Issue 89097 - Skip MS files association
Summary: Skip MS files association
Alias: None
Product: Installation
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 2.4.0
Hardware: All Windows, all
: P3 Trivial with 7 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-05-07 09:17 UTC by fab_from_asia
Modified: 2013-08-07 15:26 UTC (History)
10 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this issue.
Description fab_from_asia 2008-05-07 09:17:58 UTC
On PCs without MS Office, it should become default association for doc, xls and

I propose to skip the association step.

Comment 1 Olaf Felka 2008-05-07 09:43:39 UTC
The problem would be to find out if MS Office is installed. How is MS Office
named in the registry? I don't see this as a really needed enhancement.
Comment 2 Regina Henschel 2008-05-07 11:55:42 UTC
I disagree with this proposals. I have no Microsoft Office installed, but have
associated the endings to the viewers because they allow a quick view on such
documents, when you find them in the internet. I do not want, that OOo changes
such associations without asking me.
Comment 3 fab_from_asia 2008-05-07 18:37:23 UTC
Well, maybe is it better if checkboxes are enabled by default.
Comment 4 fab_from_asia 2008-05-09 08:37:30 UTC
Or skip this step if installer detect no association in registry for doc, xls or ppt

@of: the Windows API ShellExecute returns SE_ERR_ASSOCINCOMPLETE if there is no
application associated with the given file name extension
Comment 5 merschmann 2008-08-20 14:45:22 UTC
CCing Marketing (and myself)
Comment 6 Olaf Felka 2008-08-20 15:22:46 UTC
The MS file association has been removed from setup and is replaced by some
custom actions that check the registry if there are some associations for >MS
file types
Comment 7 Olaf Felka 2008-08-20 15:23:14 UTC
Comment 8 floeff+ooo 2008-08-20 16:56:27 UTC
I see this highly critical and most likely think this is a stopper. Introducing
such "major" changes so late in the release process is not good.

I doubt it will enhance the end user experience, I more think it will generate a
lot of trouble. No software should ever change file type associations if not
explicitly asking the user.

I clearly veto...
Comment 9 Mechtilde 2008-08-20 17:12:51 UTC
add to CC

This is the worst solution that was possible
Comment 10 floeff+ooo 2008-08-20 17:16:10 UTC
It seems that also the MSI properties have been broken up. A command line like

msiexec /qn /norestart /i openofficeorg30.msi SELECT_WORD=1 SELECT_EXCEL=1

doesn't work anymore, the file type associations are simply being ignored...
Comment 11 ajbwork 2008-10-14 13:26:50 UTC
We need the ability to have OpenOffice be the default program for MS Office 
files. I think it is great that if MS Office isn't installed that OOo 
automatically becomes the default app for DOC, XLS & PPT. However, if someone 
has MS Office installed there is not an option to make OOo the default now. We 
need this back. If you are installing OOo on multiple PC's with MSO installed it 
is a pain manually configuring the file associations.

Please give this back.
Comment 12 thomasjk 2008-10-14 15:58:22 UTC
This feature should be left the same as it was in 2.4.1, user choice. It was a
great surprise to me when I installed 3.0 and found out I had to redo all the
file associations manually. Your not improving the user experience at all!
Comment 13 appierm 2008-10-19 00:24:17 UTC
I agree that the previous step found in 2.4.1 was good.  Although I do know how
to associate file types, I prefer to use for the Microsoft file
types.  In the wishlist, it would be nice to have that choice returned.
Comment 14 abqbill 2008-10-26 00:33:28 UTC
The association dialog no longer appears when running the 3.0 installer, giving
the distinct impression that the installer is buggy because I could find no
mention that the dialog is now being skipped intentionally. This impression is
only reinforced by verifying that the dialog is still there in the installer
database (MSI).

Please fix the installer database and restore the association dialog, or provide
another way to accomplish the association(s), because an important feature has
actually been removed.

Comment 15 cdclemons 2008-10-28 05:28:04 UTC
Giving users the option to change the MS file associations to point to Open
Office is a must.  I certainly know how to recreate a few associations, but for
many of the clients and friends I work with who could gain from switching to
Open Office, a smooth transition is of paramount importance.
I don't believe it needs to be in the setup wizard, but after the install, there
should be some option to change the associations quickly and easily.
As an example, I have one friend who has been using MS Office for years.  A
recent malware problem caused her installed copy of MS Office to be corrupted
including the registered file extensions (and of course she does not have the
original install CD's).  After getting her computer cleaned, I suggested Open
Office.  After the install, her first comment was, "Why can't I double-click on
my files to open them anymore?"  :)  She was seriously considering running out
to buy a new copy of MS Office right then.  I guess what I'm trying to say is
that if we want people to switch, we have to make things as simple and clear as
possible, even the "small stuff" that may not seem all that important.
Comment 16 maybeway36 2008-11-16 03:34:17 UTC
I think it should present this dialog box, and it should ask users about Rich 
Text Format files. 3.0 leaves RTF files associatied with the rather inferior 
Wordpad by default, so I had to change the association and icon manually.
Comment 17 kramy 2008-11-16 06:33:20 UTC
This is super annoying to me. I don't have wordpad(junked it), and I just
installed OpenOffice 3.0.0; it doesn't open RTF documents.  :/
Comment 18 fabioooo 2008-11-25 13:12:46 UTC
I agree. It would be nice to have this restored in 3.0.1.
Comment 19 wsky 2008-12-02 20:19:49 UTC
I talking as an experienced user. Still I prefer the installation to be as 
simple and quick as possible, but I strongly oppose that OOo should change 
existing associations without asking. Therefore it should atomatically 
associate with ALL supported file types that currently have NO association.

