We are using Quick View Plus on the Windows XP workstations, for viewing files we receive with a specific extension. The files with that extension can be of any type - PDF, DOC, XLS, GIF, PNG, etc. On XP, QVP has no issue determining what type of files they are, despite the extension. In addition, on pre-Win 7 machines, the configuration could be set to allow the app to open any unregistered file type. On Win7 however, this feature has been yanked, for some reason. We can set up an association for our oddball file extension as a workaround...

Looking for a replacement that is smart enough to open a file with an oddball extension and can do so from explorer or from within an app.

Have tried "Universal file Viewer", but it's not particularly useful in that you need to have some knowledge of what file is actually in there first, before it will display it. Simply double-clicking just opens the file with a message indicating it cannot display the file. Not good for our users who are not tech-savvy.

  • Is the oddball extension opening properly when set as default open with program being QVP? If yes I can give you a better work around. Feb 11, 2014 at 7:57
  • Yup, works just fine. QVP will launch but not open the doc. Seems it (commandline operation) is something they removed from QVP v10 (last version we used on XP). Now you have to pay 2x the licence fee for the "professional edition" to be able to double-click a file to open it.
    – Jon
    Feb 11, 2014 at 17:37
  • yeah that's what I thought - if it had launched and opened the file I could have given you a registry edit that would make it work for any unknown file type - but no point in that case. Feb 11, 2014 at 19:04
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    In my experience I would say a tool that does everything is also mediocre at everything. I would say pick a good document-viewer, image-viewer, video-viewer and spreadsheet-viewer and you've got most things covered.
    – dtech
    Feb 14, 2014 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


IrfanView is my personal favorite file viewer.

  1. Its free for personal use (and cheap for commercial use)
  2. Covers all common (and some not so common image files)
  3. Includes a variety of plug-ins ranging from standard video formats to cad support.
  4. Easy to use, intuitive/user friendly.

On the drawbacks side I don't know that it will do office extensions (doc, xls, ppt), its not specifically listed in the supported extensions list and I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet. But of your list the office files are the only thing I can't confirm it supports.

IrfanView Site

Supported file extensions

  • I had tried irfanview as well. Problem is, it seems to only look at the extension rather than peeking inside the file to see what it is (if it can't figure it out via the extension).
    – Jon
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:56
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    I think you are going to have trouble finding a general/generic file viewer that is smart enough to look into to files that dont have extensions...some of the more specialized viewers can get in and figure it out via the format/encoding...but I don't know of an open anything, figure out what it is type of program.
    – James
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:59

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