Why are aliases the same size as the original files?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ramparts, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. ramparts macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #1
    I've created aliases of some images so I can move them to different folders without duplicating the actual images, for purposes of saving hard disk space. Yet all of the aliases are the exact same size as the original images. Why is this?

    I'm running Lion.
     
  2. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #3
    I right-clicked each file in Finder and clicked Make Alias, or (same thing) highlighted the file and did CMD-L.
     
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    How are you finding the alias file size? CMD+I on the alias?
     
  4. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #5
    Yep.
     
  5. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    Weird. All my aliases are small in size (hundreds of KB). Can you post a screenshot of the info window?
     
  6. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #7
    Attached. It's the same size as the original.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #8
    What is the format and capacity of your disk?
     
  8. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    My understanding is that icons and preview images are stored in aliases. This could explain why an alias of a photo is so big. Could you just use an alias of the containing folder instead? That's what I do. You can also create hard or soft links at the system level (the command prompt) which have little to know size but can't be created in Finder and have some other limitations.
     
  10. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #11
    No, it wouldn't work, I'm trying to take a subset of photos in my Pictures folder and use them for the random desktop wallpaper, so an alias of the whole folder would be too much (and in that case I could just point the desktop preferences to that folder anyway). It's only a couple of hundred MB, I'll live.
     
  11. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #12
    Create a folder within Pictures called 'Wallpapers' and then create an alias of that..
     
  12. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #13
    Obviously I could do that but I want to keep all my photos in the same folder, not put some of them in a subfolder and the rest in the main folder. I guess I'm out of luck on this one.
     
  13. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #14
    This is weird... or not. I tried my 7.4 MB. JPEG file and the alias is only 1.9 MB. I tried with 537 KB. JPEG and the alias is also 1.9 MB. Seem like you just incidentally hit its sweet spot there.
     
  14. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #15
    I would suggest using symbolic links instead of aliases. The only disadvantage is that if you move the files, then the sym links don't update by themselves, like aliases do. Symbolic links take up a couple of kilo bytes.
     

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