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Word and Other Office Documents Prompt for a Login


Anonymous visitors to are prompted for a­­­ user name and password when opening a Microsoft Office document in Internet Explorer.  The user name prompt does not occur in non-Internet Explorer browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Chrome or non-Office documents such as Zip, PDF, etc. files.


As a best practice for building websites, website owners should refrain from publishing Microsoft Office documents such as Word or Excel on public websites because they are not device independent, require the user to purchase a license, not compatible with older Office versions, can be a security risk and often the file size is larger than web-friendly alternatives.
Website owners should convert documents to a web-friendly browser/platform independent format such as a webpage, PDF, etc. to ensure the broadest compatibility possible or save the file in a Zip format.

Alternative Workarounds:

In some cases a PDF may not be a suitable workaround because the website owner requires advanced functionality such as form fields or formulas. This type of functionality in Office documents  could pose a security threat to the public website as they are susceptible to viruses. Documents that require advanced functionality should be stored on an Intranet or internal system with more control over security and platform compatibility.
If a website owner needs to collect data, they should use a SharePoint web form or create a PDF form. If these options won’t work, contact UWS and they can possibly provide an alternative web space outside of the content management system.

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