How to create a shortcut or alias

If you’re always searching high and low for files on your computer, then this little trick will be a godsend for you. Creating shortcuts, or aliases, means you can find computer files in no time at all. You can create a folder on your desktop called ‘shortcuts’ and fill it with aliases, or just fill your desktop with shortcuts so you’ll never have to drill through menus again. And the best part? It’s simple to do. Here’s how…

On a Mac

Firstly, find the file to which you’d like to create a shortcut (or alias). Don’t worry, you’ll only have to do this once. Now that you have located your file, there are two ways you can go about creating a shortcut.

1. Right-click on your file icon, then go to ‘Make Alias’. Another icon will appear right next to (or under) your file called ‘(file name) alias’. Now drag that file to your desktop or any other folder.

2. Click on your file and hold ‘Option+Command’ and drag the icon to your desktop or another folder. You now have an alias of your file.

You can create as many aliases as you want, and they won’t take up extra room on your hard drive. It’s probably worth pointing out here that you are not copying your file, you are simply creating a little icon that you can click so you go to where the original file is on your computer.

On a PC

It’s easy to create shortcuts on a PC too. Simply find the file to which you want to create a shortcut, then right-click and select ‘Create Shortcut’. A file will appear in the same window as your chosen file. Just drag it to wherever you like.

You can create shortcuts to programs, folders, videos and photos, in fact, you can do it to any file you like. And when you’re done with it, simply delete it. But be careful that you’re not deleting the original.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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