How Do I Set Open Office As My Default Word Processor on XP?


Open Office is a free word-processing program that can replace Microsoft Word and other costly word processors on your computer. However, if you’ve ever had Microsoft Word on your Windows computer, it will be set as the default word-processing program that automatically opens to handle any text document. When using Open Office, this can become a problem. But you can make Open Office the default word processor for all text documents.

Open Office Not Yet Installed

  • If you haven’t yet installed Open Office, then the steps to making it the default word processor are as simple as installing the program. The Open Office installation process includes a step where you are prompted to decide if you want to associate any file types with Open Office in the future. These file types include text documents, spreadsheets and any other type that would be previously associated with Word or another processor program. By selecting all available file types that are displayed and choosing to associate them with Open Office, Open Office becomes the default program for any word-processor file. This will not change unless you change these settings by either uninstalling Open Office or installing another word-processing program that prompts you to reassign the file associations.

Open Office Already Installed

  • If you have already installed Open Office but didn’t set the file associations to make it the default word processor, you can still do so. Fortunately, there is a built-in way to change certain aspects that are normally set during the install without reinstalling the software. In the “Start” menu open up the “Control Panel” and then double click “Add/Remove Programs” to bring up a new window with a list of installed software on your machine. Scroll to “Open Office” in the displayed list and click it. Doing so will cause an “Uninstall” button to appear to the right of the name. Click this button and it will initiate the uninstall utility that comes with the program. However, it will not automatically begin to remove the program. Instead you will have the option to either “Remove” the entire program or “Repair or Modify” the existing installation. Choose to “Repair or Modify” it, and you will receive the various prompts again that you normally would’ve seen during the initial install. This will allow you to get back to the file associations settings and then you can set all file types to run through Open Office by default. Once you go through these settings and save them, the program will automatically update and will now be the default word processor on your computer.

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