I've noticed SharePoint project (2013 atleast) can view in browser Excel, PowerPoint, and Word document files, which is great.

So when you create an html5 web app on SharePoint, you can link the docx/pptx/xlsx files via link tags, and it'll still be able to view these files in browser.

However, as soon as the link refers to an outside source (other than within the SharePoint documents), then it automatically downloads it to user's local machine.

Is there a way around it? like temporarily download it to SharePoint server, and let the user view in browser?


Any Office document located at location uncontrolled by you (or who you trust) is a security threat. Even when you open a file from email attachment or the one that was just downloaded, Office application (i.e. Word) will ask a lot of are-you-sure questions and apply restrictions.

So I can't recommend making SharePoint deal with random external files. SharePoint has a concepts of Trusted File Locations for Excel, WOPI zones for OWA, and a lot of other mechanisms to keep it all under control.

Even if you totally trust the source(s) of that external docs, you'll have to build a custom solution, there is nothing available out of box with a functionality like that.

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