Unexpected Absolute Path

File this one under the “learn something new every day” category. This question was posted on one of the Framers lists today:

Our documents have the potential of being generic to be used in multiple manuals. To achieve that, our safety icons are in a common location. The FM files and associated graphics should always be together. When we move the folders to another manual, everything should remain relative. With FM8, writers go to our server and open a file, if the graphics are not positioned correctly, the writer updates the location and FM8 changes the location to absolute. Subsequent files that are opened and saved change the graphic path to absolute and do not ask for the path change. Is there any way to shut this off so that if a file is opened and the relative path is incorrect, that it asks for the path update? The only other way of verifying the path is to do a LOR.

I spoke to the author of the post to make sure that both his FrameMaker file and image were on the same drive; he assured me that they were, so I couldn’t see any reason why the link shouldn’t be relative instead of absolute.

So I set up this test to try to duplicate his problem. I created a FrameMaker file here


with a link to this graphic


I closed the FrameMaker file and copied it to various locations on the E drive. To my surprise, no matter where I copied the FrameMaker file, it still pointed to the absolute path of the image. I had expected it try to maintain a relative path, for example


Apparently, if FrameMaker has to reach to the root of the drive to build or update its link to the image, it automatically creates an absolute path instead of a relative path. The way to ensure a relative path is to make sure that there is at least one common folder below the root. For example, if I use these paths



then I get the relative path (..\..\..\Graphics\GPL_Tick.eps) that I expect.


One thought on “Unexpected Absolute Path”

  1. This is an interesting finding: placing general purpose graphics (e.g. warning symbols) in a ‘non-shared’ directory would create an absolute path for these. So a ‘moved’ FM doc on the same drive would still find them.
    This allows me to have only one set of general purpose graphics for all my projects on the same drive.

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