As an IT administrator, it is important to ensure that the correct programs are associated with the correct file extensions on the system you are managing. This is especially important when dealing with multiple versions of the same file type, as the wrong file association can cause the application to malfunction or not open at all. Fortunately, Windows 7 allows you to assign file extensions to programs using wildcards, making it easy to manage multiple versions of the same file type.
Wildcards are special characters that are used to represent one or more characters in a string. For example, the asterisk (*) is used to represent any number of characters, and the question mark (?) is used to represent a single character. Using these symbols, you can create a file association pattern that will match any file type with a specific extension.
To create a wildcard file association in Windows 7, open the Control Panel and select “Default Programs”. Click “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”. In the “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” window, scroll down to the bottom and click “Advanced”. Select the “Edit” button at the bottom of the window.
In the “Edit File Type” window, you will see a list of file types and their associated programs. To create a wildcard file association, click the “Add” button at the bottom of the window. In the “Add File Type” window, enter the extension you wish to associate with a program, followed by an asterisk (*). For example, if you want to associate all .docx files with Microsoft Word, you would enter “docx*”.
Next, select the program you wish to associate with this file type from the list. Finally, click “OK” to add the wildcard file association.
Once you have created the wildcard file association, any file with the specified extension will be associated with the selected program. For example, if you associated all .docx files with Microsoft Word, then any file with an extension of .docx, .docx1, .docx2, etc. will be opened with Microsoft Word.
Wildcard file associations can be extremely useful for managing multiple versions of the same file type. By creating a single association, you can ensure that all files with the specified extension will be opened with the correct program. This can save you time and ensure that your users are able to open the correct files without any issues.