used as the default program does not found, click
    Browse to select an executable file manually.
  5. Click OK button.

 

Method 2: Change File Type Association Directly On The Fly

 

Note that this method works if only several programs have been used to open and run a kind of file type extension previously.

 

  1. Right click on a file with the type or extension that want to change its associated application program.
  2. Point to Open With on right click context menu, and then select Choose Default Program.
  3. An Open With window will appear. Choose a program to open the kind of file from the list of programs available. By default, Recommended Programs is automatically expanded. However, there is more detected programs in the section of Other Programs, which can be expanded to select by clicking on Down Arrow at the end of the separator line.
    If the program that want to used as the default program does not found, click
    Browse to select an executable file manually.
  4. Check and tick the checkbox for Always use the selected program to open this kind of file option.
  5. Click OK button. The file association will be set, and the file or document will be opened using the new default program automatically.

 

Method 3: Assign New File Association via Windows Vista Set Associations

 

  1. Open Control Panel. Then go to Programs and click Make a file type always open in a specific program.
    Alternatively, in the
    Classic View, open Default Programs and then click Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
  2. In the Set Associations folder, locate and highlight a file type by extension or protocol, and then click on Change Program button.
  3. An Open With window will appear. Choose a program to open the kind of file from the list of programs available. By default, Recommended Programs is automatically expanded. However, there is more detected programs in the section of Other Programs, which can be expanded to select by clicking on Down Arrow at the end of the separator line.
    If the program that want to used as the default program does not found, click
    Browse to select an executable file manually.
  4. Click OK button.

 

I suggest we run a System File Checker which scans for and attempts to fix corrupted System files. - below are the instructions and have Vista Disc ready:

Running the System File Checker

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Click Continue or supply Administrator credentials if prompted.
  3.  In the Command Prompt window type the following, and press:  Enter:sfc /scannow
  4.  You should see the following on-screen messages:
    1. Beginning the system scan. This process will take some time.
    2. Beginning verification phase of system scan.
    3. Verification % complete
  5.   Once the scan has completed you will receive an onscreen message resembling one of the following:
    1. …found no integrity violations
    2. found corruption but repaired it
    3. found corruption that it could not repair
  6.  Please reply with the completion message that you received.

 

This should resolve your problem.

 

Let us know if these steps resolve your problem.  I hope the information is useful.

 

Regards,


Anthony
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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