What does the error message "Invalid file format" mean?

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Once the upload process for a custom reference file begins, you may receive an email with the subject line The file import started on [date] failed with an error message “Invalid file format” as seen below.


This generally happens when a custom reference file (*.fa) is created on a Windows OS device and added to Tapestri Designer.

Windows text editors tend to add additional line terminators, such as “\r” for new lines and line breaks. Tapestri Designer does not yet support these line terminators. Please remove the “\r” terminator from your reference file and upload the file. 

Since the characters “\r” cannot be viewed in a typical Windows text editor, we recommend using external tools, such as dos2unix.

To format your reference file using dos2unix, follow the steps below.

  1. Download and install this software, preferably in the same directory as your reference file. 
  2. Go to Windows PowerShell and navigate to the directory containing the reference file.
  3. Use this command to format the file:
    .\dos2unix  <reference_file_name>.fa


  4.  You will see the following message, which ensures that the file is formatting:
    dos2unix:  converting file <reference_file_name>.fa to Unix format…
    You may now upload this reference file to Tapestri Designer by following the steps listed in Upload custom references and create a custom panel.
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