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Invalid File Format/Invoice File for Invoice ... is not a Recognized File Format

Quick guide to changing your LEDES file encoding from UTF-8 to ANSI and saving.  Should resolve most errors related to "The invoice file xxx.txt is not in a recognized file format. Please verify the file is in standard LEDES format.(1998B Version Header is not correct.)"

This message occurs for LEDES98B and LEDES98BI v2 formats.  There are two main causes of this error: first check the ENCODING and then check the HEADER.

Check the ENCODING on your file by following these steps:

  • Open the file in a text editor such as "Notepad". 
  • Click "File" from the Menu bar, then choose "Save As"
  • The encoding for the file should appear near the "Save" button

If the encoding is UTF-8, please change it to ANSI, and then save your file.  Then try uploading the file again.  The attached document shows some screen shots.  More information below.

Process to change file format to ANSI

If you have a LEDES file saved in UTF-8 format, it will generate an error when loaded into Collaborati.

How do you know if your file is saved in UTF-8 format? Open the LEDES file in Notepad or a text editor.

The Encoding field displays the saved file format:


To fix this, resave as an ANSI file by choosing ANSI in the Encoding field:


Check the HEADER:  

If the encoding is correct, please check the HEADER in your LEDES98B or LEDES98BI v2 file carefully as there could be a problem with the Header.  The Header (which is the first two lines of the file) must match the standard Heading for LEDES98B or LEDES98BI v2 (this information is available at www.ledes.org).

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