There are some files, folders, apps and disks that you might want to access regularly but that are quite fiddly to get to. That's where an alias can come in handy, allowing you to create a shortcut directly from your desktop straight to that hard to reach item. Here, we show you how to create shortcuts using aliases in OS X on your Mac.

How to create an alias: Make a shortcut to a file, folder, app or disk on a Mac

If you've got an item that you want to create a shortcut to, you can do so by selecting that item and then clicking File in the bar along the top of your Mac's screen or right clicking on the item. In the menu you now see, choose Make Alias.

You can tell when an item is an alias rather than the original because it'll have a small black arrow in the bottom left corner.

You can move the alias anywhere you like by simply clicking and dragging.

An even easier way to create an alias and move it to your more convenient location is to hold alt (option) and command while clicking and dragging an item. Drop it onto your desktop (or other convenient location) and you've got yourself an alias in the place you need it to be in one swift step.

You can find the original item for an alias by selecting the alias and choosing File > Show Original.

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 How to add an alias/shortcut to the Dock

The Dock is a good place to house your most important aliases. You can add one by clicking and dragging a file, app or folder (it doesn't need to be an alias already) straight into the right hand side of the Dock near the Trash.

To delete an alias from the Dock you can click and drag it out of the Dock until you see a puff of smoke. This won't delete or modify the original item but will remove the alias.

If you want to add an app's icon to your Dock to make opening the app easier, read: How to add apps to the Dock on Mac.

How to add an alias/shortcut to the Finder sidebar

Adding an alias to the Finder sidebar can also come in handy. All you need to do is drag the item into the Favourites section of the Finder's sidebar. As with adding an alias to the Dock, you don't need to turn the file, app or folder into an alias before you drag it – the process of dragging and dropping it into the sidebar is essentially creating an alias in itself, as the shortcut will not move the item from its original location.

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