Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

Discussion in 'Firefox' started by Janice P., Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    If I'm visiting a website and find a link to a text and click it, Firefox
    displays the plain text. If I right click the link and ask for a new tab,
    Firefox displays the text in the new tab. No problem.

    But if I have a local page on my own computer I'm working with, and it has a
    link to a local text file, Firefox launches the external text viewer. I
    cannot make it display the text itself, like it does for online files. It
    will offer to save it to disk, or launch it externally, but it will not
    simply display the text like it does when I'm online, and this is what I
    want it to do.

    I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4

    Help appreciated!

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. Janice P.

    Ed Mullen Guest

    Janice P. wrote:
    > If I'm visiting a website and find a link to a text and click it, Firefox
    > displays the plain text. If I right click the link and ask for a new tab,
    > Firefox displays the text in the new tab. No problem.
    >
    > But if I have a local page on my own computer I'm working with, and it has a
    > link to a local text file, Firefox launches the external text viewer. I
    > cannot make it display the text itself, like it does for online files. It
    > will offer to save it to disk, or launch it externally, but it will not
    > simply display the text like it does when I'm online, and this is what I
    > want it to do.
    >
    > I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4


    I think this is the same in 1.5.0.4. Check in Tools - Options -
    Downloads, View & Edit Actions. Look for a listing for "txt" in the
    Extension column. Highlight it and click Change Action. See what it
    says. Either change the action or (in the previous dialog) remove the
    action.

    --
    Ed Mullen
    http://edmullen.net
    http://mozilla.edmullen.net
    http://abington.edmullen.net
    It is bad luck to be superstitious.
    Ed Mullen, Dec 9, 2006
    #2
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  3. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sat, 09 Dec 2006 11:23:59 -0500, Ed Mullen <> posted:

    >Janice P. wrote:
    >> If I'm visiting a website and find a link to a text and click it, Firefox
    >> displays the plain text. If I right click the link and ask for a new tab,
    >> Firefox displays the text in the new tab. No problem.
    >>
    >> But if I have a local page on my own computer I'm working with, and it has a
    >> link to a local text file, Firefox launches the external text viewer. I
    >> cannot make it display the text itself, like it does for online files. It
    >> will offer to save it to disk, or launch it externally, but it will not
    >> simply display the text like it does when I'm online, and this is what I
    >> want it to do.
    >>
    >> I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4

    >
    >I think this is the same in 1.5.0.4. Check in Tools - Options -
    >Downloads, View & Edit Actions. Look for a listing for "txt" in the
    >Extension column. Highlight it and click Change Action. See what it
    >says. Either change the action or (in the previous dialog) remove the
    >action.


    Thank you for your reply, Ed. There is no action for the .txt extension,
    and I can't see how to add one.

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #3
  4. Here's the link you want to use for your text files...

    file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt

    Scott--


    Janice P. wrote:
    > If I'm visiting a website and find a link to a text and click it, Firefox
    > displays the plain text. If I right click the link and ask for a new tab,
    > Firefox displays the text in the new tab. No problem.
    >
    > But if I have a local page on my own computer I'm working with, and it has a
    > link to a local text file, Firefox launches the external text viewer. I
    > cannot make it display the text itself, like it does for online files. It
    > will offer to save it to disk, or launch it externally, but it will not
    > simply display the text like it does when I'm online, and this is what I
    > want it to do.
    >
    > I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4
    >
    > Help appreciated!
    >
    > J.
    >
    Scott Hildenbrand, Dec 10, 2006
    #4
  5. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 10:22:34 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:

    >Here's the link you want to use for your text files...
    >
    >file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >
    >Scott--


    Thank you Scott, but that's desperately impractical. As soon as I finish
    editing my local pages I need to upload them, sometimes several times a
    week. I'd have to stop and locate all of the file:///c:/ links and convert
    them to relative links, every time I wanted to upload them.

    That's asking too much, even with a convenient search and replace. It seems
    to me that Firefox should be able to display a text file with a normal
    (relative) link, whether it's local or remote. Why it works for remote but
    not for local is what's bothering me.

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #5
  6. It's common practice in all browsers to treat files like that when
    viewed local when it comes to text links...

    Here's a question, why do you need to view them local as well as
    remotely? Perhaps it would be best to stick with pulling the data
    remotely. Either way not sure why you're needing both.

    At any rate that's the best way to do it that I can think of. The only
    other option would be to iframe the txt files in html pages so that it's
    forced to load the content as is.

