How to specify a file path: basic rules

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How to specify a file path: basic rules
How to specify a file path: basic rules

Despite the rather high automation of all processes and user actions that are provided in Windows systems, sometimes it becomes necessary to manually set the path to some object stored on local drives or on remote servers on the Internet. There can be a lot of situations when it is extremely necessary to enter such data, but usually ordinary users are limited to the simplest actions when setting the execution of commands on the command line, when quickly calling program modules, when checking the location of objects on local or network resources, etc. Further let's try to decide how to specify the path to a file or to any other object, touching only on the most basic aspects and actions that may be needed in everyday work, without delving into the nuances of organizing complex web page structures.

What is the path to a file, directory, drive or web page?

To startLet's define the basic concept of a file path. What it is? Roughly speaking, the path to any object is a full or abbreviated link to its physical location on the hard drive or on the Internet (but also on the hard drive of a remote server or computer). In a sense, computer pathfinding can be compared to the usual postal address where you live.

Postal address example
Postal address example

So, for example, the address indicates the country, city, street, house, building, apartment and the name of the tenant. The analogy here is this:

  • country - disk or remote network resource;
  • name of tenant or addressee - name of final file;
  • everything else is an intermediate subfolder.

Many people may notice that the postal address also contains the city index. It can be purely conventionally correlated, say, with the IP address of a page on the Internet or in a network environment, since such paths are almost never used for local resources.

Now let's see how to specify a file path using this analogy. First, let's look at local resources, that is, media connected directly to one computer.

Path types

But here we should immediately make one more small digression. When specifying a path to any object, keep in mind that they can be either absolute (full) or relative (abbreviated). Full paths are used to indicate the exact location of the object you are looking for, while relative paths are for objects that may be incertain folders for which you do not initially need to specify their location (this is most often used in web programming when creating links to navigate to a document).

How to write a file path on Windows systems: general rules

But it's all been a theory so far. Let's get down to practice.

Specifying the path to a file on a local drive
Specifying the path to a file on a local drive

So, an absolute path must always begin with a drive or media letter followed by a colon. After it, a backslash is entered (a backslash), then all intermediate directories are indicated (again, through a separator in the form of a slash), and at the end the file name is entered with the obligatory indication of its extension.

Write paths for web pages

Now it's worth mentioning separately how to specify the path to a file located on a remote server (on the Internet). It is clear that in this case you will not be able to accurately determine the drive letter. Actually, this is not necessary.

Specifying the path to a file on the Internet
Specifying the path to a file on the Internet

As an absolute path, specify the sequence in which the name of the protocol is entered first (for example, http, https, etc.). Then a colon is put, followed by a double right slash. After that, all intermediate pages (resources) are written through a single right slash. And at the end, as in the previous case, the name of the file with the extension or the name of the directory (or page) containing it is specified to view all objects.

How do I know where the file is?

But very often you can meetsituations when you do not know the absolute path to the desired object, but it urgently needs to be determined. To do this, you can use the "Explorer" and simply enter the file name in a special search field or perform a similar search by extension, typing it after the dot and enclosing it in asterisks.

Copying the absolute path to a folder in Explorer
Copying the absolute path to a folder in Explorer

In the case of folders in the address bar, the path can be copied using the RMB menu item "Copy address as text" for this, and then pasted in the right place, adding the file name manually. However, you can use the properties of the file itself, which will also indicate the directory in which it is located.

Path to file in shortcut properties
Path to file in shortcut properties

But if there is a shortcut for a file already in its properties, you should pay attention to the object type field. In which the absolute path will be specified.

Methods for quickly copying paths and opening the desired files

How to specify the path to the file, figured it out a bit. Now let's briefly dwell on some methods that allow you to speed up the opening of files or copying their addresses (paths).

Specifying the absolute path to a file on the command line
Specifying the absolute path to a file on the command line

For example, using the copy described above, references to absolute file paths can be pasted into the command console, but the path itself must be enclosed in quotation marks on both sides. In order not to deal with such things, you can simply drag the desired object from the "Explorer" to the command line. If it is an executable program file, itwill start immediately. If it is a document, it will be automatically opened in its associated application.

In the end, it remains to add that very often you may need to use the Run console. As the simplest commands, it enters exactly the names of executable components, for which the path to the file and the extension of the launched object very often do not need to be specified. Why? Yes, only because the Run menu is mainly intended for calling executable applets (usually EXE format and some others) located by default either in the System32 directory or in the Windows directory.

Specifying a relative path to a file in the Run menu
Specifying a relative path to a file in the Run menu

For example, to launch the registry editor, it is enough to enter only the file name regedit, to start the standard Notepad - notepad, for the command line - cmd, etc. In principle, if you make some simple settings, for this type of fast launch, you can specify any application or some document, but this is a separate topic for conversation.

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