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Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 25
Country: United States
Accepted Solution

Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

I have successfully done mail merges from Act 2008 to Outlook 2007 with few issues.  However, as of yesterday I have been receiving an error.  After I created my lookup and created the template, I merge using the mail merge wizard.  Everything works swimmingly until I push the "finish" button.  It seems like it is working (the merging records window opens and even shows some progress bars), until the error "The path is not of a legal form" comes up.  Below is what I have tried to resolve this issue, all to no avail.  Please help me if you can, as I do really need to get these emails out.

 

  • I recreated the template thinking maybe the original was corrupt. 
  • I renamed the template using less characters and no specials (you never know). 
  • I removed the attachment that I had tried to include.
  • Tools\Database Maintenance\Check and repair
  • Windows\Run\Actdiag
    • Check
    • Repair
    • Reindex
    • Database Rebuild (all options except the last one, as we don't tie our database to any financial data)

 

 Thanks for any help you can provide!


Accepted Solutions
Solution
Accepted by topic author vPSI
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 36
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

The demo database is the database that is installed with ACT! that has some sample data in it to allow you to see how ACT! works without having to actually put your data in.  (Sort of a sample database to allow you to evaluate ACT!)

 

That really doesn't matter too much though.  You said that other files work, but this one doesn't, and that is the important thing.

 

If I were trying to figure this out myself, I would do a simple "binary" exclusion to find out what the problem is.

 

1) Create a new empty template.

2) Add 1 line or "piece" from the "broken" template.

3) Save and close the template.

4) Run the Merge.

 

If this works:

Repeat steps 2 through 4 with a new line/piece of the broken template.

 

If this does not work:

Remove the "new" stuff, and repeat steps 2 through 4 with a new line or piece.

 

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have everything that works, and nothing that doesn't.

 

You can do this in large or small chunks.

 

Large chunks:  It Should go faster.

Small chunks:  It will take longer, but you have finer control...

 

The easiest way to do this is to do it by halves:

Add or remove Half of what is left or what you last added each iteration through the process.

 

This is a tedious process, but it should allow you to figure out what it is about the template that is the problem.

 

Hopefully this will allow us to diagnose what is going on.

View solution in original post


All Replies
Copper Contributor
Posts: 36
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

The problem is likely to be a contact name with a character which cannot be included in a file name (including, but not limited to: \/?*<>:"|)

 

If you have any contacts in the merge which contain one of these characters, that is probably it.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 25
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the help, but that is not the issue.  I originally tried sending this merge out to 30 contacts.  When it didn't work, I tried just the first contact, which had no contact name at all (just a company name).  I then tried it to peope internal to my company; we have used ourselves before for testing merges and have successfully received the merged emails.  Still no go this time though...

 

I do appreciate your time; if you have any other thoughts on possible causes, I am waiting eagerly!

Message Edited by vPSI on 11-12-2008 09:04 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 36
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

You shot down the only idea I had that I knew could be the problem.

 

From here, I would need to trouble shoot the issue, so here is what I would do:

 

1) Make sure that ACT! isn't running.

2) Start ACT!

3) Run a mail merge for a single person.

4) After you get the error quit ACT!

5) Run "%ProgramFiles%\Act\Act for Windows\LogViewer.exe"

6) See if you can find the error (you should be able to)

 

With a bit of luck, it might show you what the incorrect path was, but unfortunately it is doubtful.  If it does show you what the invalid path is, post the information here, it would be interesting to know.

 

The second thing I would do would be to do the same steps as above, but use one of the pre-built templates provided by ACT!

 

Presumably this should work.  If it doesn't, again, post that information here.

 

Finally, I would try running a mail merge with one person in the demo database on a pre-built template.

 

If that doesn't work, about all I can say is "wow" and scratch my head, but still, post it.

 

If it does work, then it is some kind of configuration issue, and we just have to work backwards till we find out exactly what.  (Shared vs. local databases, permissions, file paths, the fan in the office occilating and blowing a cold breeze at the wrong time, the great and powerful OZ...)

Copper Contributor
Posts: 25
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

Thanks for your help, and your humor.  Here are the results of your suggestions:

 

1st suggestion - log viewer showed 0 logged files

2nd suggestion - I didn't do this, but I did test using previous templates that I have used, and it worked.  It seems to only give me a problem on this particular file.  I uninstalled and reinstalled Act and still same issue occurs.

3rd - not sure what the demo database is, I did try the merge to just one contact with no luck.

 

As to the file itself, it is a simple .ADT with a table and some bullets but no graphics or wild formatting.  When I copy and paste it over documents that I have used in the past, it still does not work. 

 

Besides joining me in the head scratching, if anything else occurs to you let me know.  I'll try anything short of doing a handstand...

Solution
Accepted by topic author vPSI
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 36
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

The demo database is the database that is installed with ACT! that has some sample data in it to allow you to see how ACT! works without having to actually put your data in.  (Sort of a sample database to allow you to evaluate ACT!)

 

That really doesn't matter too much though.  You said that other files work, but this one doesn't, and that is the important thing.

 

If I were trying to figure this out myself, I would do a simple "binary" exclusion to find out what the problem is.

 

1) Create a new empty template.

2) Add 1 line or "piece" from the "broken" template.

3) Save and close the template.

4) Run the Merge.

 

If this works:

Repeat steps 2 through 4 with a new line/piece of the broken template.

 

If this does not work:

Remove the "new" stuff, and repeat steps 2 through 4 with a new line or piece.

 

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have everything that works, and nothing that doesn't.

 

You can do this in large or small chunks.

 

Large chunks:  It Should go faster.

Small chunks:  It will take longer, but you have finer control...

 

The easiest way to do this is to do it by halves:

Add or remove Half of what is left or what you last added each iteration through the process.

 

This is a tedious process, but it should allow you to figure out what it is about the template that is the problem.

 

Hopefully this will allow us to diagnose what is going on.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 25
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

Awesome, that is exactly what I will do!  Thanks so much for your help!!!  Even though I haven't done it yet, I am marking your suggestion as the solution because it will tell me exactly where the file is wrong and help me to get it corrected.  Thanks again, you rock!!
New Member
Posts: 1
Country: United States

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

I was just having this problem and your solution worked! The document we copied from had error text inside of a hyperlink and going through it line by line helped find why it was crashing. Thanks!
New Member
Posts: 1
Country: USA

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

Yes, you are correct.  Apparently my template contained a link, JPEG or some other character that was not acceptable.  Problem solved!  Thank you!!

 

I am running:

-  Windows 7 Professional

-  Office 2010 Pro Plus

-  Act! Pro 2011

New Member
Posts: 1
Country: Canada

Re: Error when merging to email: path is not of a legal form

Thank you for all your info. I took out the text table that was in my email template and voila, my mail merge worked!