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Microsoft Corporation's term for a symbolic link, stored as a file with extension ".lnk". Shortcuts first appeared in 1996 in the Windows 95 operating system. Windows shortcuts can link to any file or directory ("folder"), including those on remote computers, using UNC paths. Each shortcut can also have its own icon. A shortcut that links to an executable file can pass arguments and specify the directory in which the command should run. Unlike a Unix symbolic link, a shortcut does not always behave exactly like the target file or directory.
shortcut(1) In Windows, a shortcut is an icon that points to a program or data file. Shortcuts can be placed on the desktop or stored in other folders, and double clicking a shortcut is the same as double clicking the original file. However, deleting a shortcut does not remove the original file. In the Mac, a shortcut is called an "alias." See Win Shortcuts.
|Shortcut icons have a northeast-pointing arrow at their bottom left side. Note the difference between the icons on the actual items (left) and the shortcuts that point to them (right). Deleting the shortcut does not delete the original item.|
(2) In the Mac, a shortcut is a keyboard command that activates some function. For example, pressing F12 displays the Dashboard widgets. Keyboard shortcuts are configured in the Keyboard Preferences panel.