On Windows, you create shortcuts. On Mac? There’s this little thing called aliases. Aliases are shortcuts that make it easier to find a file, folder, disk, or application. You can place aliases on your desktop, in the dock, or anywhere else that’s easy to find. In this tutorial, I’ll show you two easy ways to create aliases on your Mac.
Why create file or folder shortcuts?
Shortcuts (known as aliases on Mac) simply are a quick way to access files and folders without moving these files and folders. If the “aliases” name can be confusing on Mac, Windows makes this much clearer by calling them shortcuts. They just make accessing files or folders faster.
How to use aliases to create shortcuts on Mac
Step 1: right click on the object that you’d like to point the alias to
Step 2: click Make Alias
The alias will be created and placed in the same folder of the originating object. Aliases are denoted by the shortcut that resides in the bottom left-hand corner of its app icon. You can then take that alias, and place it in a convenient location of your choice. You can also rename the alias and it won’t interfere with the link to the original object.
There is a better, more efficient way to create aliases on OS X.
Hold Option (⌥)+Command (⌘) and drag the object that you wish to create an alias from to your desired location. This will kill all birds with one stone. It will create the alias, it will move it to your desired location, and it won’t leave any lingering aliases in the original location.
When you open the alias, it will open directly to the originating object. It’s a great way to make quick shortcuts to often used files buried deep inside OS X’s directory structure.
If you would like to quickly identify the original file location, right click on the alias file and click Show Original. You can also use Command (⌘)+R.
Be sure to watch the video walkthrough for a more in-depth look at the two methods described above.
Do you use aliases on your Mac? Sound off with your reasoning down below in the comment section.