Downloading vs opening a file from a web site...

I'm fairly new to web development, though I am an experienced programmer. I'm developing a web site using FrontPage. I have links to files in the web ... for example, I have a link to a Microsoft Office document. When you click on the link, the document opens. Instead, I would like the user to have the option to either open the file or download it. How do I do this? I can't figure it out and I've been through most of FrontPage help. I think it involves FTP, but whenever I search FrontPage help for ftp, I just get info about how to publish a web site. Thanks.
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rcmbConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Why not you make a small not beside or below the link that says to download this file
"right click on the hyperlink and select save target as"

It will then download the file.

Hi alicia1234,

Do you have a server-side language available? You can try setting content-type headers, for example, in PHP, you would have this:

//suppose you have word1.doc. Instead, make a link to word1.php that has this:

header('Content-type: application/msword');
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="word1.doc"');

For Powerpoint, you would use

application/mspowerpoint (I believe)


look for your extension, probably .xls in which case it's application/excel
check here:

alicia1234Author Commented:
Sorry ... I don't understand any of what you've said here. I was hoping that there was some "feature" in FrontPage to do this, and I just hadn't discovered it yet. This web site is being published through a web-hosting service, so I don't "own" the web server.
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Does your webhosting service have a server-side language you can use? This method is only tricking the browser a bit. In the end, it's the browser's choice what to do with the file, this is just emphasizing that it's, let's say Word, and most browsers are set up to display Word documents in MSWord. I believe you can also set those same headers with <meta> tags but you can't include the word1.doc...
alicia1234Author Commented:
I'm not sure if I want to get in to using a server-side language, even if one is available. But you do provide some insight in your answer ... sooooo ... it's actually the browser that figures out whether to open or download a file? But ... for instance ... when I go to the "AdAware" site and download their .exe setup file ... and I get a dialog box that asks if I want to "open" or "save" ... is that my browser doing that or their web site?
Not sure about IE, but I do know for Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools->Options->Download->File Types. They're all there :)
You can try to ZIP the file(s) in question & this will prompt the user to download the file(s)


If the files is supported by IE, like (xls, doc,ppt, pdf...etc):

1- Create a zipped copy of the same file
2- Create a popup windows when the user click the link
3- Give the user two options,  open or download
4- Link the "Open" option to the original uzipped file
5- Linke the "Download" option to the zipped copy of the file.

Create a small popup using javascript
alicia1234Author Commented:
To rcmb ... thanks! So simple ... that's what I was looking for! (duh!) ;-)
Sometimes we all try to figure out all the ways to do something when the simple way was what you we really looking for.

Thanks for the points and glad to be of some help.

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