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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Increase the 218 character filename length limit to open files in excel

Excel can't open files with full path lengths greater than 218 characters as documented in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/213983. This is still a problem in Office 2016. It seems crazy that Excel can't open a valid file that the filesystem allows. People have been complaining about this since Office 2000. The thread below has over 11 thousand views and there are plenty others. Please fix this. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-excel/sorry-unable-to-find/595333d0-1463-499f-967e-4da8ac2e2047

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    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    87 comments

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      • Stuart Bailie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This post was created two months after Office 2016 was released and it is still an issue? LibreOffice doesn't seem to have this issue. When the group creating the NTFS file system, and REFS I would imagine as well, said that they were expanding the file system naming format to allow a total of ~32k characters long back before at least 2008 why didn't the office group follow suit and support long file names? To know that the problem has been around for the better part of a decade and not be addressed seems concerning to me.

        Better yet why hasn't Microsoft replied to this thread yet?

      • Jonathan Fournier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I found a work around until @Microsoft brings Excel into the 21st century.

        You can mount a drive that points to a folder. This will get rid of the unnecessary long path coming out of a synced OneDrive folder.

        Example:
        Y:\Projects
        instead of
        C:\Users\JohnDoe\CompagnyX\Name of the share point or one drive\Projects

        You have to use the windows command "subst"

        Source:
        https://www.itworld.com/article/2694895/how-to-map-a-local-folder-to-a-drive-letter-in-windows.html

        They do no mention how to implement it, but a simple batch file located in the windows StartUp folder takes care of the rest.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My character limit seems around 140 for files on OneDrive for Office 2016 applications. But Notepad, for example, can still save to the same locations

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just tried your recommendation @Jon, although it does in fact fix naming issues in windows, excel still cannot open any files with a file path longer than 218.

      • Jon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Not sure if this would fix this issue in Excel for the file name rather than the whole path; but just FYI, in Windows 10, I have found that updating the Reg to allow use of long file names has fixed the naming issues I was having:

        Windows Registry Editor
        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]
        "LongPathsEnabled"=dword:00000001

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, please! This becomes a problem for our users who have docs on sharepoint. As folder structures are often over 218 characters, they are unable to open the sharepoint docs in excel desktop.

      • Leonardo Sosa Rojas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is Microsoft doing anything about this? This is terrible when using Office 365.
        I had to change my naming convention because of this limitation.

      • Paul Chillingworth commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have been using Excel or Macs and PCs almost 30 years and this has always been a problem On both platforms. For a small organisation like mine it forces you to think carefully about filing design, so you could argue it's a good thing but for a large organisation it must be a nightmare. It is difficult to believe this very basic ability has not been updated yet. Plenty of other software vendor's seem to have cracked this, surely the "giant" that is Microsoft office can sort it?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Long Path Tool is very potential to delete or rename long file, if you want you can use Long Path Tool

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yep this is **** **** in 2017 allow much longer file names especially on 64 bit systems

      • Bonnie Moore McCarty commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just ran into this issue for the first time. (Can't believe I haven't previously, after using Excel extensively for the past two decades....) Due to a series of nested folders we have to use for organizational purposes in one of our departments, I can't use our normal naming scheme on files within a particular folder due to the 218-character limit. I'm having to truncate the file name, which will make it harder to find later. This is ridiculous! No other program seems to have this issue. Why on earth can't Excel open a file with a perfectly good file path and name, solely based on the number of characters in said path/name???

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Unbelievable that this bug exists in the 21st century, let alone 7 years after it was first reported. An undergraduate CS student could fix this bug. Come on MS Office team, get it together.

      • Jeremy Gregg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a major blocker to large scale rollout of O365 for document storage in our organisation (25k users). O365 max filepath = 400 chars; Excel = 218??? Please fix this!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        WOW! Good job Excel... Creating more work because your using outdated coding. it would literally take 5 minutes + 1 update to fix this issue.

      • Greg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is one of the most critical issues affecting adoption of Office 365 for our organization. We've been migrating content from SharePoint on premises, network file shares and local storage to OneDrive and now many of the Excel files cannot be saved because of this limitation. Please PLEASE fix it!!

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