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AliasKeys and Snow Leopard

AliasKeys is fully compatible with Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). However, due to a change in the file system, the standard “Open AliasKeys” shortcut (⌃⌥↩) doesn't work anymore.

Fortunately it is easy to fix, here is how:
  • Launch AliasKeys manually.
  • Locate the line containing the "Open AliasKeys" shortcut. Select the line and delete it by pressing the delete key.
  • Create a new shortcut to the application AliasKeys, by dragging the application's icon to the list of shortcuts.
  • Define the actual shortcut to use, for example (⌃⌥↩) but whatever you prefer will do.
That's all! Now you can again use the shortcut to open AliasKeys.

What's new in version 1.2?

Bug-fix release ensuring full Leopard compatibility. Fixed problems:

• Entering the keys in the list was only possible from the keyboard (by hitting the return key) or from the menu; double-clicking the shortcut now works as before.

• The date/time auto-typing feature was broken on certain keyboard layouts. A new method is now used to work around any dependency.

• Moving the mouse while waiting for a keypress could cause weird things to happen in the list. Now the wait can be stopped by clicking anywhere, as before.

• A lot of small things have been optimized for smoother and faster operation.

Known problems:
— After changing a key shortcut on a Mac running Leopard, you may have to wait a few seconds until the system takes into account the new set of shortcuts.
— The shortcuts based on keys F17, F18, F19 (or more) are not displayed correctly in the list, however they are fully usable as any other.

What's new in version 1.1?

• Rebuilt as "Universal Binary" for full-speed execution on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

• The Finder has been added in the menu of applications, allowing to create an AliasKey that brings the Finder's windows to the front.

• Better handling of date formats for text insertion with clippings. The names used to insert date are now as follows:

Name of the clipping Inserted Date Format
Time 3:30 PM
Date 06/07/26
DateTime 06/07/26 3:30 PM
DateMedium Jul. 26, 2006
DateMediumTime Jul. 26, 2006 3:30 PM
DateLong July 26, 2006
DateLongTime July 26, 2006 3:30 PM

As before, the contents of the text clipping is ignored. The exact format of the date is picked according to user's language and system preferences set in "International".

Does it work on Intel Macs?

From version 1.1 up, AliasKeys is built as "Universal Binary", optimized both for PowerPC and Intel Macintoshes. It runs at full speed on any sort of Macs.

What's new in version 1.0.3?

• A couple of cosmetic bugs fixed in the French resources.

• Previous versions used a self-copying "internet-aware" disk image. They are a good idea, but they only work well in some web browsers. For many users, they create a unmanageable situation that has caused plenty of tech support emails. Thus, with this version, we are back to a "plain" .dmg file, along with a .sit for backup.

• Adventurous users can test a hidden feature. Open "~/Library/Preferences/net.widemann.aliaskeys.plist" and set openFinderSelectionWithCapsLock to YES (or true), then save, log out and login back. From now on, if the capslock key is down, AliasKeys will try to open the selected item(s) in the Finder with the triggered item.

For example, if the AliasKey is set to open Preview, selecting a PDF file and hitting the AliasKey will launch Preview and open the PDF, even if the PDF's creator is Acrobat. This feature may hit snags when combining some file types with certain applications, so be warned and use at your own risk. We do NOT tech-support this feature, however we'll accept gladly any comment or suggestion that you wish to offer.

What's new in version 1.0.2?

• New submenu listing Mac OS X applications, to help creating commonly used AliasKeys. This menu is now also available as a mini-popup-menu right above the list. Now you can't miss it.

• Several minor bugs corrected. Link with AliasMenu 3.1 is now fully functional.

• French and Japanese localizations are included.

Does it work with Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"? How about 10.5 "Leopard"?

Yes. AliasKeys actually requires 10.4 or more. Version 1.0 is still available on request for Panther (10.3) and even Jaguar (10.2) systems.

Product X or Y already offers similar features. Why did you write another one?

While existing products are great, we think they focus too much on the features list and not enough on the ease of use.

We decided to keep the features down to what most users really want to do with hotkeys: launch and switch applications, open files and folders, make use of the extra keys on the keyboard. We focused on the user experience. There is no need to read the Help text to use AliasKeys (although you may find a couple of nice tricks there, like how to use clippings).

Are AliasKeys actual Mac OS aliases, or only pathnames? What happens if a targeted file is moved?

AliasKeys really uses aliases. If an item is moved, it will be found wherever it is and its pathname will be corrected automatically. In most cases it will be found even if it has been renamed.

AliasKeys verifies that the alias can be resolved whenever the list is displayed. If the target can not be found without requiering the user's help, its icon is replaced by an alert balloon. You can then double-click the file name to show AliasKeys where the file is, or pick another one, or simply delete the AliasKey.

Can I use an alias instead of an original to make a new AliasKey?

Yes. In that case, the alias itself is saved in the AliasKey, and the original is searched only when the hotkey is pressed.

This is very handy for network aliases. If you have a mounted network volume, you can create an alias of it and store the alias in some safe place in your Document folder, then make an AliasKey with the alias. When the AliasKey is pressed, the network volume is mounted.

Can I rename an item in the list?

No. If you really need a different name, create an alias, rename it and make the AliasKey with the alias.

What about Classic?

AliasKeys also works in Classic.

I read in release information that AliasKeys connects to AliasMenu, but I don't see any change in my menus.

This feature needs AliasMenu version 3.1 or more.

Note that AliasKeys doesn't need AliasMenu to work. AliasKeys and AliasMenu are completely separate products.

Can I use AliasKeys with a virtual keyboard?

Yes. AliasKeys is fully compatible with virtual keyboards such as KeyStrokes™ or SwitchXS™.

AliasKeys installs files in several different places. How can I uninstall it?

Simply select Uninstall AliasKeys from the AliasKeys menu, and everything will be properly moved to the trash, except the application itself. To reinstall, simply launch the application again.

Okay, but where are the files installed by AliasKeys?

Parts of AliasKeys are in the following places:

• The application can be anywhere (moving it to the Applications folder is a good idea, but is not mandatory).

• AliasKeys creates an "AliasKeys" folder in ~/Library/Application Support/. This is where your AliasKeys are stored, in the file named "AliasKeys.plist". This folder also contains the helper application and several other items for AliasKeys' internal use.

• AliasKeys also creates a standard preferences file in ~/Library/Preferences.

Is AliasKeys a Cocoa or Carbon application?

AliasKeys is a Cocoa application, however it uses bits of Carbon to talk with aliases and hotkeys.


AliasKeys was written by Benoît Widemann. A very special thanks to Christine Buttin for her efforts to make me move to Cocoa and helping so much along the way, to the invaluable beta-testers who helped making AliasKeys as bug-free as possible, and to my family and friends for their constant support. Thanks!

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