In Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel applications, when you click the File menu and click the Save option or press Ctrl + S keys, the Save this file dialog shows up.
The Save this file dialog allows you to type a name for the document as well as select a location to save the document.
However, at times, after typing a name for the document, you might notice that the Save button is grayed out and is not clickable.
Many users seem to be encountering this problem. Actually, this problem is not a bug or an issue with Microsoft Office Word/Excel/PowerPoint or any other application. But it’s a limitation with the Windows operating system!
Why the Save button is grayed out Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other applications?
In Windows operating system, you cannot use some special characters in file names. Special characters such as an asterisk (*), colon (:), and slash (/) cannot be used in file names. Some programs, for example, Notepad, throw an error if there is a special character in the file’s name. However, Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint do not show any error but gray out the Save button.
So, if a Microsoft Office application has grayed out the Save button, it’s likely because you are trying to save a document with one or more special characters that are not allowed.
Needless to say, these special characters are not allowed only in the file name. You can use them in the document content. Also, you might be able to save a document with these special characters on macOS or Linux distros as these operating systems allow many of these special characters in file names.
What special characters are not allowed in file names?
Windows operating system does not allow these special characters in file names:
?, *, \, /, :, “, <, >, |
How to change the default save location in the Office Word/Excel/PowerPoint guide might also interest you.