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"Document name or path is not valid"?

CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 15:17
In the last week we've received Word Documents from candidates that when opened give the following error.

'The document name or path is not valid.  Try these suggestions.
*Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
*Use the file open dialog box to locate the document.

Seems pretty basic, but we've tried all common solutions (user rights/access rights, correct format, uncorrupted file) and nothing is allowing us to open this document in Office 2000 or Office 2003 platforms.

Anyone have any idea if any recent updates/changes may be causing this?  I know there's a revert issue when opening XL 2007 files in Office 2000, but haven't heard anything similar for Word Documents.

Thank you for any help you can provide.
genomon (Programmer)
12 Feb 07 15:51
Check the filename - if there are spaces in it, remove them (rename) & try opening.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 15:55
I removed the spaces and just named it test.doc and it still gave the same error.

I got a hold of the persons who sent these documents in, and one's using XP with Office 2003, the other is using 2000 with Office 2000... so my hopes of it being some weird backwards conversion from a newer version of windows or office is probably not the cause of the problem.

thanks for the idea though!
genomon (Programmer)
12 Feb 07 16:08
A shot way in the dark - are you double-clicking on the actual file, or clicking on a dialog or drop-down in Word?
I could see where a path name in the app could be corrupted, but double-clicking the file would still work...

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

TonyJollans (Programmer)
12 Feb 07 16:10
This not-very-helpful message really just means that Word has a problem opening the file.

Sometimes you can get it when you double click the document but then find that the document will open perfectly from Word's Open Dialog. Sometimes having spaces in the document name - or path - seems to be a cause, but I've never found it to be consistent.

Although unlikely in this case, you can get it on password protected documents (when you have supplied the correct password) if the level of encryption used is not supported in the version of Word being used to open the document.

On re-reading your post, have these documents been created in Word 2007? If so, and they have been created in WOrd 2007 format you will need the compatibility pack available free from Microsoft in order to open the documents in earlier versions.


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Professional Office Developers Association

CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 16:11
I've tried opening it from email, saving to my desktop, changing the file name, opening word and choosing the file from my desktop or just double clicking to open it.  Nothing seems to work.

I just find it really strange that all of a sudden, I've gotten five of these problems today and two last week... and these guys get word documents all the time without a problem.
CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 16:19
thanks for the link to the compatibility pack... I was hoping that would do it but unfortunately the message about the name or path being invalid still comes up.
TonyJollans (Programmer)
12 Feb 07 16:49
It sounds like there is something odd about these documents and I would check with whomever is sending them.

If they may have been written by Word 2007, perhaps the sender is doing something odd. Word 2007 format documents have a suffix of .docx or .docm. If someone has changed the suffix to .doc that could cause a problem. If they are Word 2007 format, then if you change the suffix to .zip you can open the zipped format and browse the individual xml files within the structure. If you can do this successfully try changing the suffix to .docx and opening them with the converter. If you can't do this they aren't Word 2007 and I'm not sure what else to suggest.


We want to help you; help us to do it by reading this: Before you ask a question.

Professional Office Developers Association

CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 16:54
thanks tony.

I called 3 of the 5 people who sent them... one is using XP and office 2003, the other two are both using windows 2000 pro w/ office 2000, so my hopes of it being an office '07 issue are out the window.

I did try the .zip, .docx extensions but those didn't work either.

I downloaded this program called DocRepair just to see what that would do, and although it's just the trial version, it is able to pull the text and formatting out for display (but I can't copy/paste without purchase, but still, at least I know the data's in there and intact).

thanks for the help guys... this is getting to be one of those things that really makes me think it's something simple to fix, but f if I can't figure it out.
CBasicAsslember (Programmer)
12 Feb 07 17:48
Check the virus software to see if they have been quarantined.
CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
12 Feb 07 19:30
no quarantine... at this point I'm nearly convinced that it's some type of table or data in the file that's preventing it from opening.  I got three of them to save it as an .rtf which I can open, so now I'm going through these files that error out as a .doc and comparing them to other resumes we've received that don't produce the error to look for differences.
dylant2 (TechnicalUser)
17 Feb 07 15:54
I've had the same problem with files that were sent to me on my home computer, but my office computer does not have a problem opening these files. Does anyone else have any ideals?
CletusJones (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
19 Feb 07 7:38
Turns out every attachment that produces this error generates from an email address.  We did some additional testing and it only happens with word documents from aol.  
bivanov (TechnicalUser)
26 Feb 07 17:04
This is most probably caused by broken smart tags. You can try to open the document with WordPad instead of WORD and then copy back the information in WORD. In my case this worked!

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