FAQ: How do I link to a _____ file so people can download it?

A: Simple, just link to it. Let's suppose you have a few Microsoft Word documents that you would like to offer. Just link to them...

<A HREF="myresume.doc">Download my resume</A>
<BR><A HREF="mybio.doc">Download my autobiography</A>

Download my resume
Download my autobiography

You may wonder how to be sure the file gets saved to disk rather than being displayed or loaded or whatever. In short you have little control over what happens when a user downloads a file. Most people know how to right click and Save To Disk. Others may have a plugin to handle the file. Just let people manage that part by themselves. Your job is simply to offer it for download.

If the file is a lengthly file (200+Kb) or a collection of files, you may wish to zip them and offer the zip file for download instead.

FAQ: How do I make a link open in a new browser window?

A: Well, first of all, this can be done easily by your visitor if he wishes. All he has to do is right click on the link and choose "Open In New Window".

If we figure that you want to force this action for whatever reason, you can add TARGET="_blank" to the link...

Go to <A HREF="http://home.netscape.com/" TARGET="_blank">Netscape!</A>

There's more on targets in Frames Tutor.

One more note about links... It is perfectly acceptable to link to someones page(s) without asking. Links are what makes the Web the Web.

Now that you've learned how to make links, I'm going to tell you about one of my pet peeves. I hate searching for information on widgets and all I get are pages with 14 dozen LINKS to widget sites and nothing else. I follow some of those links and I get MORE LINKS to more widget link sites... but never any blinkin widgets! :-(

If you're making a page, of course include links if you think it adds value, but try to refrain from having a page that consists of nothing more than links and links that link to even more links!

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