Terminating Test Drive

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Reader Damon Tee was greeted with an unexpected surprise when he attempted to open an Excel document. He writes:

My Power Mac G5 was running slow so I decided to run a maintenance utility on it that does things like throw out cache and log files. A couple of days after doing this I tried to open an Excel document by double-clicking on it. When I did, the test drive version of Excel launched rather than the real one. What happened and how can I make things go back the way they were?

It’s likely that the utility you used not only cleared out your cache and logs but also reset OS X’s LaunchServices database. This database keeps track of your “Open With” preferences. When you reset it, your preferences are gone (and so are deleted and duplicate listings, which makes this a useful function) and Mac OS X makes its best guess about what should open your documents.

In this case, it’s guessed wrong. There are a couple of things you should do.

The first is to follow this path:

/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Additional Tools/Remove Office

and run the Remove Office application. Given that you have the real Office 2004 installed, you’ll likely see two options—to remove Microsoft Office 2004 (including Test Drive) and remove Microsoft Office 2004. You want to remove the Test Drive version. Once you’ve done that, empty the Trash.

Now select that Excel document, press Command-I, and in the resulting Info window, choose Microsoft Excel from the Open With pop-up menu. Click the Change All button and your Excel documents will be associated with the full version of Excel. Follow the same procedure if Word and PowerPoint documents are just as clueless about the application that should open them.

Those who don’t have the full version of Office 2004 but want to rid their drives of the Office Test Drive should find the Remove Office application inside the Microsoft Office 2004 folder within the Applications folder.

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