In Macintosh operating system 7 and later versions, an alias is a small file that represents another object in a local, remote or removable file system and provide dynamic link to it, although the target object may be moved or renamed, the alias will still link to it. Similarly, in Windows the same function is carried out with a ‘shortcut’, a file with .lnk extension. An alias acts as a stand in for any object in the file system, including documents, an application, a folder, a hard disk, a printer and a network. Moreover, when the alias file will be double clicked the system will act the same way as if the original file have been double clicked. However, the main purpose of an alias is to guide the novice users to manage large number of files by supplying alternate ways to access them without copying the files themselves. The alias file in Mac OS starts by the magic number that is in ASCII.

How to Prevent Alias Failure?

Alias is a dynamic reference to an object, the original file can be moved to another place within the same file system, without breaking the link. Gradually, the operating system stores huge information about the original in the resource fork of the alias file. For an instance, an application can be moved to from one directory to another within the same file system, but an existing alias will still launch the same application when double clicked.

Are You Thinking How To Manage The Alias?

In the previous versions of Mac OS, the only way to create an alias was to choose the original and select “Make Alias” from the “File” menu. As a result, an alias with the same name and “alias” appended is created in the same folder. Further, in recent versions it becomes possible to create aliases by simple drag and drop operation, while holding down the command and option modifier keys. Additionally, Mac OS 8.5 added a feature for reconnecting aliases that had been broken for one or other reason. This could be done by choosing a new target through standard Open file dialog. In addition, command-option-defragging option was added in the Finder to create an alias at that location. This is where the alias cursor was added to the system.

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