Relative paths in Word -- the solution

Subject: Relative paths in Word -- the solution
From: David Rapport <dave -at- NETMEDIA -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 11:38:25 +0200

Even though no-one responded to the list, there was some off-list interest
in what relative paths are and how to use them, so I'm posting the solution

When inserting a linked graphic into Word, it records the absolute path for
the location of the file. E.g., C:\\WIDGET USER GUIDE\\PICTURES\\LOGON.BMP.
(Word uses double slashes when inserting graphics.) This works fine if you
are the only person using this file. However when you give the file to your
colleague to review or send it to a customer, they don't have the directory
with the pictures on their hard drive so the picture doesn't come out.

There are two solutions:

1) Send all the pictures and ask the person to copy them all to a new folder

2) Use a relative path.

The problem with (1) is that the person may not have the time, patience or
disk space to copy a few MBs of pictures. So, in come relative paths.

In relative paths, you tell Word to look for a certain directory relative to
where your file is now. In ther words, if you specify that the picture is in
.\\PICTURES, Word will look for a sub-directory in your current location
called PICTURES and insert the picture from there. A single dot sends Word
down and two dots will make it go up the directory hierarchy.

The advantage of this is that if your Word file is on a network drive then
your colleague can review the file and Word will take the pictures from the
network without any pictures being copied to someone else's hard drive. If
you distribute documents on CD the user does not need to install files to
their hard drive either, the pictures come straight from the CD.

However, relative paths do not always work. If you have problems, do the

1) Open the file using the File|Open command and not from Explorer of the
recently used file list.

2) If the pictures do not display automatically, select them and click F9 or
update them all from Edit|Links.

Many thanks to the helpful techwhirlers and also those on tech-shoret
(Israeli technical writing list) for sending the solution.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more help on this topic.



David Rapport
dave -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il

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