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Forcing a download of a Word file

Ron Bromwell
Frequent Advisor

Forcing a download of a Word file

I have a FrontPage 2000 web page on our intranet. The page contains a link to a Word document on the server. Right now if you click on the link it opens the Word document on the users system. This word document is a form that users need to fill out and email to me. The users have to save the document to their hard drives, fill it out and email it.
Is there a way to have FrontPage prompt the user for a place to download the file to their hard drive, without opening it in word first?
Thanks,
Ron
life's a journey, not a destination
3 REPLIES
Mike McKinlay
Honored Contributor

Re: Forcing a download of a Word file

I've seen this done a couple of ways, but not in the manner you're indicating. Since the .doc file extension is registered by default with the browser, you'd essentially have to remove that functionality entirely -- which means all .doc files would not display in the browser. Probably not the solution you want.

If this is a form, the first thing you should be using is a .dot or template file, not a Word doc. The .dot can be protected as a form type file, which means only the form fields can be edited rather than the entire document. I'm guessing that's really what you want.

The issue of submitting the docs is actually quite simple. See, once the Word OLE has been called, the menus in IE change to be Word-contextual instead of IE-contextual. The cool thing about this is that you have the ability to File, Send to Routing Recipient, which sends the changed file as an attachment to someone else.

You can read more about Routing Slips in Microsoft Word Help. Essentially, you go to the File, Send To, Routing Recipient and add the addressee(s) ... then save the file as a .dot template.

Don't forget to read up on forms and protecting forms as well. Check out Microsoft TechNet for lots of good tips.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet
"Hope springs eternal."
Tim Malnati
Honored Contributor

Re: Forcing a download of a Word file

Mike's response is a good one. The document should really be a .dot protected form.

There are some thoughts that I have that might help. First, if a user right clicks on a webpage object, they have the ability to save any object or hyperlink directly. Netscape supports this with 'Save Link as...' and Internet Explorer calls it 'Save Target as...'. But this requires some direction to make your users do it and will probably end up as a help desk nightmare (where on their workstation to save it, etc).

Where you want this to be emailed back to you, I'm wondering why you just don't email it out to all the appropriate parties. As an alternative you could have a cgi script email it to them from this webpage though. This can get a bit complex if you want to fully automate it with login ID to email address translations, but it's certainly do-able.

Dennis Ng
Regular Advisor

Re: Forcing a download of a Word file

Hi there,

Quick and simple here.

You can put a note on that webpage to show the user the steps to "right click | Save Target As".

Dennis
Not everything that can be counted counts; & not everything that counts can be counted.