By Bob LeVitus An alias is a tiny file that automatically opens the file that it represents. You can put aliases in convenient places, such as on the Desktop, to help you easily open programs and files that you access often. An alias is different from a duplicated file. For example, the Microsoft Word application uses A duplicate of Microsoft Word would give you two files, each requiring nearly 20 megabytes of space on your hard drive. An alias of Microsoft Word , on the other hand, uses a mere 52 kilobytes KB.
Aliases can open any file or folder on any disk from anywhere else on any disk — which is a very good trick. But aliases are great for many other reasons: Aliases enable you to make items appear to be in more than one place, which on many occasions is exactly what you want to do.
For example, keeping an alias of your word processor on your Desktop and another on the Dock is convenient. You may even want a third alias of it in your Documents folder for quick access. Aliases enable you to open your word processor quickly and easily without navigating into the depths of your Applications folder each time that you need it. Flexibility and organization: You can create aliases and store them anywhere on your hard disk to represent the same document in several different folders.
This is a great help when you need to file a document that can logically be stored in any one of several files.
For example: If you write a memo to Fred Smith about the Smythe Marketing Campaign to be executed in the fourth quarter, which folder does the document go in? Correct answer: With aliases, it can go in all of them if you like. Then you can find the memo wherever you look, instead of guessing which folder you filed it in. You can put the actual file in any folder and then create aliases of the file, placing them in any other applicable folder.
Some programs must remain in the same folder as their supporting files and folders. An alias lets you access a program like that from anywhere on your hard disk.
Creating aliases When you create an alias, its icon looks the same as the icon that it represents, but the suffix alias is tacked onto its name and a tiny arrow called a badge appears in the lower-left corner of its icon. Figure 1 shows both an alias and its parent icon that is, the icon that opens if you open the alias. Figure 1: An alias icon right and its parent. To create an alias for an icon, do one of the following: Click any file or folder, press and hold down the Command and Option keys, and then drag the file or folder while continuing to hold down the Command and Option keys.
An alias appears where you release the mouse button. Click an icon while holding down the Control key and then choose the Make Alias command from the contextual menu that appears.
The alias appears in the same folder as its parent. Deleting aliases Deleting an alias is an easy chore. To delete an alias, simply drag it onto the Trash icon on the Dock. Deleting an alias does not delete the parent item. If you want to delete the parent item, you have to go hunt it down and kill it yourself. What do you do? Control-click the alias icon and choose Show Original from the contextual menu. Share Your Dummies Story.
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