Fix: Sorry this document can’t be opened for editing

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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Sharepoint

If you’re part of a work environment, there are several apps that you most probably know about. One of these apps is Microsoft SharePoint,  a great platform to store and collaborate on documents and content.

Since SharePoint handles more or less complex business processes, providing a certain workflow allows more efficient handling of all onboard projects.

Thankfully enough Microsoft has released a new app as part of the Microsoft 365 Suite, called Microsoft Flow.

Of course, Microsoft Flow isn’t without its own little bugs, as users have been reporting that they have encountered errors when using it at times:

I am trying to populate a Word Template then when the Word is created and saved in my Sharepoint, then when I go open that file it gives me an error – “Sorry, this document can’t be opened for editing.” Thus the flow fails to the next activity for Convert Word Document to PDF.

Apparently, it all boils down to users not being able to open and edit documents that are already in Sharepoint.

How can I open documents for editing in SharePoint?

1. Make sure you have the right permissions

Before all else, make sure that you have the right to edit the file in the first place.

For example, if you belong to a workgroup and it was uploaded to SharePoint by someone else, make sure you have all the access and editing privileges granted to you.

2. Make sure the file is editable even when not on SharePoint

Furthermore, make sure the file is not marked as read-only, as these types of files can only be viewed, but not edited. In some extreme cases, read-only files can’t even be accessed at all.

3. Make sure you use Flow appropriately

Flow is filled with commands and actions that need to be properly applied to each step in order to function correctly. Consider looking over Flow documentation to make sure you’ve taken the right steps.

Additionally, make sure that flow can support whatever it is that you are trying to do.

In the case presented above, Convert Word Document to PDF action needs to use File Browse to specify the file, which is something the user did not do. As it stands, Dynamic content and Expression are not supported by Flow to configure file path.

By following these steps, you should be able to avoid running into the file editing error in SharePoint.

Did our article help you get past your issue? Let us know in the comment section below.

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