To make it easier to access files, folders, applications or even internal or external disk drives, you can create an Alias (also sometimes called a “shortcut) to the item. An Alias is a link to an actual file, folder, application or disk. It’s like having a file in more than one place at once.
The icons that represent aliases looks just like the original except that they have a small arrow in the lower-left hand corner. Clicking on an Alias opens the actual item to which it is linked. Keep in mind that an Alias is not a duplicate of a file; it is just a duplicate of the icon. Aliases can have the same name as the original object as long as they both do not reside in the same folder. You can rename an Alias to anything you want as long as it adheres to allowable Lion file naming conventions.
Aliases take up almost no disk space, regardless of the size of the original file. They also come in handy if you want to work on the same file from several different folders. Many people like to create an Alias to their documents folder on either the Desktop or on the Dock for quick access.
Speaking of the Dock, all of the icons on the Dock are actually Aliases (although they do not have the small arrow). You could even place an Alias for your Home folder on the Dock. Since Aliases are links to original objects, deleting an item from the Dock (or any other Alias for that matter) does not delete the original file – only the link to that file.
To Make an Alias
- Select the item for which you want to create an Alias.
- Select File > Make Alias from the Finder menu
Use the keystroke combination ⌘ + L
Right-Click the item and select Make Alias from the menu
Press and hold down the ⌘ + ⌥ (Command + Option or Alt) keys and then drag the item to the location where you want to place an alias of the object. This can be in the same folder or in a different folder.
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