SharePoint 2007

How to edit Word and Excel documents in Microsoft SharePoint 2007 using Firefox

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Yes, we all know how much of a pain it can be when you want to edit an Excel or Word document in Firefox but it opens up in Read Only mode.  With IE 8 and Office 2007, you would get a popup like this asking what you want to do when you left click on a document:

but in Firefox, you only get to download the document.  No option to edit it like this:

The quick solution I found that works for me is to install a couple of plugins for Firefox.  There are 2 ways to get around this:

1. Install the Coral IE Tab pluginhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10909– This allows you to switch whatever page you are looking at into a page rendered by IE but you are still in your Firefox tab.  You can also right click on your page in Firefox and open it in a new tab using IE so you have both versions.  Just use the “Switch Rendering Engine” option.  You can also have it actually open up in IE as well in a brand new IE window.  I PREFER CORAL IE over any other plugin because look how easy it is to change your rendering engine.  Just click the icon in the bottom right and your page is displayed in that browser . 🙂

Firefox + Sharepoint:

IE being rendered in Firefox + Sharepoint:

2. Install the IE View Lite pluginhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1429 – This allows you to to right click on a page and quickly load the page up in a new IE window.  Kind of like Coral IE but a “lite” version of it that only allows opening up a secondary window.

I know, not the easiest solution but it works for now until I find a better way.  MS treats Firefox like a second class browser with no AJAX or rich text editing for some reason.  All this will change with Sharepoint 2010 but for the great majority of the world that will remain on Sharepoint 2007 for a while, we have to come up with workarounds.  Looking forward to May 12th, 2010 when it’s officially released along with Office 2010. 🙂

You’ll notice a lot of nice little features you are used to in IE missing when browsing your Sharepoint site with Firefox because of this.  One thing I miss but haven’t looked into is getting the “Open with Windows Explorer” action back.  This “Explorer View” uses WebDav (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebDAV) to open a connection straight to your Sharepoint document library in a familiar Windows Explorer interface making it easy for end users to upload, move, rename, etc. in bulk. I am heavily dependent on this feature myself.  I’m thinking Firefox has to have some kind of WebDav plugin installed to get this working.  I’ll look into it and post here if I find something.

One thing to note, and I haven’t tried it yet, is that some guys over at Codplex are working on some basic Sharepoint 2007 + Firefox integration here:

http://wssfirefox.codeplex.com

The only reason I haven’t tried it out is because of the server side components that need to be installed.  I need to get around to trying it on one of my test farms at some point.  Most enterprises are not going to support Firefox anyhow so it’s not a priority issue to get resolved for me.  More of a personal challenge. 🙂

About Jason Samuel

Jason Samuel lives in Houston, TX with a primary focus on strategic advisory and architecture of end-user computing, security, enterprise mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, & VMware. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and networking over his 20+ year career in IT. He is an Author, Speaker, and Local User Group Community Leader. He is certified in several technologies and is 1 of 63 people globally that is a recipient of the prestigious Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award. He is 1 of 42 people in the world that has been awarded as a VMware EUC Champion and VMware vExpert. He is a featured author on DABCC which provides the latest IT Community News on Cloud, Data Center, Desktop, Mobility, Security, Storage, & Virtualization. In his spare time Jason enjoys writing how-to articles and evangelizing the technologies he works with. Disclaimer: The content and opinions expressed in articles and posts are his own and are by no means associated with his employer.

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2 Comments

  1. Adam K

    February 6, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    There’s a FireFox plugin (at CodePlex) which enables it to better support SharePoint/Office integration:
    http://npopendocuments.codeplex.com/

    Check it out, works for me!

  2. Guest

    February 13, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    Thank you very much!
    You help me.
    First variant is work!

    Moscow, Russia.

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