    Sorry I couldn't help.

    Janice P. wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 10:22:34 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    > <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:
    >
    >> Here's the link you want to use for your text files...
    >>
    >> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >>
    >> Scott--

    >
    > Thank you Scott, but that's desperately impractical. As soon as I finish
    > editing my local pages I need to upload them, sometimes several times a
    > week. I'd have to stop and locate all of the file:///c:/ links and convert
    > them to relative links, every time I wanted to upload them.
    >
    > That's asking too much, even with a convenient search and replace. It seems
    > to me that Firefox should be able to display a text file with a normal
    > (relative) link, whether it's local or remote. Why it works for remote but
    > not for local is what's bothering me.
    >
    > J.
    >
    Scott Hildenbrand, Dec 10, 2006
    #6
  7. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 10:22:34 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:

    >Here's the link you want to use for your text files...
    >
    >file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >
    >Scott--


    Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did this. It does
    not work. Firefox still forces the local text file into the external viewer
    or offers to save it to disk, but will not display the text itself, like it
    does when the link is on a web page.

    This is frustrating!

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #7
  8. This is odd.. I just used <a href="./email.txt"> test2 </a> in a local
    html file to test how it opens text files local and it worked fine,
    opening it in the browser..

    I looked through Content -> File Types and saw nothing about txt files
    in there..

    Checking Windows File Type settings showed the standard entry for txt
    files, having an Open, Print and Print to entry; the open entry being
    the following.

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\NOTEPAD.EXE %1

    Since IE uses what's in the Windows settings for File Types, there's no
    settings in IE for it.

    Really not sure what the problem is. BTW, what OS are you running (+SP,etc)?

    Janice P. wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 10:22:34 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    > <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:
    >
    >> Here's the link you want to use for your text files...
    >>
    >> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >>
    >> Scott--

    >
    > Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did this. It does
    > not work. Firefox still forces the local text file into the external viewer
    > or offers to save it to disk, but will not display the text itself, like it
    > does when the link is on a web page.
    >
    > This is frustrating!
    >
    > J.
    >
    Scott Hildenbrand, Dec 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Janice P.

    Timo Salmi Guest

    Janice P. <> wrote:
    > Scott Hildenbrand posted:
    >> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt


    > Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did this. It
    > does not work.


    Actually, it does, if you already are reading a local page on your PC.
    The easiest way to achieve that is to have the home page locally. Or you
    can make the direction to the local disk utilizing the "Personal Toolbar
    Folder". Used those tricks for ages, currently for 1.5.0.8. Also check
    what you have in your "View & Edit Actions".

    All the best, Timo

    --
    Prof. Timo Salmi ftp & http://garbo.uwasa.fi/ archives 193.166.120.5
    Department of Accounting and Business Finance ; University of Vaasa
    mailto: <http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/> ; FIN-65101, Finland
    Timo's FAQ materials at http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/http/tsfaq.html
    Timo Salmi, Dec 10, 2006
    #9
  10. Janice P.

    Ed Mullen Guest

    Janice P. wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 10:22:34 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    > <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:
    >
    >> Here's the link you want to use for your text files...
    >>
    >> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >>
    >> Scott--

    >
    > Thank you Scott, but that's desperately impractical. As soon as I finish
    > editing my local pages I need to upload them, sometimes several times a
    > week. I'd have to stop and locate all of the file:///c:/ links and convert
    > them to relative links, every time I wanted to upload them.
    >
    > That's asking too much, even with a convenient search and replace. It seems
    > to me that Firefox should be able to display a text file with a normal
    > (relative) link, whether it's local or remote. Why it works for remote but
    > not for local is what's bothering me.
    >
    > J.
    >


    Nearly all of my Web pages are coded using relative links. The
    directory structure is the same on my PC and Web server(s) so once I
    finish editing locally I just FTP the files to the server. Works fine
    in Firefox (and every other browser I have here).

    - What O/S are you using?
    - Try launching FF in Safe Mode and see if the problem goes away.
    - Do you have any extensions installed that might be causing this?

    --
    Ed Mullen
    http://edmullen.net
    http://mozilla.edmullen.net
    http://abington.edmullen.net
    If you were driving your car at the speed of light, and you turned on
    your headlights. Would anything happen?
    Ed Mullen, Dec 10, 2006
    #10
  11. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 13:29:17 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:

    >It's common practice in all browsers to treat files like that when
    >viewed local when it comes to text links...


