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Download excel file without opening it in a browser.

Posted on 2001-09-04
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Here is the situation:
 <A href=file://D:\TestWeb\TheExcelFile.xls>This is the one</A>

How can I let the user click on this link to Excel file and recieve a SaveFile dialog? What happens is that Excel file is opened in the browser.  
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Question by:mdanny
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18 Comments
 
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by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
Response.ContentType()
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
Sorry;

content-type header

More details shortly.
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by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
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by:John844
Comment Utility
I think you will need to create a page.  Make the link point to the new page.  In the page you will need to set the header and then send the binary contents of the file.


forcing browser to save text file(or other files)
in most cases, you will find that the browser is already configured to open a MIME type text
file, so pushing a .txt file to save will have to be controlled via a header.  Try this;

Response.AddHeader "content-disposition","attachment; filename=NewFileName.xls"

More details can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q260/5/19.ASP



here is some code to give you an idea of how to send the binary info.  The example is meant to be used for images... but you can convert it easily.
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Accepted Solution

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John844 earned 200 total points
Comment Utility
oops, forgot to paste code...

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<%
response.buffer=true

'tell browser not to cache this page
Response.ExpiresAbsolute = Now() -  1
Response.Expires = 0
Response.CacheControl = "NO-CACHE"


'you can check where the file is being requested from to make sure it is valid
'If request.servervariables("HTTP_REFERER") = www.myserver.com/my/link/to/file.asp then

Dim strFileName                  ' local variable to store fileName
Dim intDotLocation               ' local temp variable to store location of dot in FileName
dim strFileExtension             ' local variable to store file extension

strFileName = Request("File")
'change filename here if it is in another folder
' like strFileName = "/HiddenImages/" & strFileName

'get physical path to file like c:/inetpub/wwwroot/website/file.txt
strFileName = Server.MapPath(strFileName)

 'pull the file extension out of the filename
 intDotLocation = instrrev(strFileName,".")
 FileExtension = right(strFileName, (len(strFileName) - DotLocation))


'Create a stream object
 Dim objStream
 Set objStream = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
 
 objStream.Type = 1'adTypeBinary '1
 objStream.Open
 
 'Open the file
 objStream.LoadFromFile strFileName
 
 'set the proper ContentType header based on common file extensions
 select case FileExtension
    case "jpg"
         Response.ContentType = "image/jpeg"
    case "jpeg"
         Response.ContentType = "image/jpeg"
    case "gif"
         Response.ContentType = "image/gif"
    case "pdf"
         Response.ContentType = "application/pdf"
    case "doc"
         Response.ContentType = "application/msword"
    case else
         Response.ContentType = "application/octet-stream"
 end select

 'Output the contents of the stream object
 Response.BinaryWrite objStream.Read
 
 'Clean up....
 objStream.Close
 Set objStream = Nothing

%>
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
John, that's the same link and code from the link I provided...
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by:John844
Comment Utility
just trying to clarify and give examples.  you mentioned using content-type header and I was only pointing out that you need to use content-disposition.  The link just happened to be in the section of code I usually post in these cases.  Not trying anything sneaky here.
John
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
I know... ;-)
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by:NathanC
Comment Utility
just listening- I have a similar issue-
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Author Comment

by:mdanny
Comment Utility
This code doesn't work.I get an error :

Response object error 'ASP 0156 : 80004005'

Header Error

/TestWeb/Default.asp, line 4

The HTTP headers are already written to the client browser. Any HTTP header modifications must be made before writing page content.
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Author Comment

by:mdanny
Comment Utility
This code doesn't work.I get an error :

Response object error 'ASP 0156 : 80004005'

Header Error

/TestWeb/Default.asp, line 4

The HTTP headers are already written to the client browser. Any HTTP header modifications must be made before writing page content.
0
 
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Author Comment

by:mdanny
Comment Utility
This code doesn't work.I get an error :

Response object error 'ASP 0156 : 80004005'

Header Error

/TestWeb/Default.asp, line 4

The HTTP headers are already written to the client browser. Any HTTP header modifications must be made before writing page content.
0
 
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Author Comment

by:mdanny
Comment Utility
Sorry for that...
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Expert Comment

by:AlfaNoMore
Comment Utility
You're not trying to redirect to another page are you?

Usually the fix to HTTP headers being written is to add Response.Buffer = True at the very top of the page (before any actual page content gets written)
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Expert Comment

by:AlfaNoMore
Comment Utility
Something like

<<start page>>
<html>
<% 'Add Header %>
</html>
<<end page>>

Is not going to work, because the headers and html tags are already printed on the page.
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Expert Comment

by:devenkhatri
Comment Utility
you just add the following line at the beginning

response.contentType = "application/vndms-word"
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
devenkhatri, welcome to Experts Exchange, we hope you enjoy yourself and active in discussions.  However, I must inform you that there are a few basic rules that must be adhered to if you want to make friends with the experts here.

First of all, read this; http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/cmtyQuestAnswer.jsp
It is full of good innformation.  Second of all, never, ever copy another experts comment and propose it as your "answer" as you have done above.  If you read the comments and followed the thread you would have read that both myself and John already mentioned ContentType.

But even further, your proposed "answer" will do nothing except what mdanny is trying to avoid, all "response.contentType = "application/vndms-word"" does it tell the browser to open the file as an Excel application, if you read the Q mdanny is trying to open the File Save As dialog box.  Which is what the following does;

Response.AddHeader "content-disposition","attachment; filename=NewFileName.xls"

Do us a favor and retract your "answer", then read the question and the comments prior to posting anything, if you have something to add please do.
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
Comment Utility
Remember, Response.ContentType will tell the browser how to handle the file, content-disposition tells the browser to raise the "File Save As" dialog box.  You need to read this; http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q260/5/19.ASP
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