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How to make Word 2003 your default word processor

Help for Office 2010 refuseniks

QUESTION I find Microsoft Office 2010’s ribbon interface unintuitive – particularly in Word. I installed Word 2003 alongside the 2010 product, but the newer version still seems to be the default software for text documents.

If I accidentally launch Word 2010, a message pops up reporting: ‘Configuration process – configuring Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010’. This message remains onscreen for more than a minute. Is there any way to stop this screen appearing and make Word 2003 the default? John Addey

HELPROOM ANSWER If you aren’t using Word 2010, the easiest solution would be to uninstall it, John. Open ‘Programs and Features’ in the Control Panel, then find and select Microsoft Office 2010 in the list and choose Change, ‘Add or remove features’. Expand Microsoft Word and select ‘Not available’, then click Continue. This will remove Word 2010 from your computer. Reboot if required.

To ensure that Word 2003 is the default program for working with text documents on your machine, open ‘Default Programs’ in the Control Panel and check it’s listed there.

Finally, we recommend downloading and installing the Office Compatibility Pack. This will enable you to continue viewing and saving Word documents in the Office 2007/2010 .docx file format.

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

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