Copying file pathnames

These are the instructions for copying file path names as a link into a Word document or an email. This is handy if you want the recipient to open the file quickly without searching. Note: this will only work if recipients have access the files location. 

Settings check 

There is a setting you need to check before you set up your link;

  • Open any folder
    (If you can't see the menu, click the Organise link, choose Layout and then Menu Bar)
  • From the Tools menu, choose Folder Options and select the View tab
  • Under the Files And Folders group, make sure Display the full path in the address bar is selected
  • Click OK

Example 1 - Microsoft Word

  • Open both the Word document where the link will be inserted and folder where the file exists
  • In the folder, select the path in the Address bar and Copy it (Ctrl C)
  • Open the Word document to where you want the link and Paste it (Ctrl V)
    Example: C:\Test Folder

This gives us the folder location but not the file.

  • In the folder, click once on the file name to select it
  • *Important step: Click once again on the name to select only the name of the file (the text)
  • Copy this name (Ctrl+C)

At this stage you will add this to the original address but you need to make sure it is the correct syntax. The next part uses keyboard shortcut keys for expediency.

  • Return to Word
  • After the text type a backslash e.g. C:\Test Folder will become C:\Test Folder\
  • Press Ctrl+V (to paste) (e.g. C:\Test Folder\ 2014_Timesheet.xls)
  • Important: make sure there is no space after the last backslash. If there is, remove it (e.g. the above example will become 'G:\Test Folder\2014_Timesheet.xls')
  • Select all the text. This will be the completed link.

  • Press Ctrl+C (to Copy)
  • Press Ctrl+K (or Insert/Hyperlink) to open the Hyperlink window. See following diagram.


  • The curser will appear in the Address box with two possibilities:
    • If the link is already inserted into the address bar, simply click OK
    • If the link is not inserted into the address bar, press Ctrl+V (to paste it) an click OK
  • The link will be inserted and the text will turn blue and underlined
    C:\Test Folder\2014_Timesheet.xls

You can test the link in Word by holding the Ctrl key (on the Keyboard) and clicking the link.

Example 2 - email

This is done in a similar way to the Word document above.

In an email you have to send the email before the link will work, so simply send a test message to yourself.

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  • Open the folder that contains the file
  • Copy the text in the address bar (Ctrl+C)
  • Open the email, click in the Message section and Paste ( Ctrl+V)
  • Add a backslash at the end "\" (no spaces)
     C:\Reports\2014 Reports\May 2014\
  • Add the file name (or you can copy and paste the file name too)
    C:\Reports\2014 Reports\May 2014\Gordon's Report
  • Highlight the whole address and Copy (Ctrl+C>)
  • With the address still highlighted, Open the Hyperlink box (Ctrl K)
  • Simply paste (Ctrl+V) This will be inserted as the URL
  • Click OK
  • The link is inserted