We had an issue last week with our users getting pop-up prompts for permissions when trying to save Office 2013 documents from our SharePoint server.

The fix I implemented was to

Go into IIS, select the site, go under Request Filtering, and added OPTIONS: False and PROPFIND: False.

This made the prompt disappear in Office docs. Now the users can't open PDFs. They get a pop-up window from Adobe (Acrobat or Reader):

There was an error opening this document. "The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect."

I and the other domain admin do NOT get this prompt, the document opens without issue.

Seems to be a rights issue, but the only thing I've changed in the past while was the reference at the start of the post.

1 Answer 1


It may be an issue related to having pdfs (and office docs) as editable files. We had this issue with excel docs. One workaround that I found online was to use the download.aspx to parse the excel doc links so that they look like this:

original link to excel doc: http://mysitedotcom/pathtosite/Documents/excel.xlsx

parsed and modified URL:


This enabled our users to bypass the login prompt on SP2013 for excel docs and provided them with a download prompt instead.

Here is the script I made so that any excel doc that gets linked gets parsed into this automatically: Begins the function to search all the hrefs for XLS or XLSX files:

$(document).ready(function(){ $('a[href$=".xlsx"], a[href$=".xls"]').each(function() {.........

This is the main gist of the URL manipulation (14 is the number of characters of yourdomain.com before the path to the site begins:

if (testHTTP === 1) {
        startOfPathToSite = excelURL.indexOf("yourdomain.com") + 14;
        else {
        startOfPathToSite = 0;
        /* Determines the end of slicing the subsite path by finding the point before the Documents library */
        endOfPathToSite = excelURL.indexOf("/Documents/");
        /* Slices the start and end point of the subsite within the href. */
        pathToSite = excelURL.slice(startOfPathToSite, endOfPathToSite);
        /* Puts it all together in finalModifiedExcelURL. (downloadAspx, fieldURL, "/Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx" are the static portions of the excel URL fix) */
        var downloadAspx = "/_layouts/15/download.aspx?SourceUrl=";
        var midDocPath = excelURL.slice(startOfPathToSite);
        var fieldURL = "&FldUrl=&Source=";
        var lastPart = siteDomain + pathToSite + "/Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx";
        finalModifiedExcelURL = siteDomain + pathToSite + downloadAspx + midDocPath + fieldURL + lastPart;

This basically replaces the href value that $.each() iterated on:

$(this).attr('href', finalModifiedExcelURL);

For your PDF issue, would setting a target="_blank" fix your PDF issue? If so, this jquery might help:


Anyways, hope this helps! -Sung

  • Bear with me, I'm not quite sure how to implement this fix. I believe you are completely correct in your assumption to the cause - as soon as I removed the two fixes I put in last week the PDF could be viewed, but the credential prompt reappeared.
    – clicker666
    Jul 27, 2016 at 12:36
  • I see two copies of download.aspx on the machine and they both are the same. They show very little inside (and I'm not sure what to add): '<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages" %> <%@ Page Language="C#" Inherits="Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.Download" %> ' @-Sung
    – clicker666
    Jul 27, 2016 at 12:45
  • I should have been clearer. This is for a front facing site. We have something similar to the above code in a .js file. This js file is called in a <link...> tag of our masterpages. This way, whenever someone loads any of our pages and it has excel or pdf links, this js will dynamically/on-the-fly modify the <a...> tags with the appropriate URL modifications (for excel) or a target="_blank" (for pdfs).
    – nakji
    Jul 27, 2016 at 22:36
  • Oh, I see. This is for an internal Sharepoint site. An intranet portal. Everyone accessing it has the appropriate permissions to access the site, and there is no anonymous access - so any code that we could plug into it to do this would be appreciated.
    – clicker666
    Jul 29, 2016 at 11:23

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