What Are iCloud Drive Aliases?

iCloud Drive has an interesting new feature: Aliases.

In the past, one app was limited to its own folder only. Users couldn't create a "Cake Recipes Project" inside one app, and have it available in all other apps that support the various formatted files, different apps create, e.g. text, pictures, or a mind map.

With iCloud Drive this is now different. While apps still have their own folder, iCloud Drive allows users to create their own folders on the top level. Within these, you can now keep files of multiple formats, belonging to one topic.

Let's say you put a MindNode document on the top level underneath a folder labelled "Cake Recipes". (Example shown below) This allows MindNode for iOS to display an Alias to this original document in its own document picker. You don't have to tap the iCloud Drive document picker, and then select the document.

This new feature is great, because it allows you to work much faster on iOS, while still retaining a full experience on Mac. But unfortunately Aliases are also a bit confusing at first. To help you be able to use this feature to its full potential we compiled this short tutorial for you.

General Notes

Here is an overview. As you can see at the bottom of this window, the folder is in iCloud Drive.

iCloud Drive now works with something called "Aliases". An Alias is basically just a link that points to the real file.

In MindNode Pro on OS X you now see the alias in iCloud Drive in the MindNode folder, or the Open dialog available from the File menu.

Aliases to files that are not saved in the MindNode directly, are indicated with "in iCloud Drive". Deleting the original document will also delete its alias.

MindNode for iOS

In MindNode for iOS the alias shows up like so:

The action menu shows the things a user can do with the alias. Some notes here:

  • Rename: not allowed
  • Move: moves the alias somewhere else, it doesn't move the original file.
  • Duplicate: duplicates the original file to the MindNode folder in iCloud Drive.
  • Delete: deletes the alias, but leaves the original file intact.

MindNode Pro

On your Mac it basically the same thing, but you can also use the Finder to interact with the alias. Just as any other alias, iCloud Drive Aliases work the same.

When you right click an item, you'll see the "Show Original" option, for example.


  • Rename: Double-click the file, then click the menubar where the name is displayed, and type in a new name. Renaming the alias directly causes Finder to misbehave, by the time of this writing.
  • Move: moving the alias, moves just the alias.
  • Duplicate: Not executable in the Finder, nor in MindNode Pro.
  • Delete: deletes the alias, but leaves the