Endnote X2 "breaking" link from document thumbnails to Word 2003?

One of our patrons has just installed Endnote X2 on a company computer using XP. She says she can no longer open Word documents via thumbnails in Explore or on her desktop, and thinks Endnote has “broken the thumbnails.” She can open the documents from within Word 2003 and says Endnote is working.

I’ve asked if she has any software that may cause a conflict and she says no. She also believes she has the most recent updates for Word 2003. There is no IT support at her work and she cannot bring the laptop to the library for investigation. 

Has anyone heard of this problem before or have suggestions for fixing it, other than removing Endnote?  

Melinda Goodin @ Swinburne University 

This sound like Windows issue and not an EndNote issue. I can’t see how endnote could break a thumbnail unless a program was installed and redirected the usual word extensions to it self, and then was uninstalled. 

I would assume if your patron try right clicking on the File’s icon and choose open with (or double click on it and it asks what to open it with), select Microsoft word as the program and tick the box to say always open this file type with this program, it should reassociate the extension with word. 

Alternatively, open my computer, select tools, folder options and go to the file type  tab.  sort on Extensions, and go down the the DOC, extension and see what it is associated with.  There are a series of extensions normally associated with Microsoft Word.  Click on Change button and associate it with Microsoft Word. 

(using MS Word 2003, Window XP, Endnote X.0.2)

Thank you, Leanne. I’ll pass your advice on to my patron.


This is a problem in with Endnote that we have had since Endnote X.  The thumbnail part is not relevant.  On many computers, after EndNote  is installed, users find they can no longer open documents from Explorer - by double clicking, clicking on a thumbnail or by right clicking and chosing open or open with…

If EndNote is removed, the problem goes away.

You are kind of on the right track when you suggest looking in the file type information for Windows.  We have linked this problem to “Use DDE”.  This happens on 50-60% of the mahcines we install EndNote on.  I have never tracked down the exact cause.  Repairing Word (from Word Menu chose Help → Detect and Repair…) changes the error, but doesn’t correct it.

I wish that i had more information for you instead of a me too, but I can tell you that this is a problem in EndNote that has been present for at least the last three versions, and is quite a pain in the neck.

Here is what we do to fix it.  I hate to recomend this because I am not sure exactly what the implacations are of making these changes.

Open your File Type editor.  Tools -> Folder Options -> File types

Scroll down to “DOC  Microsoft Word Document”

Click Advanced

Click Open (should be bold)

Click Edit… button

Edit the “Application used to perform action:” Go to the end of that line and remove /dde and replace it with “%1” (including the quotes).

    — For mine this leaves me with “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE” /n “%1” (including all quotes)

Uncheck Use DDE