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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Anatomy of an Internet Shortcut

Under the covers, an Internet Shortcut is a perfectly ordinary text file with little in the way of magic.

Drag a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) from your browser’s address bar to the desktop and OS X kindly creates an Internet Shortcut (Favorite, if you’re coming from the Windows world), something.url, for you. Double-click or drag the shortcut back into your browser and you’re returned to the URL you were visiting.

Under the covers, an Internet Shortcut is a perfectly ordinary text file with little in the way of magic. A shortcut to the Apple web site, for instance, looks like this:

[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.apple.com/

Editing an Internet Shortcut

Editing an Internet Shortcut is simply a matter of opening it up in your favorite text editor, altering the URL, and saving it. Introducing an extra space here or blank line there will render the shortcut inoperable, so tread carefully.

Creating an Internet Shortcut

Building a new Internet Shortcut from scratch is a simple affair. Fire up a text editor, type the requisite incantations, and save. Name it anything you like, but you should tack on a .url file extension [Hack #6]. The first line should read:

[InternetShortcut]

The second line is the URL itself, prepended with URL=. A shortcut to the O’Reilly Mac DevCenter would read:

[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.macdevcenter.com/

Any valid URL will do, whether pointing to a web site (http:// . . . ), FTP site (ftp:// . . . ), email address (mailto: ...

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