When you download an app on Android or Windows, you get an option, or it automatically creates a shortcut on the home screen or the desktop. On Mac too creating a folder or app shortcut is extremely easy. It hardly requires four clicks. We first make an alias and then move it to the desired location.
You can add shortcuts for folders and apps to the desktop or Dock of your Mac. The first method below is the one I prefer. The second method is also quick, but it at times copies the folder instead of making the shortcut. Anyways, here are two easy ways to create desktop shortcuts on Mac running macOS Catalina.
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Step #1. Decide which folder’s or app’s desktop shortcut you want to create. Find where the folder is located. If you cannot find it, see the end for instructions.
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Step #2.Right-click on the folder or app name and click on Make Alias.
Step #3. You will see that a shortcut is immediately created for that folder or app. Press enter key. It has the word alias at the end of the name.
Step #4. Drag this shortcut to your desktop or Dock. You may also copy the shortcut and paste it on the desktop.
This is it!
You have successfully created the desktop shortcut for a folder or app. Now you may quickly use this to open that folder, or launch the app. You may repeat this with as many folders and apps you like.
If you wish, you may select the shortcut, press the enter key, and rename it to remove the word ‘alias.’
Finally, if you wish to see the original folder, right-click on the shortcut icon and click on Show Original.
Note 1: Even if you move the original folder to some other location, the shortcut you created still works. Beautiful! Isn’t it.
Note 2: You may use this method to create shortcuts even for files like image, document, zip, music, movie, etc.
Not able to Find the Folder Location?
Finding applications is clear. You click on Finder → Applications, and there you have all your applications. Knowing the location of the Folders you create is also straightforward.
But for some folders, especially system folders like Downloads, Documents, etc. it may be a bit tough to know the path. Here are some ways to know it.
#1. From Sidebar: Launch Finder, place your pointer on the folder name in left Sidebar, and then right-click. Finally, click Show in Enclosing Folder. Now follow the above steps.
#2. Using Path Bar: Be inside Finder and click on View from the menu bar. Now click Show Path Bar. A tab will be added to the bottom of the Finder. It has the location/path for the folder you click or select.
#3. Use Spotlight Search: Launch Spotlight Search by clicking the search icon in menu bar or press Command (⌘) + Space Bar. Now type the folder name and then scroll to the bottom of the search result and click on Show all in Finder… Click on the folder and follow the above steps to make its shortcut.
#4. Use Siri: I do not like Siri on Mac, notably older Macs. Anyways, you may ask Siri on Mac to ‘Show Download Folder’ (or any folder) and then go to the bottom of the result and click on Show all results in Finder… Now you may follow the above steps. Please note that this does not always work.
The above method is swift and simple. It is the one I prefer. However, there is an additional way to create folder and app shortcuts on Mac.
Step #1. Be at the location of the folder or app you want to create the shortcut of.
Step #2. Press and hold Option (⌥) + Command (⌘) key together. Do not leave the hold. Now click on the folder or app and drag it to the desktop.
Note: When you use this method, there are chances that you may unwillingly and unknowingly copy or move the folder instead of making its shortcut. Don’t worry. Press Command (⌘) + Z to undo and try again, or use the first method.
I recently wrote a post where I explained how to add website shortcuts to Dock on Mac. It is an interesting article. Similarly, you may add shortcuts to your Dock too.
Follow any of the above methods and make the shortcut of the folder or app (you may directly add an app to Dock, but anyway). Now drag that shortcut from Desktop to the rightmost part of Dock (Second left to the Trash icon).
These were two easy ways to create shortcut icons on Mac. There is a third method that I know of, which requires Terminal and some command lines. However, it is tricky and beyond the simplicity of the average user. Also, if you change the folder location, the shortcut stops working. So I did not mention this method.
Secondly, on Macs running OS versions before Catalina, you may also click on a Folder or App and then press together Command (⌘) + L. It will instantly make the alias. It works on my old MacBook Pro running macOS Sierra, but on a different MacBook Pro running the latest version of macOS Catalina, this quick method does not seem to work.
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What are your thoughts regarding shortcuts on Mac? Have you used it on Windows? How was the experience there? Share your opinion in the comment section below.
Suraj is a digital marketing expert on the iGB's team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.
These documentation pages are no longer current. They remain available for archival purposes. Please visit
https://docs.oracle.com/javase for the most up-to-date documentation.
This page shows you, step by step, how to convert a simple Java application to a version you can distribute on a Mac. To follow along, download the ButtonDemo (.zip) example from the Java Tutorial. This example was created using NetBeans which uses the Ant utility. You can run all necessary tools and make all necessary edits from the command line, without launching NetBeans. The Ant tool is required.
You have created a Java application and want to bundle it for deployment. This requires the following steps:
This step creates the ButtonDemo.jar file.
Execute ant jar in the high-level project directory to create the dist/ButtonDemo.jar file. This jar file is used to create the .app package.
To create the ButtonDemo.app package, use the appbundler tool. The appbundler is not shipped with the 7u6 version of the Oracle JDK for the Mac. You can download it from the Java Application Bundler project on java.net. There is also AppBundler Documentation available.
As of this writing, the most recent version is appbundler-1.0.jar, which is used by this document. Download the latest version available and substitute the file name accordingly.
In order to distribute a Java application, you want to avoid dependencies on third party software. Your app package should include the Java Runtime Environment, or JRE. In fact, the Apple Store requires the use of an embedded JRE as a prerequisite for Mac App Store distribution. The runtime sub-element of the <bundleapp> task specifies the root of the JRE that will be included in the app package.
In this example, the location of the JRE is defined using the JAVA_HOME environment variable. However, you might choose to bundle a JRE that is not the same as the one you are using for development. For example you might be developing on 7u6, but you need to bundle the app with 7u4. You will define runtime accordingly.
Since this example defines the runtime sub-element using JAVA_HOME, make sure it is configured correctly for your environment. For example, in your .bashrc file, define JAVA_HOME as follows:
Use the following steps to modify the build.xml file at the top of the project directory:
The resulting build.xml file should look like the following. (The new lines are shown in bold.)
Create a fresh version of ButtonDemo.app, using the ant bundle-buttonDemo command. The resulting version includes the JRE in the app package. You can confirm this by examining the Contents/PlugIns directory inside of the app package.
The Gatekeeper feature, introduced in Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), allows users to set the level of security for downloaded applications. By default, Gatekeeper is set to allow only OS X App Store and Developer ID signed applications. Unless your app is signed with a Developer ID certificate provided by Apple, your application will not launch on a system with Gatekeeper's default settings.
For information on the signing certificates available, see Code Signing Tasks on developer.apple.com.
The signing certificate contains a field called Common Name. Use the string from the Common Name field to sign your application.
Sign your app using the codesign(1) tool, as shown in the following example:
To verify that the app is signed, the following command provides information about the signing status of the app:
To check whether an application can be launched when Gatekeeper is enabled, use the spctl command:
If you leave off the --verbose tag, and it does not print any output, indicates 'success'.
For more information, see Distributing Outside the Mac App Store on developer.apple.com.
Packaging an app for the Mac App Store is similar to packaging for regular distribution up until the step of signing the app. Signing the app for the Mac App Store requires a few more steps, and a different kind of certificate.
You will need to create an application ID and then obtain a distribution certificate for that application ID. Submit your app using Application Loader. For more information, see the following links (on developer.apple.com):