How to create shortcuts so that you can find files easier

Creating shortcuts or aliases means you can find computer files in no time at all.

Coloured computer file folders in a line concept

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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    Old Duck
    12th Jul 2016
    Why would any sane person do this?
    Shortcuts all over the desktop (ie your compuiter screen) is the equivalent of just throwing your mail onto your desk or dining table and then having to search through all the junk to find your latest electricity bill when it is due to be paid.
    Once your sceen is full of "shortcuts", you will spend hours clickin on them to open and close the files to find the one you want.
    If you want to control your computer, learn to use the file manager and create folders to organise everthing, just as you would in a filing cabinet.
    And always save the file into the correct folder, never let the computer just save it for you, in some random location.
    12th Jul 2016
    The article mentioned a shortcuts folder on the desktop, not having all the shortcuts on your desktop. You can name the shortcuts in a way that makes them easy to search.

    Having said that, I agree with your point that it's best to have a filing system where the files are easy to locate. I find likening it to a real filing cabinet helps.

    However, there are times when I find shortcuts really helpful. For instance, I receive papers for a meeting that may be filed in folders by their subject matter or the sender. I create shortcuts for them in a "meeting" file, so that I don't have to keep switching folders when I am preparing for the meeting. There may be domestic equivalents to this, though I can't think of a good example right now.

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