Link to PDF or Link to File?

If I want people to download a PDF (rather than have it open in a browser window) should I use Link to File instead of Link to PDF or just stick with Link to PDF?

I’ll have quite a few of these to do.

Thanks…again!


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Basically you are trying to take the choice away from the visitor. Search the web archives of this list for the words “force download”. I’ve given the recipe a few times.

Walter


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OK. I was just wondering if that would work or was even necessary.

I never open PDFs in the browser. I always download.


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Here’s the thing. PDFs, when linked to in a Web site, are technically
“helper application” territory. In a browser without PDF support (IE
or Firefox without the PDF plugin, for example) your browser would
know from the file-type that it can’t read a PDF by itself, and that
it should ask the OS for a registered helper application that can.
Safari, or any browser using a plug-in, can read a PDF directly, so
like HTML, JPEG, any of the other things that it can read, it tries
to show it to you in the window rather than forcing a download and
looking for a helper.

This choice is left up to the browser unless you do something extra.

I worked on a site several years ago where they were insistent that
all PDFs must download. So I found the recipe on the Apache site, and
added the following in an .htaccess file inside the Resources folder:

<FilesMatch "*.pdf">
	ForceType application/octet-stream
</FilesMatch>

This effectively tells the browser, “this link is to undifferentiated
binary data, you don’t know what to do with it, so don’t try, just
download it, thanks” whenever it encounters a link to a PDF file.

Walter

On Jul 16, 2008, at 8:26 PM, Robert Bovasso wrote:

OK. I was just wondering if that would work or was even necessary.

I never open PDFs in the browser. I always download.


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Thanks, Walter. I’ll bookmark this in case we are ever faced with a “must have download” situation.

For now, I’ll stick with the Link to PDF action.


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