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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2011
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    Question desk top icons for links anything else
    The switch is a disorienting. How does one assign an icon to a desktop "shortcut" Is there is no such thing in the Mac world?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    In Mac OS X "shortcuts" are known as aliases. If you want to place a shortcut for an application on your desktop do this:

    Open your applications folder, choose an application, right click on it, select "make alias". Drag the alias to your desktop. It will appear with the same icon but with an arrow to indicate it's an alias. (or shortcut)

    You might find this small handy utility is what you need to change the shortcut icon. LINK

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2011
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    Awesome! Thank You!

  4. #4

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    You can also modify the name of the alias without "breaking" its link to the original icon. (Yeah, I know that the terminology there isn't perfect.)

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Thanks one mo' agin!

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Of course this is what the Dock is for. I'm not saying you CAN'T plaster icons all over the desktop if you want to, just that you don't HAVE to do that.

    For example, if you put the Applications folder into the right side of the Dock (which automatically creates an alias, the actual folder doesn't go anywhere) and right-click to change the icon back to a folder (it wants to do a "Stack" by default), voila, you now have one-click access to EVERY application you own!.

    The left side of the Dock is completely customizable too (except for the Finder icon, that doesn't move and always stays on). Top your top dozen or so must-used apps there, remove the ones Apple put there if you like, make it your own.

  7. #7

    PatM's Avatar
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    Late 2013 MBP 15" I7 2.3 Ghz 16 GB Ram 500 GB SSD Retina
    Plus dosen't loading up your desktop with icons, shortcuts and other stuff actually slow your Mac down? I keep my desktop completely clean because of some of the things I have read on the Forum.

    RU all telling me I can litter the landscape with all kind of things?
    15 " 2013 MBP OS X Ver. 10.9.1 16 GB Memory, 500 GB SSD, Retina, 2.3 Ghz I7, 30GB IPhone 5, 2012 Mini Cooper JCW Coupe, 2014 Toyota Corolla, 2007 Trailblazer, 2 RC Planes, 1 fantastic wife who puts up with my toys. Still Married After 30 Years.

  8. #8

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    I have about a dozen aliases on my Desktop. It has never caused a probl

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    ALIASES are fine and dandy. Litter the desktop with them if you want to.

    ACTUAL files and folders on the desktop do in fact slow down the machine. Everything on the desktop (including files *inside* folders) is constantly refreshed, as opposed to say a folder filed in the Home folder. The only time its contents get refreshed is when it's opened.

  10. #10

    MontyMo's Avatar
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    Feb 01, 2011
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    Is it possible to make an alias placed on my dock to start the "Startup Disk" in the System Preferences?
    Thanks

    ?
    15" MacBook Pro

  11. #11

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    No, I think whenever you start System Preferences, it's going to default to the "Control Panel" window, showing all the choices.

  12. #12

    MontyMo's Avatar
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    Feb 01, 2011
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    Thanks toMACsh, thats what I thought
    15" MacBook Pro

  13. #13

    PatM's Avatar
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    Late 2013 MBP 15" I7 2.3 Ghz 16 GB Ram 500 GB SSD Retina
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    ALIASES are fine and dandy. Litter the desktop with them if you want to.

    ACTUAL files and folders on the desktop do in fact slow down the machine. Everything on the desktop (including files *inside* folders) is constantly refreshed, as opposed to say a folder filed in the Home folder. The only time its contents get refreshed is when it's opened.
    I understand now. Thanks
    15 " 2013 MBP OS X Ver. 10.9.1 16 GB Memory, 500 GB SSD, Retina, 2.3 Ghz I7, 30GB IPhone 5, 2012 Mini Cooper JCW Coupe, 2014 Toyota Corolla, 2007 Trailblazer, 2 RC Planes, 1 fantastic wife who puts up with my toys. Still Married After 30 Years.

  14. #14

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontyMo View Post
    Is it possible to make an alias placed on my dock to start the "Startup Disk" in the System Preferences?
    On second thought, I suppose you could use Automator to set that up. I'm not familiar with the procedure however.

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