Everything is pixelated with Steve Paris

Mac, iPhone & iPad news, tips & tricks

The column that focuses on providing help, top advice and news about your Apple devices, namely Macs, iPhones and iPads. Please send any questions to Steve via the contact details at the end of this article.

Q: What are aliases in MacOS X and what’s the point of them?

A: Broadly speaking, an Alias in Mac OS X is the same as Shortcuts in Windows, in that they allow to create a link to an app, file or folder, so you can get to the same file from different locations. It’s useful for instance if you work on a file and would like to see it on your Desktop while keeping it in the filing system you’ve designed for yourself.

steve-picThere are three ways to create one: click on the icon you wish to create an Alias for, then go to the Menu Bar, click on File > Make Alias. Alternatively, with the icon selected, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command-L (the Command key is the one left of the spacebar). Both of these options create a new file beneath your selected one called “[Filename] Alias”. You can then drag it to your desired location, rename it and you’re done.

The third way involves a keyboard combination: hold down the Alt and Command keys then drag your file to a new location. This will create an Alias at that new location for you.

The best advantage of Mac Aliases over Windows Shortcuts? You can rename the original file and even move it to a new location, and the link to the Alias is preserved… something which can’t be said for Windows!

STEVE PARIS is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at steve@maclore.net or contact him on 077-8866-0407.


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