Then, if there is an existing association for either doc, xls, ppt or rtf, 
there should be a simple question:

"Do you want to become your default application for all standard 
Microsoft Office documents and Rich Text Format (Wordpad) documents? If you 
choose "No", you can later change your preferred associations by {going to 
options/using the supplied tool/..?..}

Yes or No."

Please consider: it doesn't matter if MS Office is installed, because Microsoft 
offers free viewers for .doc, .xls and .ppt. Users may not want OOo to open MS 
Office documents, when they usually don't open them for editing, but for 
viewing only.

Then we need a good UI for editing associations. Ideally it would display 
extension, description, current association and a checkbox for OOo association.

One more:

It is possible for any file type to have several associations (but of course 
only one default association), which all appear in the context menu. I'm not 
talking about the "Open with..." sub-menu, which is set by Windows when using 
the "Choose program..." option in this sub-menu.

So even when the user chooses not to change default associations for MS Office 
documents, OOo can add itself to the options in the main context menu.
Comment 20 brons2 2008-12-23 18:36:30 UTC
I agree with wsky's comments.  Don't force users to associate, but at least give
them the option to do it as part of the install.  

Making non-technical users manually associate MS files with their OpenOffice
equivalents is an absolute non-starter.
Comment 21 zedaddy 2008-12-24 06:54:23 UTC
I agree that the users should be able to decide whether they want to change the 
association at startup, but they should also have the ability to do it later.
As I am deploying OpenOffice in my company, I would like to let the user use 
both products for a short period of time, and later change their associations 
when we remove MSOffice.  
Comment 22 klopus 2008-12-26 21:13:02 UTC
Association step shouldn't be skipped! Moreover it should be part of Options 
and not installation to address situations when other apps "steal" back 
associations. Users clearly should be given possibility to decide whether to 
grab MS office file extension associations irregardless of whether MS Office 
was installed or not. In OOo 3.0 as opposed to prior OOo versions this is 
clearly broken. No matter whether I had MS Office installed or not double-
clicking on .doc file won't open it in Writer unless I go through a convoluted 
MS process which for me even doesn't work on Vista.

Btw, this issue is formulated is such a way that I'm at loss whether to vote 
for it or not provided everything I said above.
Comment 23 ianmoz 2008-12-28 16:19:54 UTC
IMHO an app should NEVER change file assocs without first asking the user.

This is my first look at OOo and I specifically wanted to use OOo 3.0 to open 
MSOffice 2007 files on a laptop which did not have Office, but did have MS 
Works installed. Contrary to the info on the website, I did not get the option 
during installation to select which file types to associate and now everything 
is hooked into OOo. Not impressed. Will probably uninstall OOo and find some 
third-party redaers instead.
Comment 24 bobban 2008-12-28 17:07:37 UTC
I must agree that this change has not been a good one. Personally I am fine, but
as a volunteer on the community forums I see a lot of first time (and existing)
users complaining about this change (sometimes very angry indeed as if they feel
cheated for trying out OOo). Just bring it back to where it was before v3.0.0,
and if it ain't broke don't fix it...
Comment 25 abqbill 2009-01-09 22:31:40 UTC
I found this reference:

...which explains the rationale behind removing the association dialog. However,
I disagree with the rationale that the dialog should be "removed from setup due
to users tend to check those options in setup and wonder why MSO registration is
set to OOo." If users did this without reading the dialog, I would consider it
user error that can be repaired by using the "Repair" option with MSO or the MSO
viewer tools.

It is a hindrance to remove useful functionality without providing an alternative.

In addition, the OOo 3.0 help file still refers to the dialog box under the
topic "Installation/Changing the Association of Microsoft Office Document Types".

I vote again to restore the OOo 2.x functionality to allow the installer to
create the file associations. The default state of the check boxes is a
different question. Presumably if a file type does not have a registered
application, the default state could be selected; otherwise, it could be deselected.


Comment 26 tschrock 2009-01-10 17:10:50 UTC
Any well written program allows changing of the association of file types.  My
biggest gripe has been those programs that "steal" associations and make it
difficult to change back.  I think this should be both in the install procedure
and in the options.  I am very much against this issue as stated ("Skip MS file
Comment 27 hagar_de_lest 2009-01-11 11:48:48 UTC
Is it possible to make clear what this issue is for? At the beginning, it was
for skipping the MS file association dialog. Now that the dialog has been
completely removed (not exactly what had been asked BTW), users use this report
to vote also for the come back of the file association dialog.

To avoid any confusion, all users that want to have that dialog back should
remove their votes from this one and vote for Issue 96594 filed few months ago.
Comment 28 ulcha 2009-01-12 08:52:15 UTC
Possibility to set file associations is very neccesary for silent installation.
I'm stuck on 2.4 Openoffice, because "SELECT_WORD=1/0" and "SELECT_EXCEL=1/0"
aren't effective anymore.
I vote against this issue and association dialog removal.
Comment 29 abqbill 2009-01-12 17:48:12 UTC
Agreed, is a better place
to vote to get this fixed since it states the problem correctly.
Comment 30 consaka 2009-02-16 17:22:45 UTC
As far as I am concerned This is an emergency. I just had some people call me 
all excited because they suddenly could not open any documents after upgrading. 
What was wrong with it the way it was? regardless of whether or not MSoffice is 
installed it should be a choice on installation. The way issue 3 is now I have 
to go through alot of support work to get all possible office files associated 
with Openoffice. This violates so much commonsense that it blows my mind that it 
happened at all. Now I have people questioning whether or not OO is a viable 
alternative to Office. (sigh)
Comment 31 abqbill 2009-02-22 00:06:53 UTC

If your vote is to restore the Microsoft Office file association dialog (not
skip it, as the summary suggests), please vote for rather than this one.