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SunnyOz27 08-18-2010 06:35 AM

Clicking on a link to open a word doc
I am a web designer, and a client of mine has a MAC. She is having problems opening up a word doc via a html link in a webpage I created for her. :Confused:

Can anyone give me info on what MAC (I think she is using Safari) does when you click on a link for a word doc? Is it normal to open up the document inside of the browser window, or does it open up inside of the Word application? Is this a setting for each individual computer, or can it be controlled by the web designer? (ie: do all online viewers have the same results when clicking on the link, or is it dependent on their own computer settings?)

My clients says that when she clicks on the link, it forces her to a 'download' area, and she has to retrieve the document there? Is this normal?? Is there a way for her to change her settings so that she can just view the document right then, instead of retrieving from the download area?

If you want to try clicking on some of the links I did for a test to try different results, you can see them here: Click on any of the 5 links under the header (Word Doc Stall Order Form, Organiser Checklist, etc), and let me know if they open up in the browser window, in word application, or force you to download only.

The real problem is the forcing to the download area.. if I can just get her to be able to view the document straight way after clicking on the link that would be great.. and also find out if it is just her problem, or if everyone else will have the same problem.

Any help would be appreciated, as I don't have a MAC I can test this out on.


McYukon 08-18-2010 07:28 PM

Welcome to M-F!

All the links one that page are immediately sent to my download manager and downloaded when I click on them.
Then I can navigate to the downloads folder and open it with Word.
I don't think that it is possible to view the .doc files directly in the browser like you can with PDFs.

If you have an Apple Store in the area, you could go to one a see for yourself what happens.

bobtomay 08-18-2010 07:40 PM

Your customer just needs to learn a little more about how her browser works and the options available.

In OS X, Opera and Firefox will do the same as the major browsers in Windows, e.g.when you click on a download link they have a popup window that will ask whether you want to open or save the file.

A lot of people want to do the same thing every time with downloaded files, either open or save. Therefore, Safari does one or the other everytime, depending on how their preferences (properties in Windows terms) are set. By default, it auto downloads files into a location set in Safari's preferences. The default location is the 'Downloads" folder. Safari also opens a "Downloads" window where you can double click on the file from there to open it or head to the Downloads folder later.

To set Safari to open these files automatically in it's preferences see below.

bobtomay 08-18-2010 08:09 PM

After a little more testing myself, unlike with .txt and I think .rtf files, a .doc file will not open automatically even with that preference set.

harryb2448 08-18-2010 08:49 PM

And she does need MS Office for Mac 2008 or 2004 installed. The links open just fine in Word.

SunnyOz27 08-19-2010 02:55 AM

Thank you all for your quick and helpful replies.

So it looks like what she is experiencing is normal, and is possible that many others will have the same set-up on their computer. (I guess I can suggest that they use Firefox to allow them to open up the docs directly.)

Thanks Bobtomay for the instructions and screen print. I will pass on that info to my client, so she can at least have better results with other file types.

Harryb2448: You said that

The links open just fine in Word
. Did you mean that you have a Mac, and you have Word installed, and you could click on the links in my test page, and get them to open up in Word directly? Or did you just click on the file icon in the 'download' folder? If you could click on the links and have Word open up with the document directly.. can you tell me what O/S, Browser Version, Word Version, and perference settings you have?

Thanks again for all your help! :D

bobtomay 08-19-2010 05:34 AM

Just to clarify (in case harry's response is that they open automatically for him with Word installed), I have not used MS Office on any flavor OS on my personal machines since around '02. I have been using OO on my Win machines, and have OO along with iWork on my Macs.

chas_m 08-19-2010 06:09 AM

Most Word files will open in TextEdit (included on every Mac) as well, but the point is that they won't open automatically.

Teach the client to right-click and choose "download linked file as" to Documents (or wherever). Once downloaded, she can just double-click on the document and the default viewer for Word documents (TextEdit if she doesn't have anything else) will open it.

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