[Techtalk] system config for .doc

Mary mary-linuxchix at puzzling.org
Wed Feb 19 09:46:13 EST 2003

On Tue, Feb 18, 2003, Emma Jane Hogbin wrote:
> Right now debian thinks that it should always use abiword to open .doc
> files. Does anyone know how to change this to open office? I'm not
> sure if it's a debian thing or a fluxbox thing... (I specifically want
> to change it for mutt...but I don't think it's an autoview setting.)

If it's for mutt, it's a Debian, or more specifically, mailcap thing.

The defaults for opening files are defined in the /etc/mailcap file.
The first matching entry will be used if possible. Quite often there's a
test though - for example the test for X applications is the $DISPLAY
environment variable - if this isn't set, the next matching line will be
tried, and so on.

You can edit /etc/mailcap, but I find it easier just to copy lines from
it to ~/.mailcap

Your ~/.mailcap file takes priority over /etc/mailcap cap, so if you
want to use something other than abiword, put an alternative
application/ms-word (or whatever the MIME type is for .doc, check
/etc/mailcap and /etc/mime.types) line in ~/.mailcap.

Not all applications use the mailcap file to work these things out -
GNOME for example has its own system I believe - but mutt does use it.


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