I share my laptop with the GF and she uninstalled some Java items from it. We have an old IBM thinkpad wih Windows XP and we seem to have lost Word, Excel and probably a few other ms applications.

I have spent a couple of days searching the web and trying allsorts to resolve the issues however to no avail. Can anyone help?

What do you mean by "Lost?"
Do the programs still exist in C:\Program Files?
Try Start/Run/Winword

What do you mean by "Lost?"
Do the programs still exist in C:\Program Files?
Try Start/Run/Winword

well when i send emails to my laptop from work and i attempt to open excel files or word files i get a message saying my system does not recognise the files.
I cant see any excel or word icons in msoffice and when i tried Start/Run/Winword i got a message saying that Windows cannot find winword. The only icon i have now in msoffice is powerpoint.
I am not that technically minded when it comes to pc's and laptops unfortunately

You probably need to reinstall Office.

Go to start, search and click on all files and folders, then type "office" and click search. If it finds office you might be able to run set form inside office. If not found you will have to reinstall from your office CD.

try system restore
clcik start>>all programmes>>accessories>>system tools>>system restore>>click next>>Clcik an earlier date in the calender which is bold and on which the system was working fine "make sure that the date should be bold">>Click next>>next>>next till the window dissapears>> the system would now restart on its own and the problem will be taken care of.

Office 2007 files do not open on Office 2003. MS changed the file format.

who said so? It is possible to open office 2007 files with office 2003 just click here and download this pack from microfsoft to open office 2007 files with office 2003