Error message: Cannot recognize this file format

Occasional Contributor

Hello all.

MS Project templates exist.

I can create a file via Explorer and double click on the template.

I can create a file by opening a Project file that contains a macro that creates a file based on the template.

When I create a file via the menu (File / New / Shared / Select Template) the error message occurs: "Microsoft Project cannot recognize this file format. Open this file as text?"

The error does not occur with all users.

Will appreciate any suggestions on where I should look for the error.


8 Replies
I'm not sure I can help but let's get a little more information.
1. What version of Project are you using?
2. Is it fully updated?
3. Where exactly is the "shared" folder located (e.g. locally, server, One Drive, SharePoint, etc.)?
4. If you create a new non-template file (i.e. MPP), can you open that from the Shared folder?




1. Office 365, 64 Bit:  ACedar_0-1650730837918.png

2. I think so; I will check with IT.

3. Shared folder? Where the Templeates are? Path defined in Word; Server.

4. I will check this on Monday. (Teamviewer). With my Installation and settings all works fine.

I suspect it has something to do with the settings. I don't know if it's in Word, Project or somewhere else.


As far as being updated, the most current version of Project is version 2203 so I think you could use an update.

I don't understand what Word has to do with a Project template. What is the extension of the file when you look at it on the Shared folder? My guess is it is not MPT (Project template) and that's why it is unreadable.

Hi John.
What is the 'Shared folder'?
The files are mpt.
When you have Templates for different Officeapplications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) you can save it all in the workgroup folder (or folders in this workgroupfolder). All Officeapplications share the path, that is specified in Word for Workgrouptemplates: File Options Extended (? 7th Option: in German Version: Erweitert), then General, Filelocations, Working Group Templates).

Hi John.
What can not explain to me: I can create a file in two ways, but not the direct way via File New Templates. Isn't it magic?
All users in the company should have the same Version of Project, same Profile, except their personal settings. But even then. why can it work the one way, but not the other way?


Well, you're beyond the scope of my knowledge/expertise so I'll have to pass this off to someone else. Hopefully Paul or Dale will jump in with a suggestion.


Sorry I couldn't help.


best response confirmed by ACedar (Occasional Contributor)
Unlike other Office programs, MS Project cannot handle links in the Workgrouptemplatesfolder.