Resolve: Office documents opens in unexpected version when using multiple versions of Office with Microsoft App-V

This article may interest you, if when you try to open Office documents, the document opens with an unexpected version when Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) virtualized Office package is used in combination with a locally installed version of Office.

This issue occurs because File type associations (FTA) and dynamic data exchange (DDE) control the Office version that launches.

There are three ways for an application to launch for a specific file type:
– When launching directly from a file, Office uses a windows mechanism (DDE) to determine which application to launch. DDE registers application types to extensions on first launch.

– When launching from inside an application, the application could use DDE or the File Type Associations that are set for that extension in Windows.

– Application Virtualization also registers file type associations for the application. If the application is launched via a mechanism that launches through Application Virtualization specifically, those file type associations could be selected as defined in the App-V package.

This behavior can occur in Office 2003, Office 2007 and Office 2010.

To resolve this issue, as a best practice, Microsoft KB2605618 recommends the following configuration when running multiple versions of Office:
– Locally install the version of Office that you plan to use primarily.
– Virtualize additional versions of Office by using Application Virtualization (App-V).
– The recommended practice is to have a primary local version that has all the FTA’s by default and a virtual version that has all the FTAs removed and is called only through shortcuts.

When the best practices are followed, the version coexistence issues of the applications are minimized and the locally installed version of Office acts as the “Primary version” and is registered to handle the File Type Associations (FTA) with Windows.

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