'specialFolderPath' Codes
Mac OS 9 Mac OS X Windows

MetaCard/Revolution uses tokens like "desktop" in the specialFolderPath function, but you can also pass a number (under Windows) or a four-character code (under MacOS) in specialFolderPath to gain access to the paths to a variety of folders.

If you ask for a specialFolderPath that does not exist, it will return empty and the result will be set to folder not found (this is representated by a -- code below).

Mac OS Mac OS X Macintosh Special Folders

Note that the last character of the first item in the list (for the Apple Menu Items Folder) is the ƒ symbol, which is typed in on the Mac using Option-F. It may or may not be visible this way in your browser.

(Testing was done under OS 9.2.2 and OS X 10.2.3 in a standalone (non-networked) environment. Note that some codes supplied by Apple did not return any values during my testing, even though they were supposed to. Although an entry may say "folder not found", that doesn't mean that it may not work for you; it just didn't work for me (perhaps my configuration is not set up properly).)

Assuming the name of the hard disk is "HD" and the user is "kenray" (under OS X), the following values are returned:

Folder Code Reference: http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Carbon/Reference/Folder_Manager/Reference/reference.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000238-CH4g-C006668

Use the entry under the Code heading with specialFolderPath:

Code Description Returned Value (MacOS 9) Returned Value (MacOS X)
aexƒ Apple Extras Folder /HD/Applications (Mac OS 9)/Apple Extras --
aexƒ Apple Menu Items Folder /HD/System Folder/Apple Menu Items --
appr Appearance Folder /HD/System Folder/Appearance --
apps Applications Folder /HD/Applications (Mac OS 9) --
astƒ Assistants Folder /HD/Applications (Mac OS 9)/Utilities/Assistants --
asup Application Support Folder /HD/System Folder/Application Support /Library/Application Support
cmnu Contextual Menu Items Folder /HD/System Folder/Contextual Menu Items --
ctrD Control Panels Disabled Folder /HD/System Folder/Control Panels (Disabled) --
ctrl Control Panels Folder /HD/System Folder/Control Panels --
desk Desktop Folder /HD/Desktop Folder /Users/kenray/Desktop
docs Documents Folder /HD/Documents /Users/kenray/Documents
empt Empty Trash Folder /HD/Trash /Users/kenray/.Trash
extD Extensions Disabled Folder /HD/System Folder/Extensions (Disabled) --
extn Extensions Folder /HD/System Folder/Extensions --
favs Favorites Folder /HD/System Folder/Favorites /Users/kenray/Library/Favorites
font Fonts Folder /HD/System Folder/Fonts /System/Library/Fonts
fvoc Voices Folder /HD/System Folder/Extensions/Voices /System/Library/Speech/Voices
intƒ Internet Folder /HD/Applications (Mac OS 9) --
isst Internet Search Sites Folder /HD/System Folder/Internet Search Sites --
macD System Extensions Disabled Folder /HD/System Folder/System Extensions (Disabled) --
macs System Folder /HD/System Folder /System
morƒ MacOS Read Me Folder -- --
ppdf Printer Descriptions Folder /HD/System Folder/Extensions/Printer Descriptions /System/Library/Printers/PPDs
pref Preferences Folder /HD/System Folder/Preferences /Users/kenray/Library/Preferences
prfƒ Preferences Folder (alternate?) -- --
prnt PrintMonitor Documents Folder /HD/System Folder/PrintMonitor Documents --
prof ColorSync Profiles Folder /HD/System Folder/ColorSync Profiles /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles
rapp Recent Applications Folder /HD/System Folder/Apple Menu Items/Recent Applications --
rdoc Recent Documents Folder /HD/System Folder/Apple Menu Items/Recent Documents --
rsrv Recent Servers Folder /HD/System Folder/Apple Menu Items/Recent Servers --
scrƒ Scripts Folder /HD/System Folder/Scripts /Users/kenray/Library/Scripts
sctl System Control Panels Folder* /HD/System Folder/Control Panels --
sdsk System Desktop Folder** /HD/System Folder/Control Panels --
sdvƒ Control Strip Modules Folder -- --
shdD Shutdown Items Disabled Folder /HD/System Folder/Shutdown Items (Disabled) --
shdf Shutdown Items Folder /HD/System Folder/Shutdown Items --
spki Speakable Items Folder /HD/System Folder/Apple Menu Items/Speakable Items --
sprf System Preferences Folder*** /HD/System Folder/Preferences /System/Library/PreferencePanels
strD Startup Items Disabled Folder /HD/System Folder/Startup Items (Disabled) --
strs System Trash Folder**** /HD/Trash --
strt Startup Items Folder /HD/System Folder/Startup Items --
temp Temporary Items Folder /HD/Temporary Items /private/tmp/501/Temporary Items
trsh Trash Folder /HD/Trash /Users/kenray/.Trash
usrs Users Folder -- /Users
utiƒ Utilities Folder /HD/Applications (Mac OS 9)/Utilities /Applications/Utilities
ƒhlp Help Folder /HD/System Folder/Help /Library/Documentation/Help
ƒlib Shared Libraries Folder /HD/System Folder/Extensions /System/Library/CFMSupport
ƒloc Locales Folder /HD/System Folder/Language & Region Support --
ƒnet Internet Plugin Folder /HD/System Folder/Internet Plug-Ins --
ƒprd Printer Driver Folder -- --
ƒscr Scripting Additions Folder /HD/System Folder/Scripting Additions /System/Library/ScriptingAdditions
ƒtex Text Encodings Folder /HD/System Folder/Text Encodings --

