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Re: Re: Re: change $UserDocumentsDirectory

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  • Subject: [mg76541] Re: [mg76420] Re: [mg76391] Re: [mg76346] change $UserDocumentsDirectory
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 05:42:51 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

The aforementioned suggestions of changing $UserDocumentsDirectory in the=
won't help you, then, as it won't change the FE's sense of what 
$UserDocumentsDirectory is.

However, you don't need to do that.  All you need to do is change the value=
the NotebookBrowseDirectory option (which used to be called=
 NotebookDirectory in 
5.x...that symbol is now the function which determines the directory a 
particular notebook was saved in).

If you have trouble figuring this out, feel free to email me privately and=
keep plugging away at this till your problem is solved.

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

On Tue, 22 May 2007 02:41:56 -0400 (EDT), Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> What I'm trying to accomplish by changing $HomeDirectory is very simple:
> when the Save As dialog comes up, the default location will be where _I_
> want it to be (in e:\temp) instead of the Mathematica default of what
> I've set in Windows as the equivalent of My Documents.  Directory temp
> is where I'm working now; Documents is stuff I'm saving "forever".
> I had hoped there was in environment variable for this, just as there
> are for $UserBaseDirectory and $UserBaseDirectory.
> I prefer to set such things in the OS rather than edit any init.m.  It's
> easier and less likely to get lost when updating from on Mathematica
> version to another.
> But I guess I have no choice here.
> John Fultz wrote:
>> 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,
>> (in the More Information section)
>> Also, this page is helpful...
>> Sincerely,
>> 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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