Asked  7 Months ago    Answers:  5   Viewed   87 times

This is crazy but I don't know how to do this, and because of how common the words are, it's hard to find what I need on search engines. I'm thinking this should be an easy one to answer.

I want a simple file download, that would do the same as this:

<a href="file.doc">Download!</a>

But I want to use an HTML button, e.g. either of these:

<input type="button" value="Download!">

Likewise, is it possible to trigger a simple download via JavaScript?

$("#fileRequest").click(function(){ /* code to download? */ });

I'm definitely not looking for a way to create an anchor that looks like a button, use any back-end scripts, or mess with server headers or mime types.



For the button you can do

<form method="get" action="file.doc">
   <button type="submit">Download!</button>
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

The only way I'm aware of is the trick used by FileSaver.js:

  1. Create a hidden <a> tag.
  2. Set its href attribute to the blob's URL.
  3. Set its download attribute to the filename.
  4. Click on the <a> tag.

Here is a simplified example (jsfiddle):

var saveData = (function () {
    var a = document.createElement("a");
    document.body.appendChild(a); = "display: none";
    return function (data, fileName) {
        var json = JSON.stringify(data),
            blob = new Blob([json], {type: "octet/stream"}),
            url = window.URL.createObjectURL(blob);
        a.href = url; = fileName;;

var data = { x: 42, s: "hello, world", d: new Date() },
    fileName = "my-download.json";

saveData(data, fileName);

I wrote this example just to illustrate the idea, in production code use FileSaver.js instead.


  • Older browsers don't support the "download" attribute, since it's part of HTML5.
  • Some file formats are considered insecure by the browser and the download fails. Saving JSON files with txt extension works for me.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

Inline event handler

In the most simple way, you can use the confirm() function in an inline onclick handler.

<a href="delete.php?id=22" onclick="return confirm('Are you sure?')">Link</a>

Advanced event handling

But normally you would like to separate your HTML and Javascript, so I suggest you don't use inline event handlers, but put a class on your link and add an event listener to it.

<a href="delete.php?id=22" class="confirmation">Link</a>
<script type="text/javascript">
    var elems = document.getElementsByClassName('confirmation');
    var confirmIt = function (e) {
        if (!confirm('Are you sure?')) e.preventDefault();
    for (var i = 0, l = elems.length; i < l; i++) {
        elems[i].addEventListener('click', confirmIt, false);

This example will only work in modern browsers (for older IEs you can use attachEvent(), returnValue and provide an implementation for getElementsByClassName() or use a library like jQuery that will help with cross-browser issues). You can read more about this advanced event handling method on MDN.


I'd like to stay far away from being considered a jQuery fanboy, but DOM manipulation and event handling are two areas where it helps the most with browser differences. Just for fun, here is how this would look with jQuery:

<a href="delete.php?id=22" class="confirmation">Link</a>
<!-- Include jQuery - see -->
<script type="text/javascript">
    $('.confirmation').on('click', function () {
        return confirm('Are you sure?');
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

Its not possible because this poses a security risk. People use fairly real information for their folder structure and accessing the folder names in itself poses an immediate risk. As described here:

Get browser download path with javascript

Most OSs tend to just default to a Download location and this is something the user decides through the Browser they use. Not the website.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021
answered 6 Months ago

Most modern devices support the tel: scheme. So use <a href="tel:555-555-5555">555-555-5555</a> and you should be good to go.

If you want to use it for an image, the <a> tag can handle the <img/> placed in it just like other normal situations with : <a href="tel:555-555-5555"><img src="path/to/phone/icon.jpg" /></a>

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
answered 6 Months ago
Only authorized users can answer the question. Please sign in first, or register a free account.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged :