I have a package that I have placed in the $BaseDirectory\Applications directory so that Needs can find it. I have a logo in the directory that I will return when a function is called. However, when I call NotebookDirectory in the package I get the directory of the notebook (this seems like expected behavior). I've not been able to find a corresponding PackageDirectory function.

How do I get the directory of a package so I can load a resource (in this case a .jpg logo) to return to the calling notebook?

Update to show package and $InputFileName returns empty string

Update to show proper use of $InputFileName in package

The package saved as an .m file in $BaseDirectory\Applications is:

packageDirectory::usage="Gets the directory of the this package.";
packageLogo::usage="Gets the logo of this package.";
testfoo::usage="does this work"
(* $Input only has a value as the package is being loaded so capture that
        value with `Set` in order to use it with `SetDelayed` later. *)
testfoo[]:="some text"

The logo.jpg file is in the same directory as the .m package.

The notebook commands are as follows.

(* {"packageDirectory", "packageLogo", "testfoo"} *)
(* Logo image returned *)
packageDirectory[] // InputForm
(* "C:\\ProgramData\\Mathematica\\Applications\\MyTest.m" *)
(* some text *)

Many thanks to @Szabolcs and @Ymareth.


1 Answer 1


FindFile will tell you which file will be loaded when you ask for a particular package with the backtick syntax.

DirectoryName will return the directory that contains a file.


In[1]:= FindFile["Combinatorica`"]

Out[1]= "/Applications/Mathematica 10.1.app/Contents/AddOns/Packages/Combinatorica/Kernel/init.m"

Update: This solution is probably better: in your package file, use $InputFileName to determine the location of the package file and save it into a variable that is private to the package. The use this variable with the function that shows the logo.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ $InputFileName returns an empty string. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I also think FindFile is a bit expensive to use. The system already knows where the package file is. It has loaded it after all. Why do another scan of the $Path directory hierarchies to "find" it and the strip the file name from it. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:55
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ $InputFileName only has a value while the kernel is loading a package. So the package itself can do something with that filename while its being loaded. $\endgroup$
    – Ymareth
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Ymareth Ah! It is the difference between Set and SetDelayed in my package definitions. I understand now. I had to capture the value of $InputFileName//DirectoryName into a variable using Set. This executes when the package loads. Then I can use this variable anywhere in the SetDelayed defintions. However, I was using $InputFileName in the SetDelayed definitions and these don't run until alter the package as been loaded. Therefore, I was getting the empty string. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 14:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Edmund That is what I meant by "use $InputFileName to determine the location of the package file and save it into a variable that is private to the package". $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 14:34

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