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Introduction

Double Clicking a WordStar File in Windows Explorer Doesn't Start WordStar and Load the File. You can resolve this by associating WordStar file types with Microsoft Windows 9x & NT4. The process is similar for later versions of Microsoft Windows.

Reason

WordStar files aren't directly recognised by Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Word has also stolen the often used .doc file extension for its own use and if Microsoft Word is not installed then WordPad will use this file extension instead, the often used .txt extension is, by default, allocated to Windows Notepad.

   
FAQ Topic How to Set up and Use Shortcut Icons in Microsoft Windows
  Overview Overview
  Set Up the basic WordStar Association Set Up the Basic WordStar Association
  Set Up the File Open Command Set Up the File Open Command
  Set Up the File Open in Non-Document Mode Command Set Up the File Open in Non-Document Mode Command
  Set Up the File Print Command Set Up the File Print Command
  Set the Default Action Set the Default Action
  Changing the Icon Change the Icon
  Conclusion Conclusion
  How to Use the Associations How to Use the Associations

Overview

To allow compatibility with Microsoft Word's import filters, and to identify - explicitly - the WordStar file types it is necessary to set up new file type associations within Windows Explorer.

This solution can be modified to suit whichever file extension you normally give your WordStar documents - however, it is recommended that you use the format of .wsx - where x represents the version of WordStar that created the file. Doing this will make it easier to transfer files to non-WordStar users.

The actual method depends on the version of Microsoft Windows being used, the differences being in how to access the File Extensions dialog. The example given is for Windows 98 and WordStar 7 - Windows 95 and NT 4 are similar.

Create the File Associations

Set Up the Basic WordStar Association

  1. Click Start, then click Programs and then click Widows Explorer
  2. In Windows Explorer, click View, then click Folder Options
  3. Click the File Types tab.
  4. Click the New Type button.
  5. In the Description of type: box, type "WordStar 7 Document" (without the quotation marks - change this to match your version of WordStar).

Set Up the File Open Command

  1. Below the Actions box, Click the New button.
  2. In the New Action dialog's Action box, type Open.
  3. In the Application used to perform action box type the full path to your WordStar executable file (e.g., C:\WS7\WS.EXE) you can use the Browse button to locate it if necessary.
  4. Click OK

Set Up the File Open in Non-Document Mode Command

  1. Below the Actions box, Click the New... button.
  2. In the New Action dialog's Action box, type Open in Non-Document Mode .
  3. In the Application used to perform action box type the full path to your WordStar executable file followed by the command switch to open the file in non-document mode (e.g., C:\WS7\WS.EXE %1/n) you can use the Browse button to locate WordStar if necessary, then add the " %1/n" to the end -- this opens the selected file in non-document mode.
  4. Click OK

Set Up the File Print Command

  1. Below the Actions box, Click the New button.
  2. In the New Action dialog's Action box, type Print.
  3. In the Application used to perform action box type the full path to your WordStar executable file followed by the command switches to print the file (e.g., C:\WS7\WS.EXE %1/p/x) you can use the Browse button to locate WordStar if necessary, then add the " %1/p/x" to the end -- this opens the selected file, prints it immediately to the default printer, and then closes WordStar again.
  4. Click OK

Set the Default Action

The default action - the one that responds to a double-click - should be shown in bold letters.

  1. Click on the newly created Open Action in the Actions box.
  2. Click the Set Default button (If this isn't enabled, click one of the other actions first, and then reselect the Open action - the button should now be enabled - this is a bug in Windows 98 SE).

Change the Icon

The default icon given to unknown file types isn't very helpful. You can change this (for WordStar documents) from this panel. This will not affect the icon you use for the WordStar program itself.

  1. Click the Change Icon... button.
  2. Click OK in the warning that WS.EXE doesn't contain any icons.
  3. Select an icon from the options shown, or click the Browse button to locate another icon file (try browsing to your WordStar directory and select an icon from there). There are also some icons you can download.
  4. With the chosen icon highlighted, click Open, then click OK.

Conclusion

  1. Click Close, then Close again to finish the file type associations.
  2. Using the still open Windows Explorer window, find a WordStar file and right-click on it. You should see options to Open, Open in non-document mode, and Print the file. Test each one. Note: For the print test choose a small file because you're going to print it!). Then try double-clicking on the file - it should open in WordStar.

How to Use the Associations

You can now double-click any WordStar document file listed by Windows Explorer and it will be opened in WordStar.

Right-clicking on a file and selecting the Open option from the pop-up menu is the same as double-clicking on it.

To directly print a file, right-click on it and select the Print option from the pop-up menu