According to Apple:

* Always "Control Panels" inside the System Folder; never the redirected one
** The desktop folder at the root of the hard drive, never the redirected user desktop folder
*** System-type Preferences go here - this is always the system's preferences folder, never a logged in user's
**** The trash folder at the root of the drive, never the redirected user trash folder

Windows Windows Special Folders

NOTE: The following was based on testing under Windows XP.

Keep in mind that as Windows was expanded upon (either through upgrades or by installation of DLLs or Internet Explorer), additional folders were created/accessible. Here’s the reference list:

Version Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/shellcc/platform/shell/programmersguide/versions.asp

Version DLL Distributed With...
4.00 All Windows 95/Windows NT 4.0
4.70 All Internet Explorer 3.x
4.71 All Internet Explorer 4.0
4.72 All Internet Explorer 4.01 and Windows 98
5.00 shlwapi.dll Internet Explorer 5
5.00 shell32.dll Windows 2000 and Windows ME
5.80 comctl32.dll Internet Explorer 5
5.81 comctl32.dll Windows 2000 and Windows ME
6.00 comctl32.dll Windows XP and Windows Vista

CSIDL Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/shellcc/platform/Shell/reference/enums/csidl.asp

Use the entry under the No. heading with specialFolderPath

No. Microsoft Constant Name Example Returned Value Nec. Version Comments
0 CSIDL_DESKTOP C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Desktop    
1 n/a (empty)    
2 CSIDL_PROGRAMS C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Start Menu/Programs    
3 n/a (empty)    
4 n/a (empty)    
5 CSIDL_PERSONAL C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/My Documents   Also "documents".
6 CSIDL_FAVORITES C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Favorites    
7 CSIDL_STARTUP C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Start Menu/Programs/Startup    
8 CSIDL_RECENT C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Recent    
9 CSIDL_SENDTO C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/SendTo    
10 n/a (empty)    
11 CSIDL_STARTMENU C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Start Menu   Also "start".
12 n/a (empty)    
13 CSIDL_MUSIC C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/My Documents/My Music 6.0  
14 n/a (empty)    
15 n/a (empty)    
16 CSIDL_DESKTOPDIRECTORY C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Desktop   Also "desktop".
17 n/a (empty)    
18 n/a (empty)    
19 CSIDL_NETHOOD C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/NetHood    
20 CSIDL_FONTS C:/WINDOWS/Fonts   Also "fonts".
21 CSIDL_TEMPLATES C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Templates    
22 CSIDL_COMMON_STARTMENU C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu   Win NT/2000/XP only.
23 CSIDL_COMMON_PROGRAMS C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu/Programs   Win NT/2000/XP only.
24 CSIDL_COMMON_STARTUP C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu/Programs/Startup   Win NT/2000/XP only.
25 CSIDL_COMMON_DESKTOPDIRECTORY C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Desktop   Win NT/2000/XP only.
26 CSIDL_APPDATA C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Application Data 4.71  
27 CSIDL_PRINTHOOD C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/PrintHood    
28 CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Local Settings/Application Data 5.00  
29 n/a (empty)    
30 n/a (empty)    
31 CSIDL_COMMON_FAVORITES C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Favorites   Win NT/2000/XP only.
32 CSIDL_INTERNET_CACHE* C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Local Settings/Temporary Internet Files 4.72*  
33 CSIDL_COOKIES C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Cookies    
34 CSIDL_HISTORY* C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Local Settings/History    
35 CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data 5.00  
36 CSIDL_WINDOWS C:/WINDOWS 5.00 Also "system".
37 CSIDL_SYSTEM C:/WINDOWS/system32 5.00 Could also be #41.
38 CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES C:/Program Files 5.00  
39 CSIDL_MYPICTURES C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/My Documents/My Pictures 5.00  
40 CSIDL_PROFILE C:/Documents and Settings/Ken 5.00  
41 (CSIDL_SYSTEM) C:/WINDOWS/system32 5.00 Could also be #37.
42 n/a (empty)    
43 CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON C:/Program Files/Common Files 5.00 Win NT/2000/XP only.
44 n/a (empty)    
45 CSIDL_COMMON_TEMPLATES C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Templates   Win NT/2000/XP only.
46 CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents   Win NT/2000/XP; Win 95/98 if Shfolder.dll is installed.
47 CSIDL_COMMON_ADMINTOOLS C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu/Programs/Administrative Tools 5.00  
48 n/a (empty)    
49 n/a (empty)    
50 n/a (empty)    
51 n/a (empty)    
52 n/a (empty)    
53 CSIDL_COMMON_MUSIC C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents/My Music 6.0  
54 CSIDL_COMMON_PICTURES C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents/My Pictures 6.0  
55 CSIDL_COMMON_VIDEO C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents/My Videos 6.0  
57 n/a (empty)    
58 n/a (empty)    
59 CSIDL_CDBURN_AREA C:/Documents and Settings/Ken/Local Settings/Application Data/Microsoft/CD Burning 6.0  

Windows Windows Vista Special Folders

Use the entry under the No. heading with specialFolderPath

No. Microsoft Constant Name Example Returned Value Nec. Version Comments
0 CSIDL_DESKTOP C:/Users/Ken/Desktop    
1 n/a (empty)    
2 CSIDL_PROGRAMS C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs    
3 n/a (empty)    
4 n/a (empty)    
5 CSIDL_PERSONAL C:/Users/Ken/Documents   Also "documents".
6 CSIDL_FAVORITES C:/Users/Ken/Favorites    
7 CSIDL_STARTUP C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Startup    
8 CSIDL_RECENT C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Recent    
9 CSIDL_SENDTO C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo    
10 n/a (empty)    
11 CSIDL_STARTMENU C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu   Also "start".
12 n/a (empty)    
13 CSIDL_MUSIC C:/Users/Ken/Music 6.0  
14 CSIDL_VIDEO C:/Users/Ken/Videos 6.0  
15 n/a (empty)    
16 CSIDL_DESKTOPDIRECTORY C:/Users/Ken/Desktop   Also "desktop".
17 n/a (empty)    
18 n/a (empty)    
19 CSIDL_NETHOOD C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Network Shortcuts    
20 CSIDL_FONTS C:/Windows/Fonts   Also "fonts".
21 CSIDL_TEMPLATES C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Templates    
22 CSIDL_COMMON_STARTMENU C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu    
23 CSIDL_COMMON_PROGRAMS C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs    
24 CSIDL_COMMON_STARTUP C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Startup    
26 CSIDL_APPDATA C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming    
27 CSIDL_PRINTHOOD C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Printer Shortcuts    
28 CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Local    
29 n/a C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Startup    
30 n/a C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Startup    
31 CSIDL_COMMON_FAVORITES C:/Users/Ken/Favorites    
32 CSIDL_INTERNET_CACHE* C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary Internet Files    
33 CSIDL_COOKIES C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Cookies    
34 CSIDL_HISTORY* C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/History    
35 CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA C:/ProgramData    
36 CSIDL_WINDOWS C:/Windows   Also "system".
37 CSIDL_SYSTEM C:/Windows/system32   Could also be #41.
38 CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES C:/Program Files    
39 CSIDL_MYPICTURES C:/Users/Ken/Pictures    
40 CSIDL_PROFILE C:/Users/Ken    
41 (CSIDL_SYSTEM) C:/Windows/system32   Could also be #37.
42 n/a C:/Program Files    
43 CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON C:/Program Files/Common Files    
44 n/a C:/Program Files/Common Files    
45 CSIDL_COMMON_TEMPLATES C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Templates    
46 CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS C:/Users/Public/Documents    
47 CSIDL_COMMON_ADMINTOOLS C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Administrative Tools    
48 n/a C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Administrative Tools    
49 n/a (empty)    
50 n/a (empty)    
51 n/a (empty)    
52 n/a (empty)    
53 CSIDL_COMMON_MUSIC C:/Users/Public/Music 6.0  
54 CSIDL_COMMON_PICTURES C:/Users/Public/Pictures 6.0  
55 CSIDL_COMMON_VIDEO C:/Users/Public/Videos 6.0  
56 CSIDL_RESOURCES C:/Windows/Resources 6.0  
57 n/a (empty)    
58 n/a (empty)    
59 CSIDL_CDBURN_AREA C:/Users/Ken/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Burn/Burn 6.0  

* Pretty sure is right constant (not specified in MS doc).

Posted 12/22/2002 by Ken Ray
Updated 2/22/2007 by Ken Ray - Added Vista information.