Madcap Flare's Too Long File Names
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By Robert Delwood


You may get an error about a file name being too long, that it exceeds the 260 character limit. It's an insidious error. If the file name is too long, you at least get a red compile error and know it didn't work. If a component's name is too long, for instance, a reference to a graphic file, you don't get an error, and won't know about it until you actually look at that page. That's simple enough to do with one file, but if you have hundreds, you can't check each one after builds.

This error is a combination of mistakes by both Microsoft and Madcap. Windows has that 260 character limit for the combination file name a path. I call this a mistake on Microsoft's part because that error should have been removed after DOS. The Windows 10 Anniversary edition can remove this limit, but the correction is not automatically included. A system administrator has to set it for each computer. I call it a mistake on Madcap's part because during a build, Flare makes an insane number of temporary folders, hidden from the user. It's the total length of some the files, temporary folders, and project names and paths that causes the error.

To fix this problem, you have to shorten some of the names and paths. There's three ways of doing this.