How do I enter file paths into a link? (Both local and UNC Names)

The "correct" link format is file:/// followed by the path to the file, using forward slashes throughout:


Windows shares can be referenced in a link, with some restrictions / considerations:

  • Write the link using file:/// (3 forward slashes), followed by the UNC name \\server\path\filename
    • Technically the forward slash should be used throughout the link, but the backslash works on windows platforms
    • Some browsers appear to auto-convert a single slash file:/some/file to the required 3-slashes file:///some/file. It's probably safer to use the 3 slash format.
  • Under some conditions, embedded spaces must be encoded as %20
    • Simple square bracket links without link text must have embedded spaces encoded
      • [[file:///\\path\file with spaces][link text]] does not need to be encoded because it has the explicit link text.
      • [[file:///\\path\file%20with%20spaces]] must be encoded as shown here.
    • Explicit HTML tags must have embedded spaces encoded.
      • <a href="file:///\\server\My%20Documents\SomeFile>Link to file</a>

  • WysiwygPlugin Version 1.13 properly preserves the %20 encoded spaces and will also encode spaces when saving the topic. Earlier versions of WysiwygPlugin might cause issues.

  • It's the client that reads the file, not the server. so the client must be part of the Windows domain and have access to the file.

  • Local Links are a significant security exposure and are blocked by recent browsers. Enable at your own risk.
    • Internet Explorer 8 & 9 (and possibly IE7) will only allow clickable links that are from sites in the Intranet or Trusted zone.
    • Firefox blocks these links by default. See this mozillaZine article for details on why they are blocked and how to enable local links.
    • The NoScript Firefox add-on can permit local links on trusted sites.
    • Chrome and Firefox also have a "LocalLinks" plugin that can enable linking to local files.

Support.FAQForm edit

TopicClassification FrequentlyAskedQuestion
Subject Browser, Editing, Security, Usage
Topic Summary Information on how to enter and use file system paths in html links.
Interested Parties
Related Topics
Topic revision: r4 - 15 Dec 2021, MichaelDaum
The copyright of the content on this website is held by the contributing authors, except where stated elsewhere. See Copyright Statement. Creative Commons License    Legal Imprint    Privacy Policy