File associations in MSIE

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Jan 13, 2005
I'm a Firefox user and haven't used MSIE in a very long time. I received a question from a member about being able to view .tif images here. How does one set the file association in MSIE so that, when he clicks on a .tif attachment, the image is displayed on his PC?

File associations are a function of Windows, not IE, and are usually set in the program you want to use to open a particular file type.

Unless the member has strong reasons to use MSIE to view his tif image, I would suggest associating tifs with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer instead for more functionality with picture viewing.?

The procedure the member is looking for is more a Windows procedure than a MSIE procedure.

The way to associate a file with any program on one's system would be to right click on the file in Windows Explorer, and select Open With.

A list of programs will be presented, and if the desired program is not in the list then Choose Program? would be selected.? Windows presents a list of Recommended Programs, and if the desired program is not on that list, then the Browse button is used to find the program.

Once the program is found, then the user has the option to enter a check mark to make this the default program for that type of file.

Thanks. My mistake, not the member's. I thought it was something that was set in the IE browser. I guess I was having a brain fart.
Ned said:
File associations are a function of Windows, not IE, and are usually set in the program you want to use to open a particular file type.

Hi Ned,

I am the person having trouble with .tif formatted files attached to RVForum messages. Specifically, I posted a message (see Reply #9 in Topic "Lazy Jacks" in the Tech Talk Section) with an attachment in .tif format. When I try to view it all I get is a blank page with a little square in the upper left corner of my screen. The square does not have a red "X" in it but rather three little symbols. Tom and I have been trying to resolve this problems for the last couple of days.

I do have .tif files associated with my picture viewer/editor (Photoshop Elements 4) and opening a .tif file in any location on my computer, except the RVForum, opens PE 4 and the file. However, trying to open the same file as an attachment in my posted message on the RVForum does not work. I rescanned the page in the attachment and saved it as a .jpg file and attached that file to the same post. I am able to open that attachment with no problem. I can also open all other .jpg attachments in various forum messages.

Tom suggested that I need to associate .tif files to my browser, which I think would be considered I.E. since the .jpg files that I can open are in I.E. I thought that was the problem but am unable to find where to make this association. Is there some setting in I.E. that you can recommend that would allow me to view .tif formatted attachments. BTW, I also have .jpg files associated with Photoshop Elements, but attachments to RVForum messages which are in .jpg format are opened in I.E. Any other ideas?

Thanks for any suggestions you can make.

I don't know that IE can open TIF files, I've never tried it.? Can you attach a small TIF file to a reply and I'll see what happens when I try to display it in the different browsers.

You don't associate IE with file types other than HTML and the like, but it does know about some image formats and can display them,? but TIF may not be one of them.

Check out and see if it's of any help.
Here's one of Richard's messages with a tif file attached - the one he can't open.
In both IE and Firefox, the TIF file opens in the associated application.  In my case, the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.  Perhaps the KB article I referenced will be of some help.
If file association (didn't it used to be called "helper applications" in older browsers?) is a Windows issue, why would an IE issue have any effect? Color me confused. But remember it doesn't take a lot for me to be confused.
I don't know that IE can open TIF files

Good point, Ned particularly with IE6.  I seem to recall that in Windows 98 before we had Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, that the version of IE at that time was the default viewer for image files.  I think it opened for jpg's but not sure about tifs now that you mention it.
Steve said:
....the version of IE at that time was the default viewer for image files.

You guys are confusing the heck out of me, given your prior assertions that this is a Windows function, not a browser function.
IE should not have any effect, it should just pass the file name to the associated application.  However, I don't know the mechanism that IE uses.  There is a standard way of doing it, but who knows if MS uses their own standard calls for this.

Helper applications are still in IE, under the Programs tab on the Options window.  Those are for email, HTML editing, newsgroups, etc. and aren't relevant to image viewing.  These are not the same Browser Helper Objects, which run inside the browser, like toolbars and such.  I don't know of any that are used for viewing TIF files.

Richard, what happens if you try to open the TIF file in Firefox?

It opens in FF, but the browser (or Windows) asks me which app to use.
Ned said:
Check out and see if it's of any help.

Thanks Ned. I looked at Microsoft's bulletin and have decided to make sure that I don't use a .tif file in any attachment that I apply to a forum message. I do not like to mess with the registry to try to fix what is in reality a non-problem in the future--too easy to "really" mess something up. It appears that .tif format is not normally supported by I.E.

Thanks for looking into this for me. Thanks to Tom, also.

RLSharp said:
do not like to mess with the registry to try to fix what is in reality a non-problem ...

Smart move Richard. Making registry changes to be able to view a photo makes no sense to me whatsoever.
When Firefox asks what to do with the file, it will default to the associated application.  In my case the Windows Picture and Fax viewer.  If no application is suggested, then none is associated with the file type.
If you try to open it in FF, it trys to find an app. called Photoshop.TIFFFILE.9(default). What you can do is tell it to use the 'other' option, and navigate to the EXE of your desired viewing program. After you do that once, the end path to that program will continue to show up when you select 'other'.

Otherwise. you can save it to disk and make the proper association to your desired program in Windows Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, File Types, then scroll down to TIF or TIFF, select it, select Change, and make your association if not already correct. By saving it to disk, it carries the association with it automatically.

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