Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Complicated — but important — information about
filenames
Word lets you be creative in your writing, but your creativity is limited in naming a document as it’s saved
to disk. Here are the rules:
A filename can be longer than 200 ridiculous-something characters; even so, keep your filenames
short but descriptive.
A filename can include letters, numbers, and spaces, and can start with a letter or number.
A filename can contain periods, commas, hyphens, and even underlines.
A filename cannot contain any of these characters: \ / : * ? “ < > |.
Word automatically appends a filename extension to all documents you save — like a last name. You may
or may not see this extension, depending on how you’ve configured Windows. No matter: You don’t need
to manually type the extension yourself; just concern yourself with giving the document a proper and
descriptive filename.
Dealing with document-save errors
Saving a document involves working with both Word and the Windows operating system. This
process doubles the chances of something going wrong, so it’s high time for an error message. A
potential message you may see is
The file whatever already exists
You have three choices:
Replace Existing File: Nope.
Save Changes with a Different Name: Yep.
Merge Changes into Existing File: Nope.
After choosing the middle option, type a different file name in the Save As dialog box.
Another common problem occurs when a message that’s displayed reads something like this:
The file name is not valid
That’s Word’s less-than-cheerful way of telling you that the filename contains a boo-boo character.
To be safe, stick to letters, numbers, and spaces when you’re naming a file. Check the nearby
sidebar, “Complicated — but important — information about filenames.” Then click OK and try again.
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