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Aliases are very handy. You can use them in many ways to organize your hard drive and make a single item available in many places without having duplicate copies scattered around.

An Alias is a small file which points to another item. The other item can be anything, an Application, folder, file, Control Panel even a disk. It can even be on removable media, although it must be available to open (mounted).

An Alias will have the same icon as the original, but the name is in italics and there is a small arrow at the bottom left corner.

There are 3 ways to make an alias. You select the item and then...

  1. Choose Make Alias from the File Menu
  2. Use the Keyboard Shortcut cmd+M
  3. Drag on the icon while holding the opt+cmd keys
  • Once you have created an alias and moved it to a different folder from the original you can rename it and delete the alias suffix if you want.
  • If you delete an alias the original is NOT deleted too.
  • You can make as many aliases of an item as you please
  • You can find the original by selecting the alias and choosing Show Original from the File Menu, using the keyboard shortcut cmd+R or opening the Get Info box (in the File Menu or cmd+I).

If you move the original item the alias will be able to follow the change as long as it is on the same drive. There are times when an alias will not be able to find the original (for instance if you update a program) but will open this dialog box. Click on "Fix Alias" and choose a new original or "Delete Alias" if you know the original is no longer.




Change File Names

You can change the name of folders and files you create but it is not a good idea to change the name of programs or files associated with them. Many programs look for files with a certain name and if you change them the results can be unpredictable.

If you click on an icon, you select the item. If you click on the name, it will become highlighted and a frame will appear around it and you can edit the name. If you double click on either you will open the item. When you single click on the name there is a delay before it becomes highlighted because your Mac is waiting to be sure you are not really double clicking.




Here I have created an alias. Notice the blue color and frame around it, this indicates that the filename is ready to be changed. In this example I will have to move the alias to another folder before I rename it "Tex-Edit Plus" because you cannot have two files with the same name in a single folder, even if one is an alias.








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