Renamed Shortcut Becomes an MS-DOS File

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Article ID: 142341 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you use any of the products listed at the beginning of this article, you may experience problems when you rename a shortcut from the Open dialog box (on the File menu, click Open).

NOTE: This article refers to the Open dialog box. In Microsoft PowerPoint, this dialog box is called the File Open dialog box.

Case 1: Renaming a Folder Shortcut from Within the Open Dialog Box

If you have a shortcut to a folder, and you attempt to rename the shortcut from within the Open dialog box, the shortcut becomes an MS-DOS file. If you attempt to open the renamed folder, one of the following behaviors may occur:

  • Word opens the file as text-only and you see binary information.
  • PowerPoint displays the following error message:
    Sorry, PowerPoint cannot read the outline from "<Renamed Folder>."
    No text converter is installed for this file type.
  • Microsoft Excel displays the following error message:
    Cannot read this binary file. If the file was created in a version
    of Microsoft Excel later than 7.0, use that version to save it as a
    Microsoft Excel 5.0 file. Open file as Text?

Case 2: Renaming a Shortcut Pointing to a File in the Favorites Folder

If you have a shortcut to a file that is located in the Favorites folder (for example, a shortcut to a URL), when you attempt to rename the shortcut from within the Open dialog box, the shortcut becomes an MS-DOS file. If you open the file, it is opened in the text-only format.


This problem occurs because the shortcut loses its shortcut property and becomes an MS-DOS file.


To work around this problem, use Windows Explorer to rename the shortcut.


Microsoft is researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


If you rename a shortcut for an executable (.exe) file, the file retains its shortcut property and you are able start the program.

When you rename a shortcut in the Open dialog box, the icon for the item you renamed changes to an MS-DOS icon and the property type changes to MS- DOS file. The shortcut may seem to disappear from the list of files that are displayed in the File Open dialog box, depending on which file types you select (or what the default settings are) in the Files Of Type list. For example, if you are in the Open dialog box in Microsoft Excel, if you rename the shortcut and it becomes an MS-DOS property type, you will be unable to see the renamed file if you have Microsoft Excel Files selected in the Files Of Type list.


Article ID: 142341 - Last Review: August 17, 2005 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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