I would like to send a link via email to a file that everyone has in their Dropbox. The file exists on everyone's machine in the same relative location, however everyone has a different User Name. On my machine, the file is accessible at afp://Users/scott/Dropbox/shared/example.pdf Unfortunately, afp://~/Dropbox/shared/example.pdf does not work.

I am running Lion (10.7.1), most others are as well, a few are running Snow Leopard (10.6.x)

  • Are you sure you need an AFP link of a local file? IF it was on a server, that i understand, but a local file? Also, instead of a local file, would it not be a ton easier to have just one file that everybody went to? I ask, because a link for everyone to use to go to a file on the server is easy, a link individualized for each user to go to their local repository is a different ballgame...
    – Robert
    Jan 18, 2012 at 23:59
  • Dropbox exists in everyone's home directory, and the file is there because Dropbox synced it. I understand it would be easy to embed a file path to a shared resource, but that's not what I want to do.
    – Scott
    Jan 20, 2012 at 0:44
  • Dropbox is not in my home directory it is too much clutter - mine is in ~/Library/Dropbox You can move it
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 17, 2013 at 11:12

3 Answers 3


Well simplest way would be ~/Dropbox/shared/example.pdf (~ denotes user folder) but that will not probably work right from email. You have to put it in Finder's 'Go to Folder...' dialog window which you can invoke with cmd+shift+G shortcut.

  • I am dealing with some novice users and I want this to be as simple as possible, so a clickable link in the email is the goal
    – Scott
    Oct 6, 2011 at 0:39
  • 1
    Maybe an applescript document included in the email?
    – GEdgar
    Dec 4, 2011 at 20:45
  • @GEdgar Good idea!
    – iskra
    Dec 4, 2011 at 21:11
  • 2
    Don't tell users to click on random executable attachments. It's better to educate them on where to find their files.
    – MacLemon
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:55
  • While I agree with that sentiment. I suspect an email coming from the op to these users would be recognised and trusted. Therefore not necessarily random but expected.
    – markhunte
    Feb 12, 2014 at 18:10

You could try file://~/Dropbox/shared/example.pdf or file://$HOME/Dropbox/shared/example.pdf.

  • Did not work for me.
    – Scott
    Dec 10, 2012 at 14:04

Create an applescript as a simple .app:

Open Applescript Editor, Paste in:

tell application "Finder"

-- CHANGE This setting TO the PATH 
-- (no leading slash)
-- Don't include home folder. That's done below. 
-- -- If the full path is "HardDrive/Username/Desktop/Folder1/fine.txt": 
-- -- set filepath to "Desktop/Folder1/fine.txt"

set filepath to "Desktop/filename.pdf"


set myPath to (path to home folder) as string

set filepath to POSIX path of myPath & filepath
    set command to "open " & quoted form of filepath
    do shell script command
end try 

end tell

You can then Save as..., and Select APPLICATION as the file type.

Anytime this new app is launched, it will open the folder/file specified, relative to their home directory.

  • Hi, so they have this application that you have suggested they create. All well and good but "This should do it" does not explain what it is expected to do or what they should do with it.
    – markhunte
    Feb 12, 2014 at 18:04

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