I wouldn't classify this as off topic, it's all part of the web environment
and standards (or lack thereof) of real practical cases are all part of the

I have heard it is possible to configure a webserver in a way that when
someone accesses a PDF/DOC (whatever file types have been configured) the
browser will spawn an application instance to open the file, rather than
opening in the browser window. I dunno if this is true and if it is, how it
can be done. I would *like* to know. I've been meaning to find out for some
time ... thanks for raising the topic!

Having a quick look around on the web it seems this is related to the
"Content-Disposition:" HTTP header. (There you go: HTTP is a "web standard"

Anyone know how to use this properly?
Any known pitfalls?

FYI, on windows there are a couple of "file types" settings which control
the local behaviour for opening documents / spawning windows.

Open up windows explorer, and choose "Folder options..." from the "Tools"
menu, then select the "File Types" tab. Select the desired file/document
type from the list. Press the "Advanced" button.

You should see a window that lists Actions associated with this file type.
Below this are a couple of checkboxes. The "Confirm open after download" and
"Browse in the same window" controls the behaviour when you click on a link
in IE for a matching file/document type.


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