Creating file paths
In FileMaker Pro, you can specify file paths to an external FileMaker data source.
Note  A FileMaker “data source” was called a “file reference” in pre-9.0 versions of FileMaker.
Each named FileMaker data source can consist of one or more file paths. Use multiple file paths when you want FileMaker Pro to search a list of potential files.
For information on adding a FileMaker data source and specifying file paths, see Connecting to data sources.
FileMaker Pro supports the following file path formats:
The path to a target file specified from the current database’s location. If the current database is opened remotely, the path starts from the local FileMaker Pro directory
The absolute path to a target file or folder, either local or on a remote volume, beginning at the top level of the file system
The absolute path to a target file or folder in Windows, beginning at the top level of the file system
Full remote (Windows)
The absolute path to a target file or folder on a Windows volume shared using Windows file sharing
The network path to a shared FileMaker Pro file
Examples of single file paths
Full local (Mac OS)
Full local (Windows XP)
Full local (Windows Vista)
Full remote (Windows)
FileMaker Network
Examples of multiple file paths
Use multiple file paths when you want FileMaker Pro to search a list of potential files. File paths are searched in the order in which they appear. FileMaker Pro opens the first file it is able to successfully locate, which completes the search. Each file path must be on a separate line.
Example 1: In this example, a FileMaker Pro database must work on two different operating systems: a Windows system that accesses local Windows files, and a Mac OS system that accesses local Mac OS files. On both platforms, the database must access a local file named test.xlsx.
Example 2: In this example for a scripted record import, a FileMaker Pro database should access a file that is hosted. However, because the host may not be available, you also reference two alternate files, one hosted by a different server, the other stored locally on your hard drive. If the first network file is unavailable, FileMaker Pro will search for the second network file. If the second network file is also unavailable, FileMaker Pro will search for the local file.
You can use variables in file paths. Variables let you specify file or folder paths dynamically for many scripts, for example, the Export Records script step. See Using variables.
Use the Set Variable script step to create local and global variables.
You can also use the Let function to specify variables in calculations.
The scope of local variables is limited to the current script. The scope of global variables is limited to the file in which the global variables are defined, for as long as the file remains open.
Examples of using variables in file paths
Assume the following variables:
$fileName = "test.xlsx"
$username = "JohnSmith"
$targetDir = "Documents/Clients"
$chosenType = "filewin"
$$source = "file:Documents/2014/demo files"
$driveLetter = "G:"
$searchList = "file:old results.txt
     file:../archived/old results.txt"
Specify one or more directories in a path
Specify absolute paths or relative paths, with various path type prefixes
Specify a path type prefix dynamically or as part of a longer path
file:Documents/2014/demo files/test.xlsx
Specify one or more complete paths
file:old results.txt
file:../archived/old results.txt
file:Documents/2014/demo files/
To create a generic, cross-platform file path, begin the file path with the word file.
To create platform-specific file paths, begin the file path with either filemac or filewin. FileMaker Pro only searches the platform-specific file path that corresponds to the operating system on which the FileMaker Pro application is running.
To access a file located on a shared Windows volume, use the network path format. This format is only compatible with shared Windows volumes. It is not compatible with shared Mac OS volumes or FileMaker Network sharing.
FileMaker does not recommend using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character in network file paths as it slows FileMaker network traffic. When possible, replace an asterisk with the appropriate IP address or use variables in file paths. If you have converted a database from a previous version of FileMaker Pro, review the converted data sources and replace any asterisks with known IP addresses or network file paths.