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Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it possible to change the icon on a a saved Excel or Word file?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38013points) August 11th, 2013

I don’t want to change my master Excel icon, but I want to change the icon of a file I have saved. Is that possible? Also, can I rename it to something other than Excel?

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5 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

If you change the extension to something other than one that Windows “knows” and already associates with Excel, including:
.xls
.xlsx
.xlsm
.xlt & etc.
then you’ll have to make a manual association with Excel to open the file (unless you change it to a file extension that is recognized as “to be opened with…” some other program. In that case, Windows will attempt to have the other program open the file and will report an error to you.

All you have to do is go ahead and try it. Make a backup of the file in case it’s important to you, then rename it to MyFile.doc, MyFile.mp3, MyFile.jpg, etc. and see what happens. Assuming the file isn’t able to be opened, nothing should happen. (I’m thinking that if you give it the extension of another Microsoft program, such as .doc, .ppt, .mdb or other associated program – which you have on your machine – then the file might actually be opened, and saving it in that program might cause changes in the header information that will then prevent its re-opening in Excel.)

Go ahead and try with a backup copy or a Dummy.xls file that you care nothing about, and you have nothing to lose if something untoward happens – and you’ll know something new.

After you have changed the file extension you can right-click on the file, select Properties, and eventually find the “Type of File”, “Opens With” and “Change Icon” listings. (You could probably change your file type to .dxls, for example, which will not be recognized as an Excel file, will not be opened by any Microsoft program which “recognizes” the .dxls file type, and still tell it to open with Excel.)

Just do it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@cwotus has it correct – you can go to a lot of trouble, but it can be done.

I’m racking my brain trying to figure out why you would want to. If you’re trying to hide things, there are better ways. (File or directory level encryption)

whitenoise's avatar

Windows or OS X?

In OS X it is a matter of copying a picture file into the picture of the icon, after chosing properties ofmthe file. (Rightclick the icon). No risks, only applies to the selected file.

It used to be possible in windows as well, but I cannot remember from head, how.

Changing the associations in windows shouldnt be done without knowing what you are doing. Seaarch the web, though and I’m sure you’ll find an answer that ‘ll work.

drhat77's avatar

1) right-button click on the file and select “Create Shortcut”
2) right button click the SHORT CUT and select properties
3) Change Icon
4) you can browse the system for other icon files (*.ico) or download an appropriate one of the ‘net. or make them. I made one once but I forget how. here’s a google search

Dutchess_III's avatar

Excellent @drhat77. I had tried those steps earlier, but without creating the shortcut and it didn’t work. Thanks.

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