Mac OS X to Create an Alias Without the Word "Alias"

When you are working with an item on your Mac, such as a file, folder or mounted drive, you can create an alias to it that does not contain the word “alias.” All new Macs running the OS X operating system have a native ability to create aliases, or shortcuts. When you use the menu command to make an alias, the alias is automatically named the same as the original item, with the word “alias” appended. However, you can also make an alias without the word “alias.”

Alias From Menu

  1. The default method for making an alias on a Mac is to click the item in the Finder to select it, then click “File,” and then click “Make Alias.” Alternatively, you can select an item and then use the keyboard shortcut “Command-L” to make an alias. You can also right-click an item, and then click “Make Alias” from the pop-up menu. These three methods make an alias in the same location as the original item and append the word “alias” to the alias to keep it distinct from the original item.

Drag Method

  1. If you want to make an alias of an item on your Mac without the alias having the word “alias” appended to it, you can use the drag method. This technique requires you to create your alias in a different folder than the original item. Click the item you want to make an alias of, and then press the “Command” and “Option” keys simultaneously on the Mac’s keyboard while dragging the item to another location. An alias of the item appears in the location you designated, with the same exact name as the original. If you use the drag method to make an alias in the same folder as the original item, the word “alias” will still be appended to the name of the alias.

Using Aliases

  1. Creating aliases is a useful technique for working with your items on a Mac running OS X. For example, you could create an alias for a folder or an application that you frequently use, and place it on the Mac’s desktop. Double-clicking the alias activates the item, such as opening a folder or launching an application. When you double-click an alias of a file, it opens as if you clicked the file itself. Right-clicking an alias enables you to select “Show Original” from the pop-up menu to view the original item. An alias has a small arrow in its icon to help you distinguish it from the original item.


  1. An alias saves you time by enabling you to keep handy shortcuts to items in one place instead of having to find them in their various folders on your Mac’s hard drive. This helps you to organize items, such as spreadsheets, word processing documents and image files in different categories of folders over the years, and then make aliases for the most recent items in each category inside a single “Current Work” folder.