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What Is a Path in the Computer?

Finding Your Stationery Folder

Back to Stationery in Outlook Express

A common problem with missing backgrounds and pictures is one of what we call "path". I'll try to explain it by analogy. Every web page, email or other document that includes pictures, backgrounds, graphs, music or any other extras has instructions on where those extras are to be found.

Suppose I said, "Go to Australia, go to Tasmania, go to Brisbane Street, go to number 32, go to the sitting room and find a picture of a rose". You'd find your way to the picture, provided that I didn't move it to another room, another house or a different street or town etc. Try to think of each of those parts as a folder on the computer. There are folders within folders within folders. In the computer the directions might read like this: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery\rose.jpg.

I overcome this by putting all of the pictures and the file itself into the one folder. If you were already in the sitting room, I'd only have to say "find a picture of a rose". So if the file and the pictures it uses are all together in one folder, I just have to say "rose.jpg" and the computer knows to look only in the folder where the stationery is. However, if the picture of the rose is in a different folder—perhaps "my documents,"—the computer will not be able to find it, because there are hundreds of folders in the computer and it will only look in the one it has been told to look in.

Unfortunately, I don't know the structure of your computer's folder arrangements. If you have the 95 or 98 operating system your stationery will be at the end of the path above. If you have the XP operating system this path will be wrong.

You could find the folder that holds your stationery by clicking the Start button, choosing Find > Files or Folders and typing the word stationery into the place called Named. Then click the button labelled Find Now and wait for a few moments.

You can double click the folder in the find box if you want to see what's inside.

If you are confident in the making of shortcuts from things in the find box, make a shortcut to the stationery folder on your desktop.

In case you've forgotten, you right click on the folder icon and drag to your desktop. When you let go, a menu will pop up. Choose "Create Shortcut Here". Whatever you do, don't move the folder.

Once the shortcut is on your desktop, you can drop pictures and other files onto it and they'll be available in your stationery. When you have three files that belong together, such as an htm file and two gifs or jpgs, be sure to drop all three onto the shortcut to your stationery folder.

These instructions don't mean that you can't use Insert Picture to add a picture that you have stored in My Documents. These instructions are for stationery that's already written ( or made up ) with pictures and background included.



Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you. My email address is here.

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