Most people don't like it when you try to override their choice on how they have configured their browser to work and so if they have configured it to be able to view particular document types in their browser they will get annoyed if you try to force a download instead.
To set the MIME type you simply specify the appropriate value in a header record for the page. How you do this depends on which server side scripting language you are using to generate the page. It can't be done with plain HTML.
Actually felgall i'm not forcing the user to download the doc or pdf, i just want to prompt the user to choose either open it on the browser then and there or else if he wants he should have the facility of saving it to the computer as well.. so i thought it is more user friendly than just opening up the document then and there.. b'coz there can be users with slow connections and if it try to open quite a big file then the browser will get stuck wouldnt it??, by providing both the options i think it is much better so that he/she can choose what is the most appropriate action..
actually what happens when the the plugin is not there is poping up a dialog box asking whether to open or save isnt it?? what i want to do is exactly the same..(rather my client wants)..
im using ASP as the server side language.. so how can i accomplish it with ASP??
all your thaughts were very useful and i highly appriciate your concern..