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How to avoid file attachments with "special characters" in file name?

Question asked by rpillsbury on Apr 12, 2016
Latest reply on Oct 4, 2018 by mindymac03

There are a number of "special characters" that SharePoint will not allow in file/folder names (e.g. &, #, %).  However, the browse function used by the Nintex "attachments" control allows users to select files with some of these characters in the file name.  This guarantees a failure which the user cannot understand or recover from. Sequence of events is something like:

  • User selects a file with "&" in the name to attach to a Nintex form.  No errors or warnings are generated.
  • User completes the form and clicks "submit".  The form exits and the associated workflow is invoked.  User is still unaware of any problems.
  • The workflow fails immediately when SharePoint tries to save the file name with the "&". A SharePoint error message is displayed ("Sorry, something went wrong...).
  • The user does not understand the error (even if the s/he understood the error, it is too late to get back to the form and address the file name issue).
  • All processing of this form fails and both the user and the intended recipient of the form (who never receives it) are unaware of the workflow failure.

I realize that the file name issue is with SharePoint, but I would think that Nintex forms could parse file names used as forms attachments.  If any characters are included in a file name which are know to fail in SharePoint, Nintex should inform the user immediately and instruct them to use a file name without the offending character(s).  This way the problem is corrected before the form is submitted and the workflow proceeds as intended.


Anyone else have this issue?  Any way to prevent users form attaching files with characters that SharePoint will reject?