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Talk:File types and download actions

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Original forum text

Np 16:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


With most media files, if you click a link to them you will be prompted to download them. For media files associated with some plugins (Acrobat, Quicktime, Windows Media and Flash files, for example), they will open automatically inside a browser window or in an external player instead.

If you wish to change this behaviour: [b][u]Firefox 1.0.x[/u][/b] Go into Firefox Options, and in the bar on the left click the Downloads icon. Click the 'Plug-Ins' button that is below the 'File Types' box, to reveal the list of file types that will open in the browser with the associated plugin instead of downloading. Disable the desired file types by clicking on the checkmark and they will give a download prompt instead. This will not effect media embedded in a web page - only links to the files themselves.

[b][u]Firefox 1.5[/u][/b] (Including Deer Park, Betas, and Release Candidates) Go into Firefox Options, and in the top bar click the Downloads icon. Under 'Download Actions' click the 'View & Edit Actions' button to reveal the list of file types that will open in the browser with the associated plugin instead of downloading. Select a file type that you would rather have download or open with an external application and click 'Change Action...'

  • If you want the file to open with the default external program for that file type, select "Open them with the default application"
  • If you want the file to open with an external program other than the default, select "Open them with this application" - you will then be prompted to select the application to open them with.
  • If you want the file to give a standard Open With/download to download prompt then select 'Save them on my computer'

Note: some of the file types listed there (such as all file types associated with the Windows Media Player plugin like .wma, .wmv, etc), if enabled/set to open with the plugin will, when clicked, automatically download and open with an external program instead of playing in the browser.


New article name

I was thinking to rename this article and use the en-US spelling, "behavior" instead of the current "behaviour"... but why not rename it something else, that better describes the current content and has a better chance of coming up on a KB search? I was thinking of "Managing file types and download actions". Any thoughts? Alice 18:07, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Article renamed "File types and download actions". Alice 01:47, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Updating this article for Firefox 3 and SeaMonkey 2

I added an introductory section File handling in Firefox 3 and SeaMonkey 2 with an image for the new Applications options (from Fx3Beta4/WinXP). I didn't incorporate that information into the rest of the article yet since I thought it might be better to wait until Firefox 3 final is released, then remove the Firefox 1.5 instructions at the same time. Alice 16:46, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Since Firefox 3 final was released June 17, I removed the Firefox 1.5 instructions. I also reorganized the article to segment it into three sections, based on user interface (Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey 1.x, Firefox 2, and Firefox 3/SeaMonkey 2). Alice 02:31, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Redoing this for Firefox 3

I've noticed that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation with regard to using the Firefox 3 Applications Tab. I've attempted to help a number of people in the support forum. The problem is that it generally results in long threads that can become quite convoluted and in the end, helps one person. In looking at this article I've noticed that in an attempt to cover various versions of Firefox, Mozilla Suite and SeaMonkey it can be quite confusing for anyone but the well informed.

When I tried to decide if it was worth the effort to update the MIME Edit add-on for Firefox 3, it took me a few days of "poking" at the Applications Tab and running tests using one of my web sites to really understand what could be done and how to do it. With all that learning I thought it might be more useful to add to the Knowledge Base.

In reading this article it seemed to me that a "segmenting" of Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 might be a better way to organize this because of the substantial differences assuming removal of the Firefox 1.5 information is forthcoming as Alice noted (no thoughts re SeaMonkey since I never used it). I would be willing to generate the information for Firefox 3. Beware, I've never done this in a collaborative wiki environment and will need to adjust to the formatting syntax used here. Also, I'm on a Mac so my screen shots will look somewhat different but functionally equivalent.

Any thoughts? RobertJ 20:30, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

If by segmenting you mean a separate section of this article covering Firefox 3 andSeaMonkey 2, that would probably be the best, instead of trying to integrate Firefox 3/Firefox 2 and SeaMonkey1.x/SM2. I think that it is worthwhile to keep all the information about file types, download actions and helper applications together in a single article for all browsers if at all possible, similar to the way I have it set up here, but divide the article based on the different interfaces. Edit: I added a screenshot of the Helper Applications panel for SeaMonkey 2 to the article. Alice 01:47, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I've finished reorganizing this article and there is now a separate section for Managing content types - Firefox 3 . Feel free to add to or replace the content with the information you were planning to generate for Firefox 3. If you think that the Firefox 3 information deserves its own article, go and create one. Once the new article is created we can link to it in the Firefox 3 section of this article. Alice 12:24, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
By segmenting I meant a section focused on Firefox 3. I believe not mixing in other Mozilla products/versions would clarify it significantly for the reader. I will generate a New "Managing content types - Firefox 3" and add it on Thursday.
I've also thought about that value of a small section on MIME types and the roll they play in Firefox deciding what to do with a file. Over the last few years I've seen numerous threads in the forums about "Why am I seeing the code and not the page?" or "Why isn't Firefox using the helper I've specified?"
I assume that I just insert my contribution at "Managing content types - Firefox 3" and wait. This wiki approach is quite different. RobertJ 14:40, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Just go ahead and add your contribution, either in this article or in a new one. If this article gets too long we can always spin off sections to new articles. Alice 17:01, 30 June 2008 (UTC) See below on MIME types. Alice 11:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

MIME types

RobertJ, you mentioned above, ...I've also thought about that value of a small section on MIME types and the roll they play in Firefox deciding what to do with a file. Over the last few years I've seen numerous threads in the forums about "Why am I seeing the code and not the page?" or "Why isn't Firefox using the helper I've specified?" This article talks about MIME types in the Opening dialog section, with a link to http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Properly_Configuring_Server_MIME_Types and MIME types are mentioned throughout this article and others. There are "See also" links in this article to Page displays as gibberish and Opening files using plugins which both discuss MIME types. A separate, small section on MIME types would be worthwhile, (or even an entire article in the Category:General concepts or Category:Websites). There used to be a separate MIME types article (here's what it used to include before the content was removed and it was redirected to MDC). There's a section in General concepts#MIME types which links to this article, so more information here on how MIME types affect download actions would certainly fit in. Alice 11:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

The AMO link to the MIME Edit extension is broken. --Rsx11m 15:28, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

More on that here: Talk:Actions for attachment file types ... but I see that tanstaafl replaced it with a link to an equivalent add-on, the Mimetype Editor/Download Actions extension. Alice 00:07, 18 June 2010 (UTC)