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Is there a way to open files with unknown extensions, or no extension, in a text editor by default?

I'm mostly interested in doing this on Windows 7, but it would be nice to know how in Mac/Linux too.

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See the comment I posted on the first answer for this question… – rob Dec 18 '12 at 15:48

Microsoft has a knowledge base article for just this situation:

KB236014 - "INFO: Shell Extensions for File Names with No File Extension"


For example, to associate a program (for example, Notepad.exe) to open all files with no extension, use the following registry keys:




@="<path to notepad.exe> %1"

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Sorry it took me a while to get back to you on this... I tried saving it as a .reg and executing it but that didn't seem to help. Is there a special trick to it? Thanks! This sounds perfect – Jeff Jul 28 '11 at 2:51

Linux doesn't consider file extensions as important as Windows does. Nevertheless it's usually a guide to the type of contents.

When I wish to open a file (I'm using Linux Mint 11) I right-click on the name and choose Open With, then select a text editor (like gedit) from the list of Applications.

I tend to use this approach in Windows (XP) too, but I choose Send to ...

That means I have to put a shortcut to my favourite text editor in the appropriate place. I've no idea how Windows 7 handles this.

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