Lost in Translation (or how I get people to understand File Type Associations)

Derek Bump list at dreamscapesoftware.com
Mon Dec 11 15:40:10 EST 2006

I'm curious as to how other developers have approached the issue of File
Type Associations on both Windows and the Macintosh.  I'm working on a
program that:

  1. Asks the user if they would like to associate the <type of file>
file type with <program name>. (during Installation)

  2. Asks the user if they would like to make <program name> the default
editor. (after program is run)

Upon a Yes answer from either questions the file types are associated
with the program, and as such, our program is now the default program
and the files look like they are associated with our program.

The problem, of course, is that a user installed our software on his
computer, said "Yes" to the first question, and flipped out when his
files looked different... and used System Restore to fix the "problem".

Obviously this is not good.  Word of Mouth is a Killer in this business.
 So how do you get novice users to understand Associations, or, how do
you work around the issue?

Derek Bump
Dreamscape Software

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