Urgent! How to link hyperlinks to files on CD Drive??


I really hope someone can help me with this. I am creating a document at work for training material. This main document is basically an index which hyperlinks to around 250 other word documents.

My problem is, I need to copy the files onto 20 CDs for 20 people with different system settings. Specifically, the hyperlinks point to the other documents located on the CD assigned to D:\.

So, if someone opens the document on their PC and their CD Rom isn't assigned to D:\, the links won't work.

I have considered writing a batch file to copy the directories to their hard disk, however, this is an absolute final alternative and not without it's own problems.

Is there any way to edit the hyperlinks in the index document to point to the CD Rom drive regardless of the drive letter?

If not, any suggestions on how to alternatively link to these files would be greatly appreciated.


Who is Participating?

Hope my idea isn't too late for you.  I'm guessing your scenario is something like the following: You have 250 word documents you want to save in one or more subfolders on a CD and access them with a single index.doc file on the CD.  However, you want to make the links to be relative (ie. relative location based on index file) rather than absolute (D:\my folder\subfolder\file1.doc).  If that is not a correct description, please correct me where I'm wrong.

You can do it as follows:
1) Set up your files in various subfolders, based on how you want to burn them to the CD
2) Create a hyperlink (accessible in Office 2003 by right-clicking in the document, and clicking Hyperlink, through Insert -> Hyperlink, or by Ctrl-K)
3) When entering Address, you can do any of the following to make the address relative to the file's current location:
  i) Link to a file in a sub folder.            Type:   subfolder_name/file_1.doc
  ii) Link to a file in the same directory.  Type:  another_file.doc
  iii) Link to a file in a parent folder        Type:  ../file_2.doc
  iv) Link to the root directory of the drive where the file is located
                                                          Type: \file_3.doc
  iv) More indepth example (kind of like a web page now)

  () index.doc is in the root directory of the CD, file_1.doc is in a sub1 directory off the root and file_2.doc is in a sub2
     directory off the root

  * index.doc contains a link to file_1.doc (link's address will be sub1/file_1.doc)
  * file_1.doc contains a link to index.doc (link's address will be ../index.doc) and to file_2.doc (link's address will
be ../sub2/file_2.doc)
  * file_2.doc contains a link to index.doc (link's address will be ../index.doc) and to file_1.doc (link's address will
be ../sub1/file_1.doc)
4) For Text to Display, enter whatever you want to describe the link.

Hope this helps.

P.S.  Any questions, please ask!
Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerCommented:
I hate to say this.
But that's why soooo much training material is done in HTML.
Save them all as HTML....

There are also help file compilers.

And see what MS says about it.

As much as I wish it were so, I don't think Dan's suggestion will help.

The only other thing I can think of is if you provide an install to their hard drive. I mean...unless you have badly formatted docs, 250 is not that many... AND you can control the install location to jive with your directory structure.

DISCLAIMER: I've never used any of the products to which I've linked. I've never written a disclaimer before. LOL. BUT, I have checked into creating this kind of layout and learned that I would want to use the HTML layout. And I only know about the installer 'cause a friend of mine does that kind of thing for me very easy. The actual install-file maker I sent you to? I don't know if it's a good one or not...just trying to give you some directions to take.
jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Hi Dan,

That seems exactly what I'm after!

So... If you don't specify the drive letter and just the sub-folder and file name, it will still link to the appropriate file?

One thing though... In your first example, should that be a forward slash or back slash?

I really appreciate your quick response. I'm off work for the weekend now but I'll have a look first thing on Monday.


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jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Hi Dreamboat,

Thanks for your advice, but unfortunately, I don't know how to write in html code. I know I could easily save the documents as html files, but I'd still have the same problem trying to link to the files on CD with different drive letters....

As I said, my last option would be to install the files onto the trainees hard disks as I am not responsible for their PCs.

I'll try Dan's suggestion as my first priority. However, it will have to wait until monday.


Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerCommented:
This is terrific.
I look like a stooge.

Dan is right!
I thought he was, and then something made me think it wasn't right.
Then I wrote all that junk up there.
Then you posted, Jeff.
So I tested it just to be sure.
Should've tested before I opened my big mouth.

Dan: My most humble apologies, sir!

Yes, you don't need the specific drive letter with my method, and it is often referred to as "relative addressing" and is used in many HTML documents.  I did check the one case where I had a back slash for the root directory of the file, and it works with both back and forward slash.  Maybe to be consistent, you can refer to the root (/subdir/file_name.doc) and any subdirectories (like subdir/file_name.doc) using forward slash all the time.

One issue to keep in mind: I have noticed that the links don't work and cannot be tested until you first save the file.  So, you can create the links when it is still Document1, but you must save it if you want to test to make sure they work.  

BTW, I have learned a bit through this experience, simply by playing around and testing some HTML concepts in MS Word.  A conclusion I have drawn is that if you are giving the CDs to someone who owns MS Word, this is the best way to go.  Once they open the document, you can provide links to anything (TXT, MPG, DOC files) which can be opened using their default application.  Furthermore, you don't have to deal with the Open/Save As options that you have in IE or other browsers, since the links open the file right away when the click on them.

Dreamboat, it is no problem at all.  While you are #1 in MS Word (congrats BTW), you may make a mistake once in awhile.  While I'm new here, I'm definitely not new to MS Word.  I'd love to be of service here and would be interested in a Microsoft MVP in the long run.  It'll be some give and take - giving here on the Office end and asking questions about .NET - which is what I love about Experts Exchange.

One parting note - I think if you have consumers with MS Word (which is almost universal), I think creating a documention CD in MS Word is a very interesting idea.  It is easier to create a professional document in MS Word than in HTML (I speak as an HTML programmer).  You can also include nice tables, formatting, and pictures, as well as links to video/sounds, and not have to worry about browser portability (because the Word family is much more tightknit than the mishmash of browsers).  Users can modify the documentation notes and save it locally to their hard drives with the saved changes.  Printing is much, much better than in a browser (and browsers often don't render or print the pages the same way).  You have definitely got me thinking...

Yours truly,

Dan Lipsy
Student Ambassador to Microsoft

P.S.  I can check out autorun capabilities (opening the index.doc file when you insert the CD), and get back to you on that if you wish.

jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Thanks Dan,

I'm sure your advice will prove most helpful. I'd be greatful if you could tell me how to auto-run the word doc also. I'd assume it would work via an autorun.inf file... but I'm not sure what the contents of the file should be...

Thanks for your help,

Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerCommented:
Dan will probably have a better answer again, but until he shows, try this:

1) First, download the following program:
2) Unzip only the AutoRun.exe file into the place where your index.doc file is.  You can use Winzip (www.winzip.com) or other file compression tools.
3) Go into notepad - Start -> Run -> notepad
4) Type the following:
open=autorun.exe \index.doc
5) If you want an icon, put it (ICO or BMP file) in the same directory as your index.doc file and add the following line:
6) Save the file as autorun.inf and put it in the same directory as the index.doc file.
7) Follow my other instructions and link the files together as needed.

Hope this helps,

jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Hi Dan,

Relative hyperlinking worked like a charm, as did the autorun settings. Thanks heaps for your help! I am awarding the points to you and I greatly appreciate your assistance.

Keep up the good work,


I'm glad to be of assistance.

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