    "Common practice in all browsers"?!??!? Huh? I have three browsers
    installed on my system besides Firefox: Ancient Netscape 3.03 does it
    right. Newer Netscape 7.2 does it right. Recent Internet Explorer 6.0 does
    it right. So what makes you say it's common? I've never seen another
    browser do it like Firefox does it.

    >Here's a question, why do you need to view them local as well as
    >remotely?


    Scott! Why ask why? Let ME ask YOU why: Why is a text file any different
    than an HTML file? What if I were to tell you that you should view the HTML
    you're currently developing online, after you upload it, rather than locally
    in your browser as you develop it? You'd think I was nuts. So how does the
    fact that we're talking about plain text rather than HTML make it OK for you
    to tell me the same thing?

    >Perhaps it would be best to stick with pulling the data
    >remotely.


    Besides being just plain wrong - I covered this in the previous paragraph -
    that's the kind of thinking that I will never go along with. You're
    suggesting that I should adapt my human self to a deficiency in a program,
    rather than expect the program to work properly. I find that preposterous.

    >At any rate that's the best way to do it that I can think of. The only
    >other option would be to iframe the txt files in html pages so that it's
    >forced to load the content as is.


    This won't work for me because my visitors can download the text file as
    well, and when they get it, I want it to be pure plain text for them, not
    something in an html wrapper.

    >Sorry I couldn't help.


    Thanks for trying! I appreciate it.

    Anybody else? There has to be a solution. For Firefox to behave this way
    is just plain annoying!

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #11
  12. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:22:58 -0500, Ed Mullen <> posted:

    >Nearly all of my Web pages are coded using relative links.


    Same here. I almost never use an absolute link.

    >The directory structure is the same on my PC and Web server(s) so once I
    >finish editing locally I just FTP the files to the server. Works fine
    >in Firefox (and every other browser I have here).


    That's precisely what I'm doing, but Firefox will not display plain .txt
    files that are local. Example: I have "index.html" that contains the link:

    <a href="text.txt">Read the text</a>

    Now, text.txt and index.html are in the same directory, naturally. So it's
    the simplest possible relative link. On my computer, Firefox will not
    display that text file. It will offer to launch it into Notepad, or it will
    offer to save it to disk, but it will not display it.

    Next, when I upload these same two files, unchanged, and then visit
    index.html online, and click that same link, shazaam, it works. Firefox
    displays the text. This is my whole point: I want it to behave that same
    way locally.

    >- What O/S are you using?


    XP Pro SP2

    >- Try launching FF in Safe Mode and see if the problem goes away.


    I've never done that but I'll see if I can figure out how.

    >- Do you have any extensions installed that might be causing this?


    I've never installed any extension to Firefox whatsoever.

    Thanks for helping!

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #12
  13. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 14:03:27 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:

    >This is odd.. I just used <a href="./email.txt"> test2 </a> in a local
    >html file to test how it opens text files local and it worked fine,
    >opening it in the browser..


    Wow. So it IS possible!

    >I looked through Content -> File Types and saw nothing about txt files
    >in there..


    Same here.

    >Really not sure what the problem is. BTW, what OS are you running (+SP,etc)?


    XP Pro SP2

    I am a FireFox newbie, as you can tell. I just discovered it about a month
    ago and I **love** it, and I appreciate what Mozilla is doing, but there are
    a few things I need to find solutions for.

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #13
  14. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 22:04:04 +0200, Timo Salmi <> posted:

    >Janice P. <> wrote:
    >> Scott Hildenbrand posted:
    >>> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt

    >
    >> Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did this. It
    >> does not work.

    >
    >Actually, it does, if you already are reading a local page on your PC.


    No, it does not. Sorry!

    Perhaps it SHOULD, and that's what I'm trying to find out, but at the
    present, it doesn't.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #14
  15. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:22:58 -0500, Ed Mullen <> posted:

    >- Try launching FF in Safe Mode and see if the problem goes away.


    Safe Mode had no effect on the issue.

    j.
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #15
  16. Yes, it should and seems to be with everyone else's install. Now, as to
    finding out why yours is not I'm not sure.

    Ok, last thoughts from me then I'm bowing out on trying to figure this
    one out..

    1.) Have you tried accessing the page(s) in IE and seeing how they
    handle txt files as links?
    a.) IE should open it directly in the page.. If not there's a deeper
    problem than just FF.

