Question About Dropbox Folder Location

Some of my projects share the same images. To deal with this, I have a single folder for all images called Documents/BookImages/


I’ve found no way to refer to this folder via indirection, so the images are referred to directly (Insert/Image Linked to a File or File/Import/Research Files as Aliases).

If I were to move that folder to a DropBox folder, the links would be broken for all my previous projects.

Is there any way to tell DropBox to sync that folder (Documents/BookImages)? Can you think of another solution to this problem?


I guess creating a SymLink is the answer. Yes?

I followed the instructions here: … e-dropbox/

(Scroll to Sync any folder between two Macs).

So far, so good.

Is this doing something different than creating an alias using the Finder?

I’m new to this, but it looks like an alias might not work because “Aliases are created and managed at the Finder level, which means that if you’re using Terminal or a non-Mac application, such as many UNIX apps and utilities, an alias won’t work.”

Here’s the article that comes from: … ac-2260189

I’d say the critical thing to know is this (from the same article):

“Symbolic links are similar to aliases in that they are small files that contain the path name to the original object. However, unlike aliases, symbolic links don’t contain the inode name of the object. If you move the object to a different location, the symbolic link is broken, and the system can’t find the object.”

Yes, that’s exactly the problem. Tools that are loading data through the Finder infrastructure will target it as a file, not as a proxy for whatever it points to. Symbolic links will work as a pure proxy at nearly every level you need them to. So if you replace a folder with an alias that uses the same exact name in the same location, when next you load the project all of the image links will break, because the system does not reroute a request for “/path/something.jpg” to “/redirected/path/something.jpg”.

I’ve used the sym link method with Dropbox in the past. The only important trick is to make sure the data is in the Dropbox folder, not the link. The links should be pointing to the data, from wherever else on the file system they would be expected to be. If you do things the other way around, Dropbox overwrites the sym link with the data (at least it used to do that—it’s been years since I switched from Dropbox to a system that lets me sync whatever I want, from wherever it is).

That aside: to answer your initial question as a tangent: if links break and you need to repair them all, that’s not nearly as awful a condition as it used to be. Path repair will be attempted automatically by searching the local area around the project—and if that fails the image link paths are printed into the editor as plain-text, which can be batch fixed with Project Replace and a quick reload of the project.

So if you main reason in using a symbolic link here is to avoid a repairing broken links, that may be less of an issue than you were anticipating.