Subscriber Ed Pilarczyk wrote recently to ask about Firefox:
Sorry to bother you again so soon, but I have another question.
In IE (which I occasionally need to open as a tab in Firefox), when I download a file, a window opens that asks where to save it, and it gives me the opportunity to rename the file before I save it. I do this at times to better identify the file, as the names they are given can be rather cryptic. In Firefox, I have to save the file and then use a utility to rename it. Does Firefox have such a similar capability to rename a file BEFORE it is saved?
Thanks again for all your help and tips,
Ed’s right — Internet Explorer always presents a Save As dialog box when you download a file. But, by default, Firefox does not. Firefox, unless you change one of the settings, will save the file to the user’s Desktop and will use the filename that the web site uses for it.
Fortunately, this default is easily changed — and is one of the first things that I change in Firefox. I dislike storing downloaded files on the Windows Desktop. In order to more easily find files on my computer, I have created a directory DL for all downloaded files. Within DL, I have sub-directories for each different program, e.g. an Opera directory to store versions of Opera.
In order to make the changes, first, you need to start Firefox. Then, from the menu bar, pick Tools, then Options.
This should open the Options dialog box, with the Main tab selected.
Near the middle of the Main tab, you’ll find the Downloads section. Click on the radio button "Always ask me where to save files" – then click the "OK" button.
That’s all it takes. Now, when we download a file in Firefox, it will open a dialog box so that we can select where we want to save it and with what filename.
Let’s walk through an example. In this case, I’m downloading the latest version of the FTP program Filezilla (free, http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla/). Specifically, I’m downloading the client version of Filezilla v188.8.131.52 for Windows.
In the next dialog box, we’re asked if we really want to save the file. Notice that there is not an option to run it without saving — you should always download and save first, before running.
After clicking the Save File button in the confirmation dialog box, we get the standard Save As dialog box, where we can select the folder into which we want to save the file, and we can also specify the file name to be used.