This question was posted 2 days ago at community. I had a good answer but it does not quit do what I wanted. Hence I am trying here to see if someone might know of some other solution. Here is the question:

I tend to name some files, which are in different folders, with the same name. Say source.nb

But when going back to open a specific file from one folder, using File->Open dialog, it does not show the full path of the file. Even a right-click on the file name, or hovering the mouse over the name, has no pop-up menu to show the full path name. This makes it hard to know in which folder any of these files are in. So I end up opening the wrong file many times. Here is a screen shot:

Mathematica graphics

I looked at options and did not see a way to change this. It might be there and I have overlooked it. I searched for "file" options. Using V 9.01 on windows.

Would any one know of a way to make it either display the full path name, or at least when hovering the mouse over the name, it will display the full path name in a small pop-up help display (which is the common way most applications handle this sort of thing).


This works on my system (v7, Windows 7):

  NotebooksMenu /. Options[$FrontEnd],
  FrontEnd`FileName[{_, path__}, name_, ___] :> FileNameJoin @ {path, name},

The first _ in {_, path__} is to skip $RootDirectory; if you want to preserve $RootDirectory leave it out.

To create a palette with buttons to open these Notebooks you may use:

  NotebooksMenu /. Options[$FrontEnd],
  FrontEnd`FileName[{_, path__}, name_, ___] :> FileNameJoin@{path, name},
] // CreatePalette @ Column[Button[#, NotebookOpen@#] & /@ #] &;
| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. But how do I use the output of the above? THe above just gives me a list of the file names with fullpath/ But what is next? I need to open a notebook. I am not familar with notebook commands. I just use the File->Open to open files. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Jan 4 '14 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Nasser Sorry, I didn't realize that was part of the question. Basically you can use NotebookOpen but I guess you want something more automated like a palette? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 4 '14 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ I see. So you mean I'd copy the file name from the Cases output, and paste into a NotebokOpen command? Ok. Will try that. Sure, a palette based method would be great and much easier to use, if possible. It would be useful for many others I assume. I hope this feature is added to V 10. But no problem if it is too much trouble. I'll try the copy/paste method for now. thanks. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Jan 4 '14 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Nasser I added a palette generating function. Please try it and let me know if this is what you need. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 4 '14 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ Nice. I tried it. Yes, much easier that way. Will use this from now on. I have many files with same name that I open all the time, and this helps allot. thanks. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Jan 4 '14 at 3:03

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