How to Open an MDI File

By Josh Baum

MDI is a proprietary file extension used by Microsoft Office software. It is based on the TIFF image format and stands for \"Microsoft Document Imaging.\" Typically, files with the .mdi extension are image files of text documents that have been scanned into a computer with an optical scanner and saved with Microsoft Office software. There are two ways to open MDI files: with Microsoft Office or with a freeware MDI viewer.

Opening MDI Files in Microsoft Office

Step 1

Make sure you have Microsoft Office installed on the computer you're using. There are a few ways to check for this; you can see if there are Microsoft Office icons on the desktop, check the list of programs in the Windows Start Menu or even explore the C: drive for the existence of a C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office file path.

Step 2

Make sure that the installed version of Microsoft Office is no older than the 2003 version, as this is a requirement for opening .mdi files in Microsoft Office. To do this, find the icon for any installed Microsoft Office software, right-click the icon and select \"Properties.\" The Description section on the General tab will tell you what version it is.

Step 3

Right-click on the \"Start\" button in Windows and select \"Explore\" from the pop-up menu. By expanding folders in the left-side panel, navigate your computer's hard drive to the MDI files you want to open.

Step 4

Double-click each MDI file you want to open in the right-side panel. The images will automatically open in the appropriate Microsoft Office program.

Opening MDI Files in a Freeware Viewer

Step 1

Download an installation file for a freeware MDI viewer. A link to one of these freeware titles can be found in the Resources section of this article.

Step 2

Double-click the installation file once it has finished downloading. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the MDI viewer.

Step 3

Right-click the \"Start\" button in Windows and select \"Explore\" from the pop-up menu. Expand the folder in the left-side panel to navigate to the folder containing the MDI files you want to open.

Step 4

Double-click the MDI files you want to open. They may automatically open in your new MDI viewer, but if not, you'll be presented with a list of programs and asked to choose which one you'd like to use to open the file. Browse the list until you find the MDI viewer that you just installed; then highlight it. Make sure there is a check mark next to the phrase \"Always use this program to open this type of file\" and click the \"Open\" button.