Software, Technology

How-to: Change default application for a type of file

As far as I can work out, LibreOffice was a bad boy and took over as the default application for a bundle of file types, including Portable Document Format (PDF’s); which LibreOffice does an extremely bad job of opening!

Fortunately, there is a quick way of setting the default application to open any kind of file…

To set the default application to open a given type of file:

  1. In Nautilus, right-click on a file of the filetype in question – in my example, having the .PDF extension,
  2. Choose “Properties” from the context menu.
  3. In the “Properties” dialog, click on the “Open With” tab.
  4. Select the application default for the filetype. I choose Document Viewer (Evince, in my Ubuntu installation)

All files with the same extension will now be opened with this program by default.There’s no need to restart, the change is effective immediately. RC

About Robin Catling

Robin Catling gained degrees in both arts and technology which led to a diverse portfolio of employment. A freelance systems analyst, project manager and business change manager for the likes of American Express, British Airways and IBM, he moved on to web design, journalism and technical authoring. He has also worked in film and television, both behind and in front of the camera, including productions by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Ron Howard and Ridley Scott. A qualified three-weapon coach, he runs West Devon Swords teaching sports fencing to all age groups, and in recent years qualified with the British Federation of Historical Swordplay to teach medieval and renaissance combat in the Historical Western Martial Arts.


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