ARCHIVED: In Mac OS X, what is an alias and how does it work?
In Mac OS X, an alias is a pointer file that allows you to quickly open the files, folders, servers, or applications used most often. When you double-click an alias, the operating system finds the file it references and opens it. An alias can be distinguished by its icon, which has an arrow in the bottom left corner. Normally, an alias will remain functional until the original item is deleted, even if the original has been moved or renamed.
Creating an alias
You have several options for creating an alias:
- Drag and drop: Click the item you wish to
alias and hold down the mouse button. Then, while holding down the
Optionkeys, drag the item to where you want the alias to appear. Instead of moving the original item, this will create an alias at the new location.
- Contextual menus: Hold down the
Ctrlkey and click the item you wish to alias. From the contextual menu, select . The new alias will appear next to the original.
- Keystroke: Select the item you wish to alias, and
Command-l(the lowercase L). The new alias will appear next to its original.
- File menu: Select the item, and then from the menu, select . A new alias icon will appear next to the original.
Once you've created an alias, you can move it to a more convenient location, and then rename it or give it a new icon as you wish.
This is document achy in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2012-12-05.
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