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Re: change $UserDocumentsDirectory

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  • Subject: [mg76391] Re: [mg76346] change $UserDocumentsDirectory
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 06:00:19 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

No, there isn't.  It is merely a reflection of the default operating system
location for documents (except on Unix, where it's just the same value as 
$HomeDirectory).  Under Windows and Mac, there are probably operating-system
methods (perhaps obscure) to change these system-wide.

The principle place where it shows up in the product is in the default value of 
certain FE path options, and it's probably easier to change the path options for 
many people than it is to set an environment variable.  As such, it never 
occurred to me that somebody might want to set an environment variable.  If you 
find my attitude curious, consider that there's never been a method via 
environment variables to set $HomeDirectory (another default OS location), and I 
can't recall anybody ever noticing.

But I'm curious to hear what you're trying to accomplish, and perhaps there's 
reasonable justification to consider it.

As for the documentation, those environment variables which can be overridden by environment variables specify that on their home pages.  For example,$UserBaseDirectory.html

(in the More Information section)

Also, this page is helpful...

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Sun, 20 May 2007 02:26:50 -0400 (EDT), Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> Is there an OS environment variable that can be used to change
> $UserDocumentsDirectory?
> This is with 6.0 under Windows XP. I tried MATHEMATICA_USERDOCUMENTS but
> that didn't seem to do anything.
> (Comment: the use of OS environment variables seems poorly documented.)

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