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I'm Jason, a web applications developer in the San Francisco Bay area.

Bypassing the AngularJS router for anchor tags

I’m working with a Rails application that is using an AngularJS front-end. We are using routing to override the behavior of anchor tags to ensure that they load other templates with controllers, as defined in our routeConfiguration.js. This works out great most of the time, unless you need to override the routing so that your anchor tag can point to an end-point served by your Rails back-end. In my case, I’m linking to an end-point that serves a named CSV file. Without any sort of over-ride, I was finding that the default fallback behavior defined by the otherwise() method was occurring. In my case this was a 404 page template that loaded.

After much searching, the following solution was found. All you have to do is simply add a target attribute to the anchor tag with the value “_self”.

<a href="/download.csv" target="_self">Download CSV File</a>

Much thanks to BJ Basañes for posting this solution. I’m re-posting it here so that it’s not lost forever, and also so that I can lend additional keywords to lead others to this solution.

Update: It turns out that this is mentioned in the documentation for $location.