Saturday, February 21st, 2009 | Author:

The relatively new document types Office 2007 has given some web hosts problems when their clients want to offer documents for download. Most often, the documents are being offered by the web server as “text/html” which is then rendered as a ton of garbage on the web user’s screen.

The best way to resolve this is to add all the MIME types to the server’s main configuration. IIS7 for Windows already has these MIME types set up correctly by default. IIS6 and IIS5 require the MIME types to be added, as might Apache on older installations. For Apache, there is also a workaround for the individual domain owner to add the mime types via Apache’s .htaccess file.

IIS 6 MIME type addition (for the Server Administrator)

Before this can be done, ensure that your server is also set to allow direct metabase editing:

  1. Load IIS Manager: Start -> Run, “inetmgr” ->  [OK]
  2. Right click the “server” and click “Properties”
  3. Within the “Internet Information Services” tab (usually the only tab), ensure that the “Enable Direct Metabase Edit” checkbox is checked.
  4. Click [OK]

Be sure to back up IIS’s configuration (here for IIS5) beforehand.  I won’t take any responsibility for an admin breaking his server. I have reason to believe this may also work on IIS5 however I have just as much reason to believe that it might just give lots of errors. If an IIS5 / Windows 2000 admin is willing to test this for me after backing up your configuration please let me know of the results.

Copy the following text into a file named msoff07-addmime.vbs and execute it once from the commandline by typing cscript msoff07-addmime.vbs and pressing Enter. If you run it more than once, the MIME types will be added each time and you will have multiple identical entries:

' This script adds the necessary Office 2007 MIME types to an IIS 6 Server.
' To use this script, just double-click or execute it from a command line.
' Running this script multiple times results in multiple entries in the
' IIS MimeMap so you should not run it more than once.
' Modified from
Dim MimeMapObj, MimeMapArray, MimeTypesToAddArray, WshShell, oExec
' Set the MIME types to be added
MimeTypesToAddArray = Array(".docm", "application/", _
".docx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document", _
".dotm", "application/", _
".dotx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.template", _
".potm", "application/", _
".potx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.template", _
".ppam", "application/", _
".ppsm", "application/", _
".ppsx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slideshow", _
".pptm", "application/", _
".pptx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation", _
".sldm", "application/", _
".sldx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slide", _
".xlam", "application/", _
".xlsb", "application/", _
".xlsm", "application/", _
".xlsx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet", _
".xltm", "application/", _
".xltx", "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.template") 
' Get the mimemap object
Set MimeMapObj = GetObject("IIS://LocalHost/MimeMap")
' Call AddMimeType for every pair of extension/MIME type
For counter = 0 to UBound(MimeTypesToAddArray) Step 2
    AddMimeType MimeTypesToAddArray(counter), MimeTypesToAddArray(counter+1)
' Create a Shell object
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
' Stop and Start the IIS Service
Set oExec = WshShell.Exec("net stop w3svc")
Do While oExec.Status = 0
    WScript.Sleep 100
Set oExec = WshShell.Exec("net start w3svc")
Do While oExec.Status = 0
    WScript.Sleep 100
Set oExec = Nothing
' Report status to user
WScript.Echo "Microsoft Office 2007 Document MIME types have been registered."
' AddMimeType Sub
Sub AddMimeType (Ext, MType)
    ' Get the mappings from the MimeMap property.
    MimeMapArray = MimeMapObj.GetEx("MimeMap") 
    ' Add a new mapping.
    i = UBound(MimeMapArray) + 1
    Redim Preserve MimeMapArray(i)
    Set MimeMapArray(i) = CreateObject("MimeMap")
    MimeMapArray(i).Extension = Ext
    MimeMapArray(i).MimeType = MType
    MimeMapObj.PutEx ADS_PROPERTY_UPDATE, "MimeMap", MimeMapArray
End Sub

Apache MIME type addition (for the Server Administrator)

Apache stores its MIME types in a file normally located at $installpath/conf/mime.types. See the mod_mime documentation for more on how it works. Arch Linux installs its MIME types at /etc/httpd/conf/mime.types and Parallels Plesk installs it in /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/mime.types. Your distribution might have it in another place, so find your mime.types file by running locate mime.types.

Add the following lines to your mime.types file:

application/                          docm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document   docx
application/                          dotm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.template   dotx
application/                    potm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.template     potx
application/                       ppam
application/                   ppsm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slideshow    ppsx
application/                pptm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation pptx
application/                       sldm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slide        sldx
application/                            xlam
application/                     xlsb
application/                            xlsm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet         xlsx
application/                         xltm
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.template      xltx

Apache MIME type addition (For the domain owner with at least FTP access – using .htaccess file)

Add the following text to your domain’s .htaccess file, most commonly in an httpdocs/ directory

AddType application/ docm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document docx
AddType application/ dotm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.template dotx
AddType application/ potm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.template potx
AddType application/ ppam
AddType application/ ppsm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slideshow ppsx
AddType application/ pptm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation pptx
AddType application/ sldm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slide sldx
AddType application/ xlam
AddType application/ xlsb
AddType application/ xlsm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet xlsx
AddType application/ xltm
AddType application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.template xltx
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9 Responses

  1. 1

    I think there is a typo in the vb script for IIS; the .xlt extension should be .xltm. Also, two more extensions should be added:
    “.sldx”, “application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slide”, _
    “.sldm”, “application/”, _

  2. 2

    Very interesting, Steve.

    The .xlt isn’t a typo, apparently .xltm is supposed to be the macro-enabled version of .xlt. I’ll do some research and adjust appropriately.


  3. 3

    Ah, you’re actually correct, Steve. .xltm/x is new but .xlt is the “old” Office Excel spreadsheet template.

  4. Hi ! It worked for me. Even without changing the direct metabase edit option.


  5. 5
    Mário Araújo 

    Thanks! 🙂

  6. 6
    R Sleegers 

    Very nice – saved me the trouble of typing them in. “Note that you must restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service or wait for the worker process to recycle for the changes to take effect.” ( )

  7. 7

    I’m not sure a recycle is necessary if you’ve “ensure[d] that your server is also set to allow direct metabase editing”, per the article.

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