I have a group of users in the same work area for whom Excel reports files in the file open dialog box as being 8 characters, even though the same files in NT Explorer are correctly listed with long filenames.

There are four users who sit together and share the same file set in a directory in a fairly deep location on one of our (Novell) servers. If the Default File Location entry in the Options menu of Excel has been left blank (default), then the users have a fair amount of clicking to find the files they want, but they're reported correctly in the File Open dialog box window.

If they amend the default file location to the directory where their files are stored, (using the mapped drive letter rather than a UNC location), then the File Open dialog box opens in the correct directory, but the file names are truncated as described, (spaces in the file name are collapsed, only the first 8 characters are displayed and the files don't have a suffix, although they do show the correct Application Excel Workbook icon). If, however, the user clicks on the "Up directory" button a couple of times and then drills back down to the original directory, the files are displayed correctly.

I tried amending the default file location entry to use the UNC fully quallified address (i.e. Server-nameVolumeFolderFolder etc...), but Excel wouldn't recognise the entry, opening the dialog box at the root of the C: drive, as it would if the entry was blank.

To complicate things even further, our IT gods have decided that, while the user is logged in, examining or editing the registry has been disabled. This is fine from a security point of view, but makes this kind of support task a nightmare. These entries tend to be in the Current User part of the registry. If I log in to the machine, I have permission to run RegEdit, but, of course, then I am the current user, not the person with the original problem, so the relevant registry entries aren't there. <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>

Any help anyone can offer would be gratefully received. For the record, we're running NT4 SP6 with Office 97 SR2 on PIII 766Mhz Compaqs with 128Mb RAM.