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miyahiraFlag for Peru asked on

Can't open documents (via browser) that their names contain special characters


We are are running IIS 6.0 on Windows Server 2003.
The problem is that it's not possible to open via web browser any document (ms-word or pdf or excel) that its name contains spanish special characters (accents). The documents are storage on a virtual directory of the IIS.

For instance, via web browser it's not possible to open this document, because the name of the file contains character "ó":


When trying to open the file, on the web browser it's displayed: "The page cannot be found"

But it is possible to open this document, which its name has no special character:


What kind of setting is missing on the IIS or Windows Server 2003? Has anyone seen this problem before?

Thank you!

Microsoft IIS Web ServerWindows Server 2003

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Last Comment

8/22/2022 - Mon

Do you need to put a meta tag somewhere to provide support for special characters?

such as

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />

The html code for small letter Ó is &#243;

and your name may actually look something like this in a URL

If this problem is isolated to a single workstation, maybe that workstation cannot translate the characters.

I hope somebody else chimes in with some suggestions.  I used to support a web site with arabic and english so you have peaked my curiosity.


Thanks for your response, kjanicke, but it's nothing to do with meta tag or workstations. With our former server (WS2003 and IIS6 as well) we had no problem opening doc files with "á", "ó", "é", "í" or "ú"  characters contained in their names. But we have changed server and now we have this problem.

At home, I tried to open  

and still no success

Wait... it's possible the thing about meta-tag... I saw this tag on the  html code of the page that tries to open the doc file:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>The page cannot be found</TITLE>

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" Content="text/html; charset=Windows-1252">

As you said, maybe something has to be set up as:


Question: Where?

Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

META tags should be placed in the head of the HTML document, between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags.  I understoof the HTTP-EQUIV allows you to extend the character set beyond the default.  Netscape would load the character set before displaying the page.

You've helped me a lot, kjanicke. My question would be where to set up UTF-8 format in the IIS
Praveen DM

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Have you been able to get your IIS configured to support the extra character set?


Sorry for the late response. I couldn't find any information about configuring UTF-8 format in IIS.

I solved the problem but in this way: Since the path and name of the file to open came from an Oracle database query, I URL encoded the path and name from the query itself. So, if the filename contains any special characters, function utl_url.ESCAPE will deal with it.

SELECT   utl_url.ESCAPE (   '../Documents/' || a.file_name ) AS url_file_name
         FROM     tbl_documents a


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