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Joel Rollins
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Character Path Limit

In a recent worksession where I was managing documents in a list library, I encountered an error that I thought had been banished to the annals of time. The dreaded “This is not a valid file name” error.

The way I encountered this error was by attempting to save a Word document to a different working library folder. Previously, I had been using the browser-based version of Microsoft Word and I had no issues with saving documents to my working library. But in this particular case I opened the document in Word for Office 365 because I needed a feature that was only available in the full version of Word. The whole time that I was making edits to the document, Autosave was dutifully saving my changes until I went to save my document to my working folder then boom.  Error.  Wait, what? 

During the course of my troubleshooting efforts I checked to ensure that I had not introduced any illegal characters to my document name, I checked the file path length (at that time, 287 characters) and other typical items that you double-check when you receive this error.  I know that Microsoft had raised the file path limit to 400 characters (the entire path including the file name), so I had initially dismissed this as my issue.  After researching this issue on the Microsoft community forums, I had no choice but revisit and focus on the path length issue.  It turns out that the desktop version of Word for O365 only supports a file patch length of 267 characters when manually saving a file.  Word for O365 does support opening and editing a document with a long file path length and Autosave will continue to work as normal.

So, let this be a lesson to all users who think they have Office 365 all figured out and think that the error message must be wrong. The messages that you receive are trying to tell you something and they are usually right!

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