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Creating Aliases

Now that you know about folders, files and Applications, let's take a look at aliases that can help you manage them. Aliases are shortcuts or points that represent a folder, file, or application. They let you have access to anything you need from anywhere you need it—without making redundant copies or moving the original from its current location.

If you move the alias of a file to the trash, the original is not deleted, just the alias. If you really want to delete the original, too, you need to drag both icons to the trash. If you trash the original and not the alias, the latter becomes nonfunctional, although the Finder will usually give you the chance to pick another file for it to point to when it's double-clicked.


Figure 3.11 shows an alias icon. The little arrow at the lower left indicates that this is not the actual folder or file, but a pointer to it (hence the arrow). Double-click this alias icon for a folder, and you'll see the contents of the original folder.

Figure 3.11. Not live, but Memorex, or rather an alias or pointer to the original icon.


To create an alias for an original file, folder, or application, press Command-L when you select an icon. You can also click the File menu and choose the Make Alias command, or hold down Command-Option while dragging a folder, to accomplish the same thing.

A fast way to know if an icon is an alias is the icon itself. If it's an alias, it'll always have a little upward-pointing arrow at the lower left. Another way to see whether it's an alias is to select the icon and choose Get Info from the Finder's File menu. Under Kind, it'll say it's an Alias.


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