My 2p about ERP Solutions, Information Worker Solutions and other software products (mainly Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft SharePoint).

28 August 2009

The path or file name is invalid error when opening Office document in a SharePoint library

by Patrik Luca 2 comments


Problem Description: The path or file name is invalid

You browse to a SharePoint document library and when you click on the Name of a Microsoft Office PowerPoint file stored in the library, you receive following error: The path or file name for http://servername/libraryurl/filename.pptx is invalid. Please check that the path and file name are correct. Your PowerPoint application starts automatically up on your desktop, but the file isn’t opened: however, yesterday everything worked fine…

What is even weirder, if you do a search for the document and you click on its name in the search results, your PowerPoint application starts and the file opens without problem.

What is also remarkable: if you go to your document library and you choose Edit in Microsoft Office PowerPoint, your PowerPoint application starts, the file gets checked out automatically and opens without error.

Solution: open the document via PowerPoint directly

  1. Start Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 on your desktop.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left of the screen.
  3. Choose Open.
  4. Enter the url of the SharePoint document library in the File name box. (Remark: make sure it is the url of the library and not the url of the PowerPoint filename which fails to open, because this won’t fix the problem)
  5. All files stored in the document library will be shown in the right part of the Open file pop-up window.
  6. Choose the PowerPoint file: it will open in your PowerPoint application.
  7. Close your PowerPoint application.

If you now go back to the SharePoint document libary with Internet Explorer, you’ll be able to open PowerPoint files stored in it, by merely clicking their Name in Internet Explorer.

I really don’t know why the problem suddenly arises, nor why it is solved by following the procedure described above, but it solves the problem…

I experienced also that you have to do this procedure for each SharePoint document library having the problem. But you have to do it only once per library: if you do it for one PowerPoint slideshow in the library, all others will open again without error.

Comments 2 comments
Adae said...


I have the same problem but I can't open my document with your tip

There is still the message

Any Idea ?


Vivek said...

I was also facing the same issue.
I was trying to open a ppt file in a folder called CON, so i just changed the name of the folder to CON Specs and this resolved my issue.
In your case just change the file name to filename1 or any name other that filename and see if it works.

Conclusion: There are few specific key words that cannot be used in Windows(already been used in Windows files) as CON or in your case may be "filename"

Patrik Luca, Ieper, BELGIUM
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