Links which appear in Office documents, like http://www.consumingexperience.com/ in the screenshot of Word above, normally open in Internet Explorer when you click them - even after you've set Outlook email links to open in Firefox. But you can force links in Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel and Powerpoint) documents to open in the fab free browser Firefox instead when you click (or Ctrl-click) on a hyperlink that's shown in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet etc.
Here's a tip for how you can make links in a Word etc document open in Firefox when you click the link - in Windows XP at least:
- Change your file associations so that hyperlinks generally open in Firefox.
- (Non-geeks, skip to item 3 for the easy way!) Make this registry edit having closed all Office apps first (NB, usual warnings: backup your registry first, and you edit or change your registry at your own risk! also don't know if it'll work in Vista):
- in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Common\ create a subkey called Internet if it's not already there
- in that subkey create a new DWORD value named ForceShellExecute with a value of 1 (or change its value from 0 to 1 if that value already exists)
- If step 2 was gobbledygook to you, not to worry. You can instead - after you backup your registry first, and this is definitely at your own risk! - close all Office programs, then try this .reg file I uploaded earlier (how to use online .reg files - just click the link and run it or save then run it, saying Yes to let to change your registry).
- If links still don't open in Firefox after you've re-opened Word etc, try rebooting. And of course you'll need to allow Word, Excel etc to access the internet through your firewall if you haven't already.
It seems that what registry change does is to force hyperlinks in various Office documents to open according to what's been set for their file associations (in Windows Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, File Types). So now you can click links embedded in Word, Excel etc files and they'll in Firefox instead of IE. Good trick, eh?
I've tested it in XP Service Pack 2 and Word, Excel and Powerpoint 2003, but it also seems to work in Word, Excel and Powerpoint 2000 and 2002 versions too.
Warning: note that this doing tweak may muck up any links in Office document to a bookmark location in another locally-saved (i.e. on your computer) document - see this article.