Max can find files for you without requiring that you type the entire path name. For example, if you type "mypatch" into an object box, Max will look for a file with the name mypatch. The file could have a extension after the word mypatch, as long as the extension is one appropriate for the type of file required by the search. For an object box, appropriate extensions include .maxpat (Max 5 format patcher file), .mxb (old binary format patcher file), .mxo or .mxe (external object), and .pat (old format patcher file).
Max has a collection of folders where it searches for files, called the search path. The search path lets you reference a file only by its name, without worrying about where the file resides. It works as follows:
First, the folder that contains the most recently loaded patcher file (including a
patch that is in the process of being loaded) is searched.
Next, Max checks the Cycling '74 folder. The Cycling '74 folder contains subfolders with objects and other files used by the application. You can add your own folders to the Cycling '74 folder and they will be included in the search path. The Cycling '74 folder must be located inside the same folder as your Max application. If the Cycling '74 folder is moved, Max will not start up properly.
Next, Max checks the two pre-defined folders in the "user" search path, called patches and examples. All subfolders of these two folders are checked as well.
Finally, Max checks any folders you may have added to the search path using the File Preferences window.
Choose File Preferences... from the Options menu to show
the File Preferences window. Click the List Paths button in the toolbar. A
new text window will open, listing all the folders in your current search path.
You can use the Max File Preferences window to add additional
places to look, or to change current locations