Creates an absolute, platform-appropriate path that is equivalent to the value of relative_path, appended to the base path. This function (despite its name) can accept an absolute or relative path in the relative_path parameter

The base path is the currently executing page’s directory path. It is stored in pageContext.getServletContext().


A string. If the relative path contains a trailing forward slash or backward slash, the return value contains the same trailing character.

Function syntax



ColdFusion MX: Changed behavior for the relative_path parameter: this function can now accept an absolute or relative path in the relative_path parameter. To resolve a path, this function uses virtual mappings that are defined in the ColdFusion Administrator. This function does not reliably use virtual mappings that are defined in IIS, Apache, or other web servers.





Relative or absolute directory reference or filename, within the current directory, (.\ and ..\) to convert to an absolute path. Can include forward or backward slashes.


If the parameter or the returned path is invalid, the function throws an error. You cannot use this function with in-memory files.

These examples show the valid constructions of relative_path:

  • ExpandPath( "*.*")

  • ExpandPath( "/")

  • ExpandPath( "\")

  • ExpandPath( "/mycfpage.cfm")

  • ExpandPath( "mycfpage.cfm")

  • ExpandPath( "myDir/mycfpage.cfm")

  • ExpandPath( "/myDir/mycfpage.cfm")

  • ExpandPath( "../../mycfpage.cfm")


<h3>ExpandPath Example</h3> 
<cfset thisPath=ExpandPath("*.*")> 
<cfset thisDirectory=GetDirectoryFromPath(thisPath)> 
The current directory is: #GetDirectoryFromPath(thisPath)# 
<cfif IsDefined("form.yourFile") AND form.yourFile is not ""> 
    <cfset yourFile = form.yourFile> 
       <cfif FileExists(ExpandPath(yourfile))> 
         <p>Your file exists in this directory. You entered 
         the correct filename, #GetFileFromPath("#thisPath#/#yourfile#")# 
         <p>Your file was not found in this directory: 
         <br>Here is a list of the other files in this directory: 
         <!--- use cfdirectory to give the contents of the 
         snippets directory, order by name and size ---> 
         <cfdirectory directory="#thisDirectory#" 
         sort="name ASC, size DESC"> 
         <!--- Output the contents of the cfdirectory as a cftable --->     
         <cftable query="myDirectory"> 
         <cfcol header="NAME:" 
         <cfcol header="SIZE:" 
<form action="expandpath.cfm" method="post"> 
<h3>Enter the name of a file in this directory <i> 
       <font size="-1">(try expandpath.cfm)</font></i></h3> 
<input type="text" name="yourFile"> 
<input type="submit" name="">