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This one bugs me since years, and I'm guessing it may not be solvable:

When clicking the link to a document (let's say a DOC file) inside Internet Explorer on a SharePoint 2010 website, Internet Explorer somehow instructs Office to start up and load the document via WebDAV (I guess it is WebDAV).

In contrast, if I do the same in any non-IE browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera), the click on the link to a document simply downloads the file instead of passing the URL on to the office application.

My question is:

Is it possible to configure the server or the browser (both server-side solutions or client-side solutions are suitable in our environment) to not download a copy of a document but instead pass the request to the appropriate application?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you examine the link to the document with IE developer tools you'll see that it is a hyperlink and a JavaScript function attached to the onClick event.

The JavaScript function checks if ActiveX is supported in the client Web browser and if a particular client-side ActiveX component (IIRC something with "OpenDocuments") is available. This client-side ActiveX component is installed with Word/Excel/PowerPoint etc.

Since Internet Explorer is the only Web browser on the market which supports ActiveX Word/SharePoint is using it in this case.

For all other Web browsers the JavaScript function returns false and let the browser open a download dialog.

So, a simple configuration option to make all browsers behave the same way is not available.

Instead it would require some Windows client-side and SharePoint server-side development to implement a similar feature for non-IE users. Not impossible, but quite a bit of work.

Another option might be to deploy Office Web Apps if you have the appropriate Microsoft license for SharePoint Server 2010 and are a volume license customer.

Update: there appears to be a Mozilla Firefox Plugin in Office 2010 (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff407576.aspx) but I haven't tried it myself.

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For a detailed overview of what's supported and what's not, see technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263526.aspx –  molgar Nov 6 '11 at 17:53
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http://npopendocuments.codeplex.com/

npOpenDocuments (formerly WSSFirefox) implements SharePoint & Office integration for non-IE browsers. Now Firefox & Google Chrome browsers can open MS Office documents directly, without saving them into temporary folder first. Check-in, Check-out & co are also supported.

This works for Office 2007/2010 & SharePoint 2007/2010

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"This project is no longer supported". Seems not a good thing to go with. –  Uwe Keim Mar 18 at 5:22
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