Forgive the simplicity of this question, but it suddenly dawned on me that despite a couple of years of Web designing, I have never placed a file on any of my sites for downloading. I want to place an EXCEL file on the site and make it available. How do I do it?
Office Documents will not just download if the user is using IE and has a version of Office installed. Windows comes with this wonderful technology called OLE (also known as DDE, DAO, ADO, ActiveX and COM in its various incarnations). With that IE will look to see if the document type is registered and load the appropriate container application right within the browser window. The menus and toolbars change and your now in the container application.
The easiest way to make a file downloadable is to compress it using one of the many ubiquitous ZIP file programs and placing a link to it on your page. Placing it in an FTP directory also makes a file instantly downloadable.
There is no trick to making a file downloadable. All the HTTP protocol knows how to do is to download files or request files to download and have them interpreted by the user agent. If the user agent has a viewer application installed they see the graphics, HTML, flash movie or whatever. If not they get a lump of bits and bytes on their harddrive taking up space. The trick is using a file type the user agent does not have a pre-installed viewer for i.e. A zip file.
Internet Media Provider
Wluke is absoultly right, but...
If you are making an Excel file downloadable the end-user would need to have Excel, right? If the end-user has Excel and IE 5 then so much the better. They can begin to use the program immediatly or just save it. If they don't have IE 5, then they can just save it to a designated folder.
I agree, though, that it would be convianent to offer the a zip version as well.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Placing it in an FTP directory also makes a file instantly downloadable.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>How is an "FTP directory" different from any other directory one may set up. You mean creating a directory entitled "downloads" isn't the best?