You receive an error message when you try to open or replace a Word 2003 document.


Symptoms


When you try to open or to replace (overwrite) an encrypted Word document, you may not be able to do so, and you may receive one of the error messages that is described in the following scenarios.

Note If the Word document is password-protected, you may be prompted to type the password two times instead of one time as you expect.

Case 1

When you try to open or replace the Word document in Word 2003, you receive the following error message:
Word cannot open this file. The encryption type used is not available, contact the author of the file. More encryption types are available using the High Encryption Pack.
(path\file_name)

Case 2

When you try to save a Word document by replacing (overwriting) an existing file, you receive the following error message:
You cannot save while the file is in use by another process. Try saving the file with a new name.

(path\file_name)
When you click OK, the Save As dialog box appears, and you can save the document by using a different file name.

Case 3

When you try to open a Word document, the document is not opened, and you receive the following error message:
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.

(path\file_name)

Case 4

When you try to open a Word document, the document is not opened, and you receive the following error message:
Word cannot open the document. Try one or more of the following:
* On the File menu, click Open to open the document.
* Make sure the document has a .DOC extension.

(path\file_name)

Cause


This problem occurs if the Word document that you are trying to open or replace is encrypted with a type of file encryption that is not available on your computer.

Case 1

You receive this error message when you try to open or replace a Word 2002 document that was saved with an encryption scheme, or with an encryption key length, that is not available on your computer.

Case 2

You receive this error message when you try to replace (overwrite) an encrypted Word 2002 document that has an encryption level that is not supported by Word 97 or Word 2000.

Case 3

You receive this error message when you try to open an encrypted Word 2002 document that has an encryption level that is not supported in Word 2000.

Case 4

You receive this error message when you try to open an encrypted Word 2002 document that has an encryption level that is not supported in Word 97 for Windows.

Workaround


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Update Encryption Support

Install an encryption pack for your version of Microsoft Internet Explorer or your Microsoft Windows operating system. For information about how to do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Method 2: Remove or Lower the Level of Document Encryption

Contact the author of the document to have the encryption level lowered to an encryption level or key length that is available on your computer, or request a copy of the document without encryption.

To determine the Word 2003 encryption level that is available on your computer:
  1. Start Word 2003, and then open a new blank document.
  2. On the Tools menu, click
    Options.
  3. In the Options dialog box, click the
    Security tab, and then click
    Advanced.
  4. In the Encryption Type dialog box, note the encryption types and key lengths that are available on the computer.

Status


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

More Information


For more information about encrypting or saving a Word document with a password, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type encryption in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
For additional information about related topics, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

290112 General information about Microsoft Office XP encryption

286890 Using the wrong password to open a word document returns invalid path or filename error