Is it possible to use Outlook 2003 and enable "Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages" (in the Mail Format options), but also have Office 2007 installed?

It appears that both Word 2003 and Word 2007 duel over which one is default. Having the Word as the email editor only seems to work when Word 2003 is the default, but when you launch Word 2007 it reruns setup and makes it the default.

Does anybody know of any workarounds or ideas? Thanks!

  • 1
    I have to ask why you would want this and not just use Word 2007? – BinaryMisfit Jul 28 '09 at 21:23
  • My work uses a Domino server for email. The Lotus Notes connector only works with Outlook 2003 not 2007. I would use 2007 if I could! – Jon Jul 30 '09 at 13:09

There is an easy fix for this, see below. It is taken from the Microsoft KB, just scroll down to the section called Multiple versions of Word. I have used it before when dealing with an Act! problem that needed Word 2003 to be (and stay) the default instead of Word 2007 (both installed at the same time) - worked a treat.

  1. Exit Word 2007.
  2. Start Registry Editor.
    • In Windows Vista, click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
    • In Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type **regedit** in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click to select the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options
  4. After you select the subkey that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
  5. Type NoReReg, and then press ENTER.
  6. Right-click NoReReg, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

Once you have followed the steps above, when you open Word 2007 it will stop trying to set itself as the default version. Simply set 2003 to be the default again and the setting will stick for good.


It's certainly possible to have both the 2003 and 2007 versions of Office installed without the issues your describing. What you're seeing are often a result of registry issues during the install/configuration causing Office to not be correctly installed.

Easiest way to resolve this is to uninstall both versions, install Office 2003 and then install Office 2007 (make sure to use the customize option and select which 2003 apps to leave on the system).

If you're still having issues it might be related to your user account. If you have the possibility I would suggest trying a new user account to see if there's a difference.

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