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Aliases

An alias (Figure 61) is a pointer to an item. You can make an alias of an item and place it anywhere on your computer. Then, when you need to open the item, just open its alias.

Figure 61. The icon for an alias looks like the original item’s icon but includes a tiny arrow.


Tips

  • It’s important to remember that an alias is not a copy of the item—it’s a pointer. If you delete the original item, the alias will not open.

  • You can use the Select New Original dialog (Figure 99) to reassign an original to an alias, as explained later in this chapter.

  • By putting aliases of frequently used items together where you can quickly access them—such as on the desktop—you make the items more accessible without actually moving them.

  • The Favorites and Recent Items features work with aliases. These features are discussed a little later in this chapter.

  • You can name an alias anything you like, as long as you follow the file naming guidelines discussed in Chapter 3. An alias’s name does not need to include the word alias.

  • The icon for an alias looks very much like the icon for the original item but includes a tiny arrow in the bottom-left corner (Figure 61).

  • You can move, copy, rename, open, and delete an alias just like any other file.


To create an alias

1.
Select the item you want to make an alias for (Figure 62).

Figure 62. To create an alias, begin by selecting the item for which you want to make an alias.


2.
Choose File > Make Alias (Figure 63), or press .

The alias appears right beneath the original item (Figure 64).

or

Hold down and drag the item for which you want to make an alias to a new location. The alias appears in the destination location.

Tip

  • An alias’s name is selected right after it is created (Figure 64). If desired, you can immediately type a new name to replace the default name.


To find an alias’s original file

1.
Select the alias’s icon (Figure 65).

2.
Choose File > Show Original (Figure 66), or press .

If the folder in which the original resides is already open, its window becomes active with the original item selected.

or

If the folder in which the original resides is not open, Mac OS X opens a column view window with the original item selected (Figure 67).

Figure 63. Choose Make Alias from the File menu.


Figure 64. The alias appears with the original.


Figure 65. Select the alias’s icon.


Figure 66. Choose Show Original from the File menu.


Figure 67. The original item appears selected in its window.


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