Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 251383 - Last Review: January 12, 2015 - Revision: 2.0

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


In Windows Explorer or My Computer, when you double-click a Word document with a file name that contains international characters, you receive the following error message and Word does not open the document:
The document name or path is not valid.
Try one or more of the following:
* Check the path to make sure it was typed correctly.
* On the File menu, click Open. Search for the file using this dialog box (<path>\<document name>)


This problem occurs when you open a document that contains international characters that are not in the current Windows system code page, and are therefore not recognized by Microsoft Windows.

For example, this error message occurs when your default country settings are set to "English (US)," and you attempt to open a document with Chinese, Greek, or Serbian (Cyrillic) characters in the file name.

You do not receive this error message when you open a document with German, French, or Swedish special characters, because these languages use the same code page as English.


To work around this problem, use either of the following methods:
  • Do not double-click the document in Windows Explorer or My Computer. Instead, open the document in Microsoft Word. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Microsoft Word, click Open on the File menu.
    2. In the Open dialog box, click to select the document that you want to open, and then click Open.
  • Right-click the file in Windows Explorer or My Computer, click Rename on the shortcut menu that appears, type a new file name for the document without using the international characters, and then press ENTER.


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

Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2000
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug KB251383
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