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Why Do Certain People Open All Their Files in Word?

I work with very intelligent people. These are people that have PhDs who do fascinating research. But sometimes I’m really stumped by some of the things they do. And right now is one of those times.

There are a number of people who try to open every file on their computer through Microsoft Word. Every single file. It doesn’t matter if it’s a PDF, JPEG, or Excel file. When they need to find something, they go to Word. And often times this leads to them thinking the file has been deleted. I’ve noticed it’s generally the older folks who do this, so perhaps they were taught something that I wasn’t?

Have you ever experienced this where you work? Anyone have a half-way decent explanation why certain people try to use Word to open all their files?