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Enabling the following setting will allow you to use Notepad to open a file simply by right-clicking on the icon. Notepad will also be used to open the files by default if no association already exists.
- Open your registry and find the key "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shell". If it doesn't already exist, then create it.
- Under "Shell," create a new key called "Open" and edit the string "(Default)" to read "Open With Notepad".
- Under "Open," create a new key called "Command" and edit the string "(Default)" to read "notepad.exe %1".
*Note: This tweak may affect the Office 97 toolbar feature and stop it from working correctly. This is because when you click an icon on the Office toolbar, it activates the first context menu item which in this case is the new "Open with Notepad" command, rather than looking for the default item.
This was first published in October 2002