Use pdfroot

The pdfroot variable allows you to store the paths to PDF or Postscript offprints of your references in a more efficient and more flexible way than a full path.

The L1 field of a reference can hold the path to an electronic version of the document. This path will be converted into a link in the HTML output, and the neat plan is to open the document the link points to with a simple mouseclick. If you just store the full path of this document, something like file:///home/markus/literature/5503.pdf, you may run into problems fairly soon: If you have to reorganize the folder structure in your directory tree, all paths in the database would be incorrect. If you access the database from a different computer as the one that physically stores your offprints, you will be out of luck with these paths as well.

The idea is to store the invariable part of the path in the reference entry and any variable part of the path in the pdfroot variable. The pdfroot variable can be set either in your configuration file or with a command line option. Consider e.g. the following situation: You decide for some obscure reason to store the offprints in subdirectories according to the publication year. The full paths will thus be something like /home/markus/literature/1999/2345.pdf and /home/markus/literature/2001/ The partial paths in the L1 field of the reference entry could then be set to file://1999/2345.pdf and file://2001/, whereas the correct value for the pdfroot would be /home/markus/literature/. Simple concatenation by RefDB will then result in the proper full path.

If you now decide to rearrange your hard drive, all you need to do is to set pdfroot properly, as long as you don't change the directory structure below /literature (if you do that, you shoot yourself in the foot anyway).

If you want to access your offprints from a different computer, you have several options: