Outlook 2003 Can't Use Word 2003 As Email Editor

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Jaystrouch

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This appears to be a common problem, with many solutions, though I have yet to find one that works for me. When using Outlook 2003 with Word 2003 set to be the email editor, Word opens and works fine to CREATE a new email. However, when trying to REPLY TO or FORWARD an email, I get the error message "Microsoft Word is set to be your email editor. However, Word is unavailable, not installed, or is not the same version as Outlook. The outlook email editor will be used instead...," and when I click OK to that message the native Outlook email editor opens. Word 2003 worked fine with Outlook 2003 replying to or forwarding emails till this morning, but the behavior described above now applies. The OS, by the way, is Windows 10. I have tried to both "repair" and "reinstall" the 2003 Office 2003 suite, both to no avail. Would appreciate a much needed solution to this puzzle.
 
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The answer may lie with compatibility (see this MS page). I don't know if you're trying to run Office 2003 apps in Compatibility Mode already, but I don't think there's any 100% guarantee they'd work properly.
 

Jaystrouch

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Thank you for the suggestion. I read the MS article and tried to run Outlook 2003 in Compatibility Mode, but no cigar. Interestingly enough, this combo -- Outlook 2003 + Word 2003 -- worked flawlessly on this computer until this morning, so I do know that compatibility is probably not the issue.
 
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Try this out: reboot the PC, open Outlook immediately after you've logged in, and then try to Reply or Forward an e-mail.
 

Jaystrouch

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Again, thanks for your reply. This is something I have done numerous times, and unfortunately got the same behavior.
 
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Okay, I was just wanting to test something out to ensure Windword.exe wasn't active in memory. Now you've confirmed that, have you tried re-registering ole32.dll?
 

Jaystrouch

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I think I've re-registered ole32.dll. I say "think" because during my research on this issue I did find something about this and I did follow the instructions, but I'm not certain that what I did was right. Do you have a suggestion as to how I might check this?
 
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The way it should be run is opening a command line as Administrator , typing in regsvr32 %windir%\system32\ole32.dll, and then hit the Enter key. It should give you a message that it was either successful, unsuccessful, or not found.
 

Jaystrouch

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I followed your instructions and got the following message: "DllRegisterServer in C:\WINDOWS\system32\ole32dll succeeded." Then I went back into Outlook to test it and got the same behavior.
 
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Okay, back to the drawing board! I'll have to chew over a few other options, and then see if there's anything I can provide which will help you sort this out.
 
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I've been doing some reading and hitting a lot of dead ends. However, the last post at the bottom of this page looks promising. I know re-installation likely won't be an option, since I know MS stopped supporting Office 2003 in April 2014, and I don't imagine the old updates would still be available via their servers.
 

Jaystrouch

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Again (and again), many thanks for your efforts. This workaround appears to be more trouble than it's worth, but I appreciate the suggestion. I've in the meantime found my own workaround that seems to be less convoluted: I have now unchecked using Word as my email editor, and I just use the native Outlook editor for most replies; for those replies that require formatting options that the native editor doesn't support, I create my reply or forward in Word itself, do a control-a, then control-c, then return to Outlook, do a control-a, and paste the newly created Word page over the page Outlook has created as its reply or forward template. Yes, it's a bit convoluted and it's a pain in the butt, but I think I can live with it. My theory now is that Microsoft auto-downloaded an update to my Windows 10 OS that introduced some conflict that has caused Outlook to behave in this new way.
 
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Sorry I couldn't be of more help you, Jay, and I wouldn't be surprised if you were onto something with this comment...
My theory now is that Microsoft auto-downloaded an update to my Windows 10 OS that introduced some conflict that has caused Outlook to behave in this new way.
There have been several occasions when MS updates have caused issues in systems where the effects range from irritating to havoc-wreaking.
 
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