    2.) Perhaps you could uninstall 1.5 and move to using 2.0, which is now
    public and out of beta.
    a.) A fresh reinstall may help? Maybe it did not set something in the
    orig install. Plus 2.0 is better IMO than 1.5... ;)

    Really hope you get this figured out.. Let me know for sure about how IE
    takes them.

    Janice P. wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 22:04:04 +0200, Timo Salmi <> posted:
    >
    >> Janice P. <> wrote:
    >>> Scott Hildenbrand posted:
    >>>> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >>> Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did this. It
    >>> does not work.

    >> Actually, it does, if you already are reading a local page on your PC.

    >
    > No, it does not. Sorry!
    >
    > Perhaps it SHOULD, and that's what I'm trying to find out, but at the
    > present, it doesn't.
    >
    Scott Hildenbrand, Dec 10, 2006
    #16
  17. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:12:22 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand
    <"scott[dunspamme]"@fuzzywolf.com> posted:

    >1.) Have you tried accessing the page(s) in IE and seeing how they
    >handle txt files as links?


    Yes. IE and two different versions of Netscape handle them correctly.

    >2.) Perhaps you could uninstall 1.5 and move to using 2.0, which is now
    >public and out of beta.


    I hadn't checked for an update. Thanks for the tip.

    >Really hope you get this figured out.


    Me too! Well just watch this thread :)
    Janice P., Dec 10, 2006
    #17
  18. Janice P.

    Timo Salmi Guest

    Janice P. <> wrote:
    > Timo Salmi <> posted:
    >> Janice P. <> wrote:
    >>> Scott Hildenbrand posted:
    >>>> file:///C:/Path_to_file/blah.txt
    >>> Just for argument's sake - and curiosity's sake, too - I did
    >>> this. It does not work.

    >> Actually, it does, if you already are reading a local page on your
    >> PC.

    > No, it does not. Sorry!


    Yes, it does! Exactly the way I told it does. You either have some
    crucial configuration difference or failed to follow my explanation on
    how it is done. Either way, it works on my XP SP2 with Firefox 1.5.0.8.
    This does not mean that you have an unsolved problem on your
    system. But the problem is neither absolute nor universal.

    > Perhaps it SHOULD, and that's what I'm trying to find out, but at the
    > present, it doesn't.


    Did you really try it the way I suggested?

    All the best, Timo

    --
    Prof. Timo Salmi ftp & http://garbo.uwasa.fi/ archives 193.166.120.5
    Department of Accounting and Business Finance ; University of Vaasa
    mailto: <http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/> ; FIN-65101, Finland
    Timo's FAQ materials at http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/http/tsfaq.html
    Timo Salmi, Dec 10, 2006
    #18
  19. Janice P.

    Timo Salmi Guest

    Timo Salmi <> wrote for Janice P.:
    > Did you really try it the way I suggested?


    To recount:

    1) Type file:///c:/

    2) The click any local text file that you can find by browsing your disk.

    3) Make a local (I repeat LOCAL) html page where you have a
    file:///c:/yourtext.txt link and click.

    4) Tell me what the following link does for you
    http://lipas.uwasa.fi/~ts/ts.asc

    It is sraight text, even if it has a different extension. If your
    Firefox does not show the text immediately (with no formatting), then
    your XP SP2 Firefox 1.5.0.8 settings indeed differ from mine.

    All the best, Timo

    --
    Prof. Timo Salmi ftp & http://garbo.uwasa.fi/ archives 193.166.120.5
    Department of Accounting and Business Finance ; University of Vaasa
    mailto: <http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/> ; FIN-65101, Finland
    Timo's FAQ materials at http://www.uwasa.fi/~ts/http/tsfaq.html
    Timo Salmi, Dec 10, 2006
    #19
  20. Janice P.

    Janice P. Guest

    Re: Re: Firefox is not handling text files the way I want it to!

    On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 23:30:28 +0200, Timo Salmi <> posted:

    >>> Actually, it does
    >>>

    >> No, it does not. Sorry!
    >>

    >Yes, it does!


    Perhaps we had better define the word "it". IT does not work that way, when
    IT is my machine. If your "it" works that way, fine. My "it" does not.

    >1) Type file:///c:/


    I covered this in another post. This is not a solution, it's a band-aid at
    best, and not a very sticky one. I am developing my pages locally just like
    I always have. When I have them where I want them, I upload them. I'm not
    going to stop and change a bunch of links fron "File:///c:/blahblah" every
    time I go to upload my files.

    Thanks for trying to help.

    J.
    Janice P., Dec 11, 2006
    #20
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