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Posted 21 Feb 2002

A function to retrieve the directory of a program

, 24 Feb 2002
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A small function to retrieve the directory a program is being executed from


I've needed to get the directory a program was running several times. I've used it to determine where configuration files could be found. I've used it for determining where images should be stored/loaded. I've also had to write it from scratch several times :( . I'm submitting it here so hopefully someone else doesn't have to figure it out themselves.

I've found that using _getcwd isn't accurate whenever the user is allowed to use the file dialogs to open or save files. If they move to a different directory in the file dialogs, the current working directory is changed as well

CString GetProgramDir()
    CString RtnVal;
    char    FileName[MAX_PATH];
    GetModuleFileName(AfxGetInstanceHandle(), FileName, MAX_PATH);
    RtnVal = FileName;
    RtnVal = RtnVal.Left(RtnVal.ReverseFind('\\'));
    return RtnVal;

It's not much, but I've found it helpful and hope that someone else will as well.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Brad Bruce
Architect TRAC Intermodal
United States United States
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionRtnVal's 'lifetime' Pin
Lino Masoni10-Nov-09 23:09
memberLino Masoni10-Nov-09 23:09 
QuestionHow is this more reliable than _getcwd() Pin
drake2828-Dec-04 15:13
memberdrake2828-Dec-04 15:13 
AnswerRe: How is this more reliable than _getcwd() Pin
Brad Bruce28-Dec-04 16:05
memberBrad Bruce28-Dec-04 16:05 
GeneralRe: How is this more reliable than _getcwd() Pin
drake2829-Dec-04 14:16
memberdrake2829-Dec-04 14:16 
Generalthanks for the effort!! Pin
f24-Oct-04 15:36
memberf24-Oct-04 15:36 
GeneralWon't this do... Pin
Anonymous15-Apr-04 6:03
sussAnonymous15-Apr-04 6:03 
There's a global variable _pgmptr (and _wpgmptr) that's intialised to this value.

From dev docs:

When a program is run from the command interpreter (CMD.EXE), _pgmptr is automatically initialized to the full path of the executable file. For example, if HELLO.EXE is in C:\BIN and C:\BIN is in the path, _pgmptr is set to C:\BIN\HELLO.EXE when you execute.

Or have I missed the point?

GeneralRe: Won't this do... Pin
Brad Bruce30-Apr-04 2:36
memberBrad Bruce30-Apr-04 2:36 
GeneralThe way i've been doing it till now Pin
gopya12-May-02 7:25
membergopya12-May-02 7:25 
Generala small question about GetModuleFileName Pin
Alex200226-Feb-02 1:03
memberAlex200226-Feb-02 1:03 
GeneralRe: a small question about GetModuleFileName Pin
Anonymous26-Feb-02 22:52
memberAnonymous26-Feb-02 22:52 
GeneralRe: a small question about GetModuleFileName Pin
Nishant S15-Jul-02 16:24
subeditorNishant S15-Jul-02 16:24 
GeneralUpdates Pin
Brad Bruce25-Feb-02 14:14
memberBrad Bruce25-Feb-02 14:14 
GeneralRe: Updates Pin
Nish [BusterBoy]25-Feb-02 18:28
memberNish [BusterBoy]25-Feb-02 18:28 
GeneralRe: Updates Pin
Brad Bruce26-Feb-02 1:14
memberBrad Bruce26-Feb-02 1:14 
GeneralGreat work if... Pin
CMFC6.0User25-Feb-02 5:52
memberCMFC6.0User25-Feb-02 5:52 
GeneralRe: Great work if... Pin
Brad Bruce25-Feb-02 14:03
memberBrad Bruce25-Feb-02 14:03 
GeneralRe: Great work if... Pin
Tim Smith25-Feb-02 16:09
memberTim Smith25-Feb-02 16:09 
GeneralRe: Great work if... Pin
CMFC6.0User26-Feb-02 7:10
memberCMFC6.0User26-Feb-02 7:10 
Mat Kramer25-Feb-02 5:29
memberMat Kramer25-Feb-02 5:29 
GeneralSimpler solution Pin
Anonymous24-Feb-02 4:48
memberAnonymous24-Feb-02 4:48 
GeneralRe: Simpler solution Pin
Tim Smith25-Feb-02 16:11
memberTim Smith25-Feb-02 16:11 
GeneralRe: Simpler solution Pin
Mike Klimentiev26-Feb-02 9:11
memberMike Klimentiev26-Feb-02 9:11 
GeneralRe: Simpler solution Pin
Tim Smith26-Feb-02 9:23
memberTim Smith26-Feb-02 9:23 
GeneralThanks for the article... Pin
Matt Gullett22-Feb-02 8:16
memberMatt Gullett22-Feb-02 8:16 
GeneralTwo alternative implementations Pin
Carl Berg22-Feb-02 6:01
memberCarl Berg22-Feb-02 6:01 

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