Why is InfoPath Designer barfing?
February 13, 2015 9:59 AM   Subscribe

I made a form in InfoPath 2013 that submits to a Sharepoint library. I can open and submit it both via SharePoint and via InfoPath Filler. However, when I try to open the template file in InfoPath Designer it barfs with "InfoPath cannot load the view. The view may have been modified to contain unsupported HTML such as frames." Halp.

I need to add one piddly field to my form, but I can't open it to edit it! This has happened before; in fact, I specifically recreated this form from the ground up because its predecessor became uneditable. I have not modified any views outside of Infopath Designer. While it is theoretically possible that the .xsn file became corrupt, it seems suspicious to me that every .xsn file on my machine would be corrupt, and I can't open any of them.

Googling reveals opaque comments regarding a Windows update and a lot of frustrated people with an unsolved problem. Can you help me or at least shed some light on the issue?
posted by telepanda to Computers & Internet (1 answer total)
Just speaking on general principles rather than close experience with InfoPath, is it possible at some point during the creation or editing of the form you cut and pasted text that included stowaway HTML? It's pretty common when working with applications that process HTML or other rich text that you run into problems where someone has been cutting and pasting back and forth from Microsoft Office, or from a web page that includes content from a similar source, and hence what they've input includes absolutely crazy non-standard machine-generated code (which wouldn't be visible at all in a WYSIWYG interface) that causes HTML-handling or XML-handling components to choke up.

And from the sound of that error text even valid HTML code like frames would cause a problem. A way I might try to narrow things down when working with similar applications in my own work would be to save a copy of the form and delete large chunks of it selected at random to see if doing so removes the offending code fragment, then if I can get it working that way experimentally delete smaller and smaller subsections until I know exactly which part to delete and re-create from scratch. (Or, since I'm a software engineer, I can sometimes pore through the code of the form and spot the problem code fragment myself, but I don't know if InfoPath tools give you access to that.)

...on rereading though I see that it's actually the form editing tool itself which won't open it, so... maybe try an older version, or does Microsoft provide any downloadable tools related to InfoPath that would do something like an import and re-export? With luck it's something that another piece of software would filter out automatically and InfoPath Designer just isn't initializing itself in the right order.

(Sorry I can't give more specific advice; my familiarity is with a piece of software that was a sort-of competitor to InfoPath many years ago.)
posted by XMLicious at 12:00 PM on February 13, 2015

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