Control how the browser opens PowerPoint files
You have a link to a PowerPoint file on your web site. When someone clicks the link you want to control
- Whether the file opens in slideshow view or edit mode
- Whether it opens in the browser or in PowerPoint/the PowerPoint Viewer
The unfortunate news is that the way a browser opens links to PPT or PPS or the newer PowerPoint 2007 PPTX/PPSX and other files depends on local user settings and/or settings on the web server. It's not necessarily something you as the web page/presentation author can control.
To make things more confusing, the behavior a user sees may depend on:
- The version and type of PowerPoint file stored on the web site
- The MIME settings on the site
- The version of PowerPoint (or the viewer) the user has on their computer
- The browser and browser version in use
- Browser and registry settings
PowerPoint 2007 PPTX or PPSX files on your web site
If you put PPTX/PPSX files on your site, you may not get the results you expect.
When users click on the link to the file, they may get the familiar "Open or Save" dialog box, but ...
- If they click Save, the browser offers to save a ZIP or some other unexpected file type
- If they click Open, they get a message about not being able to open the file or get gibberish in their browser
In order for links to PPTX/PPSX files to work, two conditions must be met:
- The user must have PowerPoint 2007, the 2007 Viewer or an older version of PowerPoint with the compatibility pack installed so that they can open PPTX/PPSX files in the first place
- The web server configuration on your site must have the correct mediatype/MIME settings to serve PPTX/PPSX files as PowerPoint 2007 presentations.
You'll have to contact your ISP or web administrator to change the mediatype/MIME settings. Our ISP set things up so that the web server returns this for PPTX files and it works correctly for us:
If you have control over the PC
If you can control the registry or browser settings or get the user to do so for you, this link explains How to Configure Internet Explorer to Open Office Documents in the Appropriate Office Program Instead of in Internet Explorer but can probably help getting the opposite to happen as well.
The last time we looked at this page, some of the information was gibberish. Omit any of the text in the "Edit the registry" section that begins with "
Before editing the registry, we'd suggest trying this:
Using the Folder Options tool to force PowerPoint files to open in PowerPoint and not the browser:
- Open My Computer.
- On the Tools menu (or the View menu), click Folder Options (or click Options).
- Click the File Types tab.
- In the Registered file types list, click "PPT Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation", and then click Advanced (or click Edit).
If you put a check next to "Confirm open after download", when the user clicks the link, they'll see a File Download dialog box and will be able to choose Open, Save or Cancel.
"Browse in same window" controls whether the file opens in the same or a new window, for example, when "Confirm open after download" is checked and the user clicks Open.
For reasons explained here, this probably won't work entirely as described with Office 2003.
There's more info here and working from what's explained in these several pages, we got the following working on our system with 2003. This involves making edits to the registry. The usual warnings apply. If you don't know what the usual warnings are, don't do this.
- Open the registry and browse to HKLM\Software\Classes\PowerPoint.Show.8
- Rightclick this and choose New, DWORD Value
- Name it BrowserFlags
- Doubleclick it to open it for editing
- Click Base: Hexadecimal
The value you assign here will depend on how you want your links to PPT files to behave when clicked:
- To open the file as a read-only file in Normal (edit) view in PowerPoint, set Value data to a (lowercase letter A)
- To open the file in SlideShow view in PowerPoint, set Value data to 8
- To open the file in edit mode within the browser, set Value data to 1 (one). Note that only limited editing is possible and that the behavior's a bit unpredictable if the user launches a slide show from within this mode.
- To open the file in SlideShow view within the browser, set Value data to 0 (zero)
For test purposes, we've published a page with links to presentations saved from PowerPoint 2000 and 2003 as both PPT (presentation) and PPS (show) files. The web site is hosted on a Solaris (Unix) server running the Apache web server.
And on the same server, there is a page with links to identical files saved as PowerPoint 2003 PPT and PPS, and as PowerPoint 2007 PPTX and PPSX
- Presentations Do Not Open with Web Browser
- 299824 PPT: Open Presentation in Different Modes in Web Browser
- PPT97: Presentations Do Not Open with Web Browser
- PPT97: PowerPoint File Does Not Open in Web Browser Window
- PowerPoint Show (*.pps) File Copies As a PowerPoint (.ppt) File from an IIS Web Server
- How documents are opened from a Web site in Office 2003
- How to configure Internet Explorer to open Office documents in the appropriate Office program instead of in Internet Explorer
- A new window opens when you try to view a 2007 Microsoft Office program document in Windows Internet Explorer 7
Jim Ley mentioned this registry setting in the PowerPoint newsgroup:
Whether PPT/PPS files open in a browser window or are saved to disk and opened in PowerPoint/Viewer is] a client setting, either in the file-types (accessed through explorer menus different in different o/s vers, or via (.8, .9 etc. latest ver):
@="Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation"
dword = 00000000 to open in a browser window
dword = 1 to open in PPT.
PowerPoint MVP Glenna Shaw researched this issue thoroughly from an accessibility perspective and has graciously allowed me to quote her report. As noted above, this probably will not work if you're running Office 2003:
Beginning in Internet Explorer 3.01 for Windows 95 all the way through Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows XP, Microsoft modified Internet Explorer to allow an In-Place Activation feature for Microsoft Office documents on PCs that had either Microsoft Office programs installed or Microsoft Office Viewer Programs installed.
The problem is that it's been my experience that screen readers do not work on Microsoft Office files which are activated in Internet Explorer, but Microsoft Office files do work with screen readers when opened in Microsoft Office Programs or Microsoft Office Viewers outside of Internet Explorer.
I have finally found the way to turn off this in-place activation feature of Internet Explorer without having it prompt you to download the file. This means, after making this change, you can click on a link to a Microsoft Office file and it will automatically open in either the appropriate Office program or viewer outside of Internet Explorer, thereby making an inaccessible file accessible.
I, personally, would recommend that everyone using a screen reader perform the following steps to turn off the in-place activation feature of Internet Explorer. Some might argue that this is slower, but all Microsoft Office files must be downloaded to your hard drive whether you open them in Internet Explorer or in the appropriate Office application.
To turn off the in-place activation feature, you must perform the following steps for all file types associated with your Microsoft Office Programs or Viewers. I'll use the DOC extension as my example:
- Double-click My Computer.
- On the View menu, click Options or on the Tools menu, click Folder Options [depending on the version of Windows you have]
- Click the File Types tab.
- In the Registered file types list, click the specific office file type (for example, DOC for Microsoft Word), and then click Edit or Advanced [again, depending on your Windows version].
- In the Edit File Type dialog box, perform one of the following steps, depending on the version of Internet Explorer that you are running:
- If you are running Internet Explorer 3.01, 3.02, or 3.02a: click to clear the Open Web documents in place check box.
- If you are running Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01, 5 or 6: click to clear the Browse in same window check box and clear the confirm open after download.
- Click OK to record your changes and close the Edit File Type dialog box.
- Repeat the steps for any MS Office files that you do not want to activate in Internet Explorer. Examples are RTF, DOT, PPT, POT, PPS, XLS, etc.
- Click Close to close the Folder Options dialog box
And for test purposes
This is a link to a small PPT presentation.