Microsoft KB Archive/103096

From BetaArchive Wiki

Microsoft Knowledge Base

Excel Err Msg: Help Reference Is Not Valid

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
Article ID: Q103096

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 4.0, 4.0a, 5.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, version 4.0

SUMMARY

When you attempt to access a custom help topic using the HELP() function, you will receive the following error message if the path specified for the help_ref argument contains 64 or more characters:

   Help reference is not valid

The help_ref argument in the HELP() function is a reference to a topic number in a help file, in the form "filename!topic_number". If your custom help file is not located in the current directory, specify the full path along with the name of the file. This 64 character limit pertains only to the path; the filename portion of help_ref is subject to the naming conventions and character limits for your hardware operating system.

MORE INFORMATION

This is a limitation of the MS-DOS operating system. Since you cannot create a subdirectory that would cause the path to be more than 64 characters on a system running MS-DOS, you won't see this particular error in Microsoft Excel for Windows. Although a path in the Apple Macintosh operating system can contain more than 64 characters, Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh also conforms to this limit.

This limitation may also affect other functions that take paths and filenames as arguments. For example, in Microsoft Excel for Windows, the CREATE.DIRECTORY(path_text) function returns FALSE if you try to create a subdirectory that causes the path to exceed 64 characters. This does not occur in Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh.

REFERENCES

"Function Reference," version 4.0, pages 76, 217


KBCategory: kberrmsg

KBSubcategory:

Additional reference words: 5.00 4.00 4.00a



THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE MICROSOFT KNOWLEDGE BASE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES SO THE FOREGOING LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY.

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
©1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.