You receive error messages when you try to open an Office document

Applies to: Office ProductsAccess 2010Microsoft Office Access 2007

Symptoms



If you try to open a specific file in one of the Microsoft Office programs that is listed in the "Applies to" section, you receive one of the following error messages:
Filename is not valid.
The file could not be accessed.
The path you entered, 'filename', is too long. Enter a shorter path.
filename could not be found. Check the spelling of the filename, and verify that the file location is correct.
A DDE error has occurred, and a description of the error cannot be displayed because it is too long. If the filename or path is long, try renaming the file or copying it to a different folder.

In Microsoft Office 2003 programs, you can access extended alerts by selecting to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. You receive a prompt asking you if you want to participate in this program after you install the Customer Experience Improvement Program with an icon in the Windows system tray.

Additionally, you change the setting at any time by clicking the Service Options button on the General tab of the Options dialog box in any one of the Office 2003 programs. The button displays the Service Options dialog box where you can choose whether to participate in the program. If you choose to participate in the feedback program, you also receive Extended Alerts in Office 2003.

Cause


This issue occurs because of a 259-character limitation on creating and saving files in the Office products. Also, you receive an error message when you save or open a file if the path of the file meets the following condition for the appropriate program.
  • Word: The total length of the path and the file name, including file name extension, exceeds 259 characters.
  • PowerPoint: The total length of the path and the file name, including file name extension, exceeds 259 characters.
  • Access: The total length of the path and the file name, including file name extension exceeds 259 characters.
  • Excel: The total length of the path and the file name, including file name extension, exceeds 218 characters.

Workaround


Make sure that the path of the file contains no more than the maximum number of characters. To do this, use one of the following methods.
  • Rename the file so that it has a shorter name.
  • Rename one or more folders that contain the file so that they have shorter names.
  • Move the file to a folder that has a shorter path name.