How to Create a Shortcut on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Creating shortcuts on a Mac can greatly enhance your productivity and ease of access to frequently used applications, files, and folders. In this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating a shortcut on your Mac. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Finding the Application or File

To create a shortcut, you first need to locate the application or file you want to create a shortcut for. This can be done by navigating through Finder or using Spotlight search (⌘ + Space) to quickly find the desired item.

Step 2: Selecting the Application or File

Once you have found the application or file, click on it to select it. This will highlight the item and prepare it for further action.

Step 3: Creating an Alias

An alias, also known as a shortcut, is a small file that points to the original application or file. To create an alias:

  • Right-click (or Control-click) on the selected application or file.
  • Select “Make Alias” from the contextual menu that appears.

Step 4: Placing the Shortcut in a Convenient Location

The newly created alias will have the same name as the original application or file with “alias” appended to it. You can now drag this alias to any location on your Mac where you want the shortcut to be placed.


  • You can place aliases on your desktop for quick access.
  • You can organize aliases in folders for better management.
  • If you want to remove an alias, simply drag it to the Trash.

Step 5: Customizing the Shortcut Icon (Optional)

If you prefer to have a unique icon for your shortcut, you can easily customize it. Here’s how:

  • Right-click (or Control-click) on the shortcut.
  • Select “Get Info” from the contextual menu that appears.
  • In the Info window, click on the current icon at the top.
  • Press ⌘ + C to copy an image from another application or file.
  • In the Info window, click on the current icon again and press ⌘ + V to paste your desired image as the new icon.


The custom icon must be an image file in .png, .jpeg, or .icns format.

Congratulations! You have successfully created a shortcut on your Mac. By following these steps, you can create shortcuts for applications, files, and folders that you frequently use, making your Mac experience more efficient and personalized.

Happy shortcutting!

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