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I am unable to get excel 2010 beta to save to a directory which contains square brackets. I have to save elsewhere and copy in. Is there any workaround? Was this a problem with older versions?

I realize that I could manually change the directory names, but I didn't want to forgo a long standing organization scheme for the sake of one program if possible to avoid the problem.

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1 Answer 1

Unfortunately that's the same for older versions of Excel. I just tried with Excel 2003, 2007 and 2010 RTM to prove a point and get an identical erorr message in all cases.

You can't have a []<>?:|* in the filename / path as those are either illegal in Windows or would screw up Excel files being linked to one another (since for example square brackets are used to identify the workbook in an external link)

edit:To be a little clearer, you can have a square bracket in a file name or folder name, but you can't have a [ as the first character of a folder name since this would be ambiguous in external links. "[My Folder]" is not allowed, "![My folder]" is fine (for example) so you might be able to rename your folders in such as way as to retain their origial implied "meaning" (and sort order) and keep Excel working.

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Square Brackets are legal filename characters in Windows, it's angled brackets (<>) that aren't legal. I don't know why Excel gets this wrong though, it's really annoying. –  afrazier May 17 '10 at 14:44
    
Sorry, maybe I was not clear. Excel won't let you use characters that are already illegal in Windows, such as angled brackets. Obviously. In addition, you can't use some characters that are reserved in Excel for specific purposes, in this case the square bracket that designates the part of an external reference which is the workbook name. If you could have square brackets as the first character of a folder name it would think that is where the filename started, and things would break. –  AdamV May 17 '10 at 15:11

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