This article was previously published under Q318761
When you browse to either a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file or to a Comma Separated Value (.csv) file that is located on a Web server, Internet Explorer may prompt you with a File Download dialog box to confirm whether you want to open the file or to save the file to your computer.
You are downloading the file:
Would you like to open the file or save it to your computer?
The Open button and the Always ask before opening this type of file check box of the dialog box may appear dimmed, which indicates that the options are unavailable.
The problem occurs if the client has version 6.0.2713.1500 (or later) of Shdocvw.dll installed. Version 6.0.2713.1500 of Shdocvw.dll is included in the Internet Explorer Cumulative Patch from Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-005. When you browse to a file, Internet Explorer uses the file name extension to retrieve the following information about the file:
The default value for the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\[.extension] contains the ProgID for the server associated with the file type.
The registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\[ProgID] contains a subkey for the CLSID.
The registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\[CLSID] contains a subkey for the ProgID.
If the ProgIDs in items 1 and 3 are not equal, Internet Explorer disables the option to open the file. Word has different ProgIDs for a .doc file (Word.Document) and an .rtf file (Word.RTF). Likewise, Excel has different ProgIDs for a .xls file (Excel.Sheet) and a .csv file (Excel.CSV). When you browse to either an .rtf file or a .csv file in Internet Explorer, the option to open the file is unavailable.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Internet Explorer 6. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
328548 How to Obtain the Latest Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack
To work around this issue, you can use either of the following methods:
Change the .rtf file name extension to .doc, or change the .csv file name extension to .xls. If you are prompted to change the extension when you browse to a .doc or .csv file, the Open button is available.
- or -
Click to clear the Confirm open after download check box for the .doc or .xls file type. To do this, follow these steps:
Double-click My Computer.
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
Click the File Types tab.
Under Registered File Types, click to select DOC Microsoft Word Document or XLS Microsoft Excel Worksheet, and then click Advanced.
Click to clear the Confirm open after download check box, and then click OK.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1.
Steps to Reproduce the Behavior
Start Microsoft Word. Type any text in the document that is created.
On the File menu, click Save As, and then click Rich Text Format in the Save as type list.
Save the document as test.rtf to a folder on a Web server.
Start Internet Explorer.
Browse to http://server/folder/test.rtf, where server/folder is the name of the Web server and folder where you saved test.rtf. Note that you see a confirmation dialog box with an Open button that appears dimmed.
For additional information about the Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316059 MS02-005: 11-Feb-2002 Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer