Tutorial :Finding a file's directory address on a Mac


I am working with a Macbook programming python. What I want to know is how I can access certain files using Python's file functions. A google search failed me.

For example, Windows would be something like this:

f = open(r'C:\text\somefile.txt')  

How would I access something from a folder saved on the Desktop of a Mac?


The desktop is just a subdirectory of the user’s home directory. Because the latter is not fixed, use something like os.path.expanduser to keep the code generic. For example, to read a file called somefile.txt that resides on the desktop, use

import os  f = open(os.path.expanduser("~/Desktop/somefile.txt"))  

If you want this to be portable across operating systems, you have to find out where the desktop directory is located on each system separately.


f = open (r"/Users/USERNAME/Desktop/somedir/somefile.txt")  

or even better

import os  f = open (os.path.expanduser("~/Desktop/somedir/somefile.txt"))  

Because on bash (the default shell on Mac Os X) ~/ represents the user's home directory.


You're working on a Mac so paths like "a/b/c.text" are fine, but if you use Windows in the future, you'll have to change all the '/' to '\'. If you want to be more portable and platform-agnostic from the beginning, you better use the os.path.join operator:

import os    desktop = os.path.join(os.path.expanduser("~"), "Desktop")  filePath = os.path.join(desktop, "somefile.txt")    f = open(filePath)  

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