Files and apps not opening by 2x click in Finder window?

Folks:
No situation on my older G4 iBook running 10.4.11: I can't get files or applications to open or launch from a finder window by clicking on them; they do open by highlighting and then command + o. And any apps I have in the Dock launch by single click. I t seemed to begin when I tried to "Save as" a Appleworks file into a .doc format which caused AW to crash--I did that several times. When I re-launched AW it said, "your settings have been changed, do you want to keep the new settings or the old?" I clicked on "new" . . . still couldn't get the AW file into a Word format so I went to PDF. Seems like after that the inability to open all files or launch apps from the Finder windows. Ran ONyx Maintenance . . . re-starte, didn't seem to help. Any ideas appreciated--is this a "known item"?
e.e.p.

Hi, long time no see!
First, Safe Boot , (holding Shift key down at bootup), use Disk Utility from there to Repair Permissions, test if things work OK in Safe Mode.
Then move these files to the Desktop...
/Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
/Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systempreferences.plist
/Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist
/Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences/com.apple.recentitems.plist
Reboot & test.
If that doesn't do it try this.
Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions...
Reset Launch Services...
http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/resetlaunchservices.html#Anchor-Reset-47857
Reboot.

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