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Definition: path

(1) In communications, the route between any two nodes. Same as "line," "channel," "link" or "circuit."

(2) (Path) A photo sharing service intended as a companion to social networks. Introduced in 2010, Path was acquired by Kakao, a South Korea-based Internet company in 2015 but was discontinued in 2018.

(3) In database management, the route from one table to another, such as from customers to orders.

(4) A selected area in an image. See clipping path.

(5) A list of folders that should be searched to locate executable files run from the command line. See Path environment variable.

(6) The route to a file on a storage device (hard disk or SSD). The path shows the hierarchy of folders and subfolders (directories and subdirectories) starting at an origin point called the "root." The following examples show how the path is expressed on a command line to the MYLIFE.TXT file in the STORIES subfolder located within the JOE folder.

In DOS/Windows
The JOE folder is in the C: drive:

In Unix/Linux/Mac
The drive would already have been selected:

In Macs Prior to OS X
The JOE folder is in the HDD200 drive:

The Following Examples
For simplicity, the following examples come from the early Windows version of this encyclopedia when the software was installed as a top-level folder off the root of the C: drive. Subsequent versions were installed in the Program Files folder.

Using Paths
In the Windows version of this encyclopedia, the following dialog box displayed the path to the CDETEXT.TXT file for saving terms. For more details on the Windows folder hierarchy, see Win Folder organization.

This dialog box shows where CDETEXT.TXT is created. The file can accumulate definitions for copying or printing.

File/Folder Hierarchy
These Explorer views of the Encyclopedia folder (CDE) show how the PICTURES subfolder branches off the CDE folder. Just as pictures are kept separate, the lesson lists are also stored in their own subfolder. Note that the ADDRESS bar refers to the path.