The term “path” refers to the name of the location of something on your computer's hard drive. It can be thought of as a map of where to find something.

Mac OS X finder, Linux (UNIX-based environments)

Internet users are already familiar with unix-based path names as are used for Linux distributions, Mac OS X Finder, and Unix itself.

This is what is visible in the URL address bar of your web browser. For example:

The above path for the image Header_LOGO.gif shows us that the file is located in the “en” folder in the “images” folder etc…


In Windows, the slash goes in the opposite direction as the others.

Windows users are used to seeing path names in the form of:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My photos\Pets\snorty.jpg

You can see this (without going into the console) by right-clicking on “properties” of any item, and looking at the “location”. The location will show you the folder (location) where it is located. In this case, the picture of snorty is in a folder called 'pets' that is in the 'My photos' folder in 'Documents', etc.

relative or absolute

Relative paths

Relative paths show the location with regards to the current location that you are working in.

Absolute paths

Absolute paths show the location with regards to the root.

Last modified: 10/27/2007 at 15:59 by Ryan Anderson