How do I prompt a "Save As" dialog for an accepted mime type?
Often you will want a user to download / save a TXT, XLS, GIF, HTML or other file type that the browser would normally simply open and display within the browser (either from an HREF, a response.redirect, or a save target as). Here is one method I've used to force a prompt, in a file called download.asp:
And from the page where you want to launch this Save As dialog, you can do any method of redirection. Here are a few examples:
Now keep in mind that the user can just decide to open it if they choose.
One thing to keep in mind, is to avoid adding a custom cache-control header; the technique in Article #2022 could cause these downloads to fail.
Some users have found that Internet Explorer prompts users with two open/save as dialogs. This is likely because you have sent the filename in both the ContentType and the AddHeader/Content-Disposition headers. To resolve the issue, use only the AddHeader variant. (See KB #238588 for more information.)
Many people have complained that larger files simply do not work. You might see the following error messages from Internet Explorer:
You can try code like this instead, which sets response.buffer to false, sets a high server.scriptTimeout value, sets an explicit content-length header, and streams the file in chunks instead of all at once. Make sure you do not set an alternate character set using Response.CharSet.
One other thing you might have to experiment with. To get the filename correct, try any of the following AddHeader lines... different versions of IE require a different command in order to override the filename. You might have to send a custom line depending on the version of Internet Explorer being used by the client.
See Article #2129 for more information. Some Microsoft articles, for further reading:
HOWTO: Raise a "File Download" Dialog Box for a Known MIME Type
FIX: Content-Disposition: Attachment Saves Wrong Filename for Unknown Extension
FIX: "Content-Disposition: Attachment" Fails for Known Content Types
FIX: Content-Disposition Attachment Header Does Not Save File
(Also see Security Bulletin MS01-015.)
Error Message: "Internet Explorer Cannot Download a File"
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