Installing the Firefox Add-On for the Office Connector

If you are using Firefox as your browser, you will need to install an add-on into Firefox (the Firefox WebDAV Launcher) in order to use some features of the Office Connector. You will be prompted to install the add-on the first time you try to use a function which requires it.

For an overview of all Office Connector features, please refer to Working with the Office Connector.

Note about supported web browsers: Please ensure that you are using one of the web browsers supported by Confluence. If you are using an unsupported browser or browser version, some features may not work correctly. Check the  Supported Platforms page to find the list of supported web browsers and browser versions on this page.

Installing the Firefox Add-On

You will be prompted to install the add-on the first time you try to use a function which requires it. The add-on is required for editing a wiki page in Office, or for editing an Office document which is displayed on a wiki page.

  1. When you choose an option which requires the Firefox add-on, you will see a popup window like this one:

  2. Click 'OK'. Some browsers may now ask you to confirm the download with a message bar across the top of the page, beneath the browser's address bar.

    • You may see a message like the one shown here:
       

      Click 'Allow'.
       
    • Or you may see a similar message with an 'Edit Options' button like this:



      • If you see the above message, click 'Edit Options'. You will then see an 'Allowed Sites' window like this one:



        This window lets you tell Firefox that your Confluence server is allowed to install add-ons into Firefox. The 'Address of web site' box should already contain the address of your Confluence server.
      • Click the 'Allow' button to add your Confluence server to the list.
      • Go back to your Confluence page and try to edit your Office document again, e.g. by clicking 'Edit in Word' again. Now you will see the option to install the add-on.
  3. A 'Software Installation' window will appear, asking you to confirm the installation. The window will look something like the one below, but the URL will be the address of your own Confluence server:

  4. Click 'Install Now'. The installation will happen and a window will pop up asking you to restart Firefox:

  5. Make sure you have saved all your Confluence pages and any other work in your browser, then restart Firefox.
  6. If Firefox asks you to confirm the restart, confirm it.
  7. Firefox will close all the browser windows and will then start up again. You will see a window confirming that a new add-on has been installed, like this:

Configuring the Add-On

After you have installed the add-on into Firefox, you will need to configure it. Basically, you will associate a desktop application (editor) with each relevant file type. This tells the Office Connector which application to launch when it encounters a link to an editable file. The configuration is slightly different for each operating system, as described below.

Configuring the Add-On in Windows

The add-on can will automatically configure itself on Windows via the system registry. The first time you edit a new file type, the add-on will look up the default editor for that file type and make that the permanent setting.

If you want to override the registry settings, or if for some reason the automatic configuration is not working, you can configure the Firefox add-on manually.

  1. In Firefox, go to the 'Tools menu and select 'WebDAV Launcher Options', as shown in this screenshot:

  2. A 'WebDAV Launcher Options' window will appear, allowing you to associate a specific file type (file extension) with a desktop application (editor). The window looks like this one:



  3. In the 'File Extension box, enter the extension for a particular file type. For example, you may want to associate the 'doc' file extension with Microsoft Word 2003 or earlier. To do this, you would type 'doc' in the File Extension text box.

    If you use or have recently upgraded to Office 2007


    In addition to the original Office 2003 file extensions (that is, 'doc', 'ppt' and 'xls'), you should additionally configure the WebDAV launcher to handle the new Office 2007-specific file extensions for Microsoft Word ('docx'), Microsoft Excel ('xlsx') and PowerPoint ('pptx').

    Screenshot: Configuring the WebDAV Launcher - adding the 'doc' file extension.

  4. Enter the 'Application Path — Use one of the following methods to specify the associated application for editing the given file type:

    • Click the 'Auto' button to load the associated application from the Windows registry.
    • Alternatively, you can click the 'Browse' button to find the application on your computer.
    • Or you can manually type in the path to the application's executable file.

      Screenshot: Configuring the WebDAV Launcher - adding the 'Application Path' for the 'doc' file extension.

      If you use or have recently upgraded to Office 2007


      Follow the instructions in this step to add the path to the relevant Office 2007 application for the Office 2007 file extension you configured above. For example, if you had a typical default installation of Office 2007, you would add the application path 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE' to the 'docx' extension.

  5. Click the 'Add' button. The file extension association will be added to the list. For example, in the picture below you can see that the 'doc' extension has been associated with 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE'. This is the path to the Microsoft Word 2003 executable on a specific Windows machine.

    Screenshot: Configuring the WebDAV Launcher - configuration of the 'doc' file extension complete.

Configuring the Add-On in Mac OS X

The configuration procedure is similar to Windows, as shown above. Note that there is no 'Auto' button in Mac OS X.

Configuring the Add-On in Linux

The only known supported Office editor for Linux is OpenOffice. (See Office Connector Prerequisites.)

There is no automatic configuration on Linux. You will need to associate each file type with your Office editor in Firefox. Note that there is no 'Auto' button in Linux.

The configuration procedure is similar to Windows, as shown above.

For both Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, the configuration will look something like this:

File Extension

Application Path

doc and docx

/usr/bin/oowriter

ppt and pptx

/usr/bin/ooimpress

xls and xlsx

/usr/bin/oocalc

Security Risks

Please be aware that there are security risks in installing this add-on to Firefox. Internet Explorer is exposed to the same risks, because it can directly open Office documents. By installing the add-in into Firefox, you are exposing Firefox to the same risks.

Summary of the risks:

  • Office documents can contain macro viruses. Before opening an Office document, make sure that you trust the source of the document.
  • There are known flaws in the Office file formats and Microsoft Office that an attacker can exploit to gain control of your machine. Microsoft has fixed the known exploits in the latest Service Packs for all Microsoft Office versions. But new exploitations may arise at any time. Again, be sure that you trust the source of a document before opening it.

The add-on tries to reduce the risk by supporting the following:

  • Same origin policy — The add-on can only open documents from the same host that initiated the action.
  • Digital signature — The add-on is digitally signed. When you install the add-on please verify that it is signed by Benryan Software Inc.

  • Prompt the user for confirmation — You will always be warned before a file is opened. Please read these warnings carefully before opening a file. The warning tells you the complete URL of the file as well as the complete application path of the application opening the file.

Information about this Firefox Add-On

Add-on name:

WebDAV Launcher

Description:

Adds the ability to launch a WebDAV URL directly in a WebDAV-aware client.

Latest version:

See the WebDAV Launcher add-on page at Mozilla

Compatible with:

All versions of Firefox, up to and including the latest stable version.

Author:

Atlassian Pty Ltd

Related Topics

Working with the Office Connector

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