Usually when a user goes to a file URL, the file will show in the browser if the browser supports it. Image files like png, gif, jpg almost always show in the browser. Archive files like zip, tar, and gzip almost are always downloaded. Some file types show up in some browsers but not others, svg files will display in Firefox and Safari, but not Internet Explorer 7. Internet Explorer will usually try to show Microsoft Word files (doc and docx) in the browser, while most other browsers will download it.
To add consistency or to force certain files to download, you can fix this by simply adding an .htaccess file to the files directory. Note this only works with Public downloads and an Apache web server.
Set up a Specific Files to Download
- First, setup your file field so that it saves into a separate directory. This will make it so that you will only force certain files to download and not affect the rest of the files on your Drupal site. Visit Administer -> Content management -> Content types (admin/content/types). Click "Manage fields" on the type that you want files to be forced to be downloaded. Add or edit a file field, under the "Path settings" fieldset, set a path for your files to be uploaded.