Displaying a file or a folder in the Page Viewer Web Part

Today I tried to do something very easy. Or at least I thought it would be. I tried to display a file in with the Page Viewer Web Part.

The first steps are actually really easy:

  • Go to the correct site
  • Select "Edit Page" under the "Site Actions"
  • Click "Add a Web Part" in the section you want the web part to be displayed in
  • Click "Modify Shared Web Part"
  • If you want to display a web page it's very straight forward. Just select "Web Page" and type in a url under link and the url will be displayed.

Unfortunately I didn't want to display a web page, I wanted to display a file. And I was struggling with the way I was supposed to format the path to a file or folder in order to get it to display. Searching on Live or Google didn't get me anything, but eventually I found it:

  • If you want to display a folder or a file you should enter a network path for a folder it would look like file://\\pc158\temp, for a file it would be file://\\pc158\temp\test.txt
  • Displaying a file or a folder will only work in Internet Explorer
  • The file opens either in a separate browser window or inside the Web Part if the application that opens the file supports inline activation for that file in the browser window. 

Some information about the Page Viewer Web Part can be found here:

I haven't seen the browse button that should appear if you select "File" on either of the three environments I tried this on. I'm wondering whether it actually exists, or whether it was supposed to be there and then left out at the last moment..