How can I open a typical word and excel document using windows vista?
If you have Microsoft Office then you should be able to just double click on the file and it will open. If you do not have Microsoft Office, then you can right click it and choose open with then select either notepad or open office, etc.
Note pad, or download a free version of Open Office.org
It's easy if you have the MS office application in your computer. Just double click the file in your documents folder and it will open regardless if it is a word or excel file.