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What would cause an attachment to have %20 placed in all the spaces when sent as an email?

Posted on 2011-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
When I try to send a file for example PR# 613478 M331SC Chesterfield 3-14-09 the receiver receives the attachment but it has been renamed to
PR#%20613478%20M331SC%20Chesterfield%203-14-09.  This happens about 80% of the time. I thought it might have something to do with the way the file was named but I seem to be the only one in my office that is having this problem.  
I have been unable to find any solutions for it.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:AMC80112
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12 Comments
 
LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 35137659
How are you sending the files?
(%20 is the symbol used for a space in an internet URL)
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:SeanStrickland
ID: 35138934
We use software at our company that provides a web report.  We can export excel versions of that report.  If the report name has spaces in it, those spaces are replaced with %20.

Example: "Annual Financial Report.xlsx" is converted to "Annual%20Financial%20Report.xlsx" when it's downloaded from the web.

If you're able, you can replace the spaces with underscores in the web report (if this is applicable to you), so the output would be "Annual_Financial_Report.xlsx" instead.  A little cleaner...
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Author Comment

by:AMC80112
ID: 35139252
These are sent from a network xls file saved to my desktop.
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 35139258
Sent how exactly?
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Author Comment

by:AMC80112
ID: 35139311
It's sent as an attachment using Outlook over an Exchange server.  I fill out the form save it to my documents, open a new email, attach the saved file and send.  When the file is attached it retains the name from the saved file but when it is received on the other end it has changed.
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 35139347
OK. Are you sending it internally, or externally? (or does it not matter which you do?)
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 35139356
FWIW, I don't think this is an Excel problem - more likely to be Exchange or Outlook, so it may be worth getting Exchange added as a zone to this question. :)
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Author Comment

by:AMC80112
ID: 35139489
Internally.
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Author Comment

by:AMC80112
ID: 35139499
Added Outlook as a zone earlier.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:SeanStrickland
ID: 35139501
If you're using something similar to OWA (Outlook Web Access via a web browser), you fit right in with the scenario I painted above.  When you open the excel file from your browser, the browser converts every space to %20 (a process called URL encoding, I believe).  So when you open the file and/or save to your computer, the %20s will remain.  The easiest way around it would be to replace your spaces with underscores when naming your files prior to sending.
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Accepted Solution

by:
SeanStrickland earned 250 total points
ID: 35139523
Here is a list of other %## signs you may see when opening an excel file from an internet browser (you're looking for the HEX codes most likely):

http://www.blooberry.com/indexdot/html/topics/urlencoding.htm

If you're using Microsoft Outlook (e.g. Outlook 2007) to open the files, then I would almost guarantee that the %20s are already in the file when you send it across to another user.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:SeanStrickland
ID: 35139959
Thanks for the grade.

Cheers,
Sean
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