Aliases to Applications

Discussion in 'macOS' started by theBB, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #1
    I would like to create a folder with aliases to some apps that I use often, but not frequent enough to place on the Dock. Then, I am planning to drop that folder on the Dock to give me quick access to those apps. I could just drop the /Applications folder, but I want to avoid too much scrolling, as that folder has a lot of apps in it. I've seen this recommended many times on these forums, so I decided to give it a try.

    I tried to create the aliases, but few of the applications with .app extension give me "Make Alias" option. Is that normal? How do I go around this limitation?
     
  2. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #2
    BTW, I have selected "Show Package Contents" for an app and eventually reached the actual app launcher (I don't know what else to call it) with the black screen like icon. It does not let me make an alias, either. I created a symbolic link to it through the terminal command ln -s, but symbolic links does not seem to accept change its icons, so I get stuck with the same "black screen" icon. In any case, clicking on these symbolic links opens a terminal window as well as the app itself, so it is quite irritating.

    Any advice will be much appreciated...
     
  3. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #3
    That's strange. I just tried it for over 10 different applications and all had the make alias option. :confused: Can you give some examples of apps that won't let you make aliases?

    If all else fails you can create small shell scripts to start the apps and give them custom icon to match the app.

    Example of script to open Mail:
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    open /Applications/Mail.app
    
    Edit: Wait a second. Finder doesn't seem to want to launch a shell script like it used to. Maybe the security has been tightened, or maybe I'm doing something differently. I also realised that you might end up with a terminal window for that, too, so, yeah, maybe not convenient. How about Automator... I know it can run shell-scripts.

    2nd edit: I just tried Automator with a shell-script that said just "open /Applications/Mail.app" and saved it as a program/application. It works, but you'll see Automator popping up in the dock for a second. You can give the Automator program the same icon as the application. It'll be a lot of work, but maybe it'll give you the bonus of feeling like you've done some hacking. :p

    Try maxrobertson's suggestion first, though.
     
  4. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jakarta
  5. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #6
    Nope, it is greyed out with .app extension files.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Do you have write access with your account to your apps folder?

    Try this: Open the apps folder up in finder, and drag an icon to the desktop or to this folder you want the aliases in while holding Cmd-Opt. The icon should have an alias black arrow superimposed on it, and you should create an alias in the destination location.
     
  7. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #8
    Calculator, VLC, Chicken of the VNC, Dictionary


    Maybe six months ago, but a few months ago I've wrote an Applescript, turned into an app and even got an icon for it. That was enough "hacking" for me. :) Now, this would feel like a chore.
     
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #9
    I can make aliases for them. Maybe you don't have the proper rights to the application? If you're not running as an admin, perhaps you could try it as admin. If you are running as admin, check your rights for the app (details in get info) and if they're not the same as for other apps that you can make alises to, change the rights.

    (My rights for Calculator are Read and Write, owner is system, system and admin can read and write others can only read.)
     
  9. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #10
    Yes, that's it. I have downgraded my account to a regular one following the advice of many a here, so I don't have write access to Applications folder anymore. Of course, when I try to make an alias it tries to place the alias in the same folder as the app itself. I wish OSX gave an error message instead of just greying out options.

    Fortunately, Cmd-Option drag worked fine. However, there is got to be a more menu based method. Thanks mkrishnan and maxrobertson.
     
  10. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #11
    I'm glad you figured out the problem. The cmd-option drag should be easy enough if you open two finder windows, one with the applications and one with the folder where you want your shortcuts.
     
  11. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #12
    It is easy once somebody tells me of Cmd-Option drag. Instead of greying out "Make Alias" options, OSX should warn me when I try to create an alias that I don't have write access to the folder and maybe offer me the option to place that alias somewhere else. I cannot call this a bug, but certainly a shortcoming on the user friendliness front.
     
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #13
    True enough. There should be a way of doing it without having to know the magic dragging trick.
     
  13. FredClausen macrumors regular

    FredClausen

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    KALM
    #14
    I'm glad you got your problem solved. I've been a switcher for a year now but I'm still learning stuff from threads like this :)

    One suggestion though. Instead of messing with aliases and the like, why not look into Quicksilver? Great application launcher. I use it to launch all apps I use but I don't want on my dock.
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #15
    You can also drag applications to the Finder sidebar and open them from there.
     
  15. theBB thread starter macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #16
    Just trying to minimize the number of apps I have in my HD. In any case, I like the "do it yourself" methods better. :)
     
  16. FredClausen macrumors regular

    FredClausen

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    KALM
    #17
    Makes sense to me. :)
     

Share This Page