File not found because of characters from a different alphabet

Explanation

Windows uses something called Unicode, which allows you to mix characters of all alphabets together, even in filenames.

ANSI is an older way of storing text, but it’s limited to the range of letters and numbers used in your own language.  So for example, most Western European languages use the Latin alphabet, so there’s an ANSI set for these characters. Cyrillic is used in Russia, so there’s an ANSI set for these characters too. The thing about ANSI is that you can’t mix two alphabets in one piece of text.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve got a Word document with a Russian filename called “привет.doc”, but you’re sat on an English computer in the United States using an old application that’s based on ANSI. When you try and send the file by email using that application, Windows mangles the Cyrillic filename into the Latin alphabet to try and squeeze it through the ANSI system by hook or crook, but the end result is completely unusable as far as Affixa is concerned.

Workaround

The best solution to this problem is to see if there’s a newer version of the application you used to send the file. There’s a strong chance that the newer version will use Unicode.

Alternatively, you can either:

  • rename the file so that it only uses characters from your own alphabet; or
  • you could right-click on the file in Windows Explorer, choose “Send To” and then “Mail Recipient”.

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