I have a problem in understanding what is the standard approach to follow for editing office documents inside my document library. As it seems each browser will have different behavior when it comes to editing office documents. For example, using IE browser, there are two ways to edit office documents as shown in the below two picture, mainly either; clicking on the "Edit" link from the drop-down menu OR view the office document inside the browser and click on "open in excel" or "open in visio" links.

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After that I can edit the office documents using my client applications (Excel or Visio) , and when I choose to save the documents, the updated version will be automatically uploaded to the SharePoint document library. However, when using Firefox I will not be able to automatically save the documents from my client excel application or my client visio application to SharePoint document library. So can anyone advice why I have this differences? Thanks

4 Answers 4


The SharePoint / Office integration works best with Internet Explorer because the ActiveX that is required by many SharePoint components only runs in IE. Other browsers use different APIs. If you want the full functionality of Office with SharePoint you will need to use IE.

IE 11 is actually not all that bad.

  • So if a user uses Firefox, what will be the process to edit the documents. For example the only way i find, will be to download the document to his machine, edit it, then re-upload the modified documents to the document library, and chose to override the current version ?
    – John John
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 11:16
  • 3
    Yes, that is correct. Download, edit, upload. If you want the integration, run it from IE. Open, edit, save.
    – teylyn
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 19:02

You can use the client integration in Firefox and Chrome. But, you need to make sure the 'Microsoft Office' plugin is enabled on either of those browsers.

In Firefox:

  • Click on the lego looking thing in the address bar
  • Click "Allow and remember"

Then you will be able to open up SharePoint documents in client applications through Firefox. Assuming you have Office 2013 installed on your computer, this plugin should be available.


Recently switched from IE to Firefox and now I have the same problem. But the provided answer does not longer work for non ESR-versions of Firefox because most NPAPI-plugins are blocked by Firefox.

Therefore I use the following workaround:

Open Firefox preferences -> Applications (about:preferences#applications) and then set Internet Explorer as the action for "ms-word", "ms-excel", "onenote" and the other Office Uri Schemes. IE pops up shortly but then the office desktop client opens and the IE window closes itself.


I have a solution that uses the protocol handler settings already defined on Windows directly.

It seems that when you click a link to a .docx file (or other file type), Firefox needs to determine what to do with the link, so it downloads it first and then opens Word (the application you requested) and provides the downloaded document.

But, if you right click on the link in SharePoint (or use the drop down menu) and select "Open in Word", then it uses the ms-word protocol instead of the link. Windows takes over and opens the document directly from SharePoint, and you can edit and sync correctly.

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