Add content to your public website that people can download and print

You can add content in PDF files to your Public Website that people can download and print. For example, you might offer your customers a catalog of your products and services. In the screenshot, you can see how Litware Books has a link like this on their website that says Download Litware Books catalog.

Screenshot of a website with a link to print a copy of the site catalog

When a customer clicks this link, they can open or save a printable PDF of the document. For example, in Internet Explorer, they would see this message:
Bar that opens in Internet Explorer when you click a link to download a file

For Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text, and image files, you can create a link so that the file opens right in the browser. Your customers can print these files by using the print function in their browser, but they can’t download these files.

Add content that people can download or print

Use these steps if you want people to download or print a PDF file.

  1. Sign in to your public website.
  2. On the page where you want to add the link, on the Page tab, click Edit page.
  3. Select the text for the link.
  4. On the Insert tab, click Link, and then click From SharePoint.
  5. Click Site Assets.
    Select an Asset dialog box, with Site Assets selected
  6. Either browse to a file you’ve already added, or click add to add a new document.
    Select an Asset dialog box, showing that you can click "add" to add a file
  7. Click Insert. If prompted, click Publish. The link now shows up on your unsaved local page.
  8. On the Page tab, click Save.
  9. On the Page tab, click Preview, and then click Default. Check that your link opens as you expect, as a download.
  10. On the Page tab, click Publish.
  11. To make sure other people can get to the link, test your new link when you're not signed in to Office 365.

 Note    If you add an image or a TXT file, the file will open in the browser, and your customers won’t see a prompt to download the file. If you use these steps to add a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file, it will look okay when you preview, but your customers will get a prompt for credentials, and will not be able to either download or view the file.

Add content that opens in the browser

Use these steps if you want your customers to see a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text or image file in their browser. They won’t get a prompt to download the file. It isn’t possible to view a PDF file on your public website in the browser.

  1. Sign in to your public website.
  2. Upload the file:
  1. In the upper right-hand corner, click Settings Settings button, and then click Site Contents.
  2. Select Site Assets.
  3. Click new document, or drag the file in.
  1. Click the file. It will open in a browser window.
  2. Select and copy the URL from the address bar.
    URL selected in browser address bar
  3. Return to the page where you want to add the link, and on the ribbon, click Edit page.
  4. Select the text for the link.
  5. On the Insert tab, click Link, and then click From Address.
  6. Paste the URL you copied into the Address box, and enter the words for the link in the Text to display box.
  7. Select the link, and click the Link tab.
  8. On the Link tab, make any changes to the link settings, such as choosing to open the document in a new tab.
    Link tab showing options for the link, including opening in a new tab
  9. On the Page tab, click Save.
  10. On the Page tab, click Preview, and then click Default. Check to see if your link opens as you expect, in the browser.
  11. On the Page tab, click Publish.
  12. To make sure other people can get to the link, test your new link when you're not signed in to Office 365.

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Test your links

Any time you add links to documents on a public website, in addition to previewing the page, you should make sure your customers can get to the files. This is important because it's easy to inadvertently create a link that people outside your organization can't get to.

To test links,

  1. Sign out of Office 365.
  2. Use any browser to go to your site.
  3. Click the links to make sure they work as you expect.

The most common way of creating a link others can't get to is to put a file in a folder that has versioning turned on, and forget to publish a major version of the file. Versioning lets you edit a draft before you make the file available to everyone. When the file is done, you publish a major version so that everyone can access it. Versioning is controlled by a setting at the folder level. By default, versioning is off for Site Assets, and on for Documents. This means any files that you want to link to in Documents must be published.

I get a prompt for user name and password, or can't download the file

If the document is in a folder with Create major and minor (draft) versions turned on, such as Documents, make sure the file is published:

  1. Sign in to your public website.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, click Settings Settings button, and then click Site contents.
  3. Go to the file.
  4. Click the ellipsis next to the document, click the ellipsis in the hover card, and then click Publish a Major Version.
    Publish a Major Version selected
  5. Click OK.

How do I see or change the settings for Create major and minor (draft) versions?

  1. Sign in to your public website.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, click Settings Settings button, and then click Site contents.
  3. Hover over the tile for the folder, click , and then click Settings.
    Documents hover card showing a link to Settings
  4. Click Versioning settings.
  5. View, select or clear the Create major and minor (draft) versions radio button.

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Learn more

See Public Website help for Office 365.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Website, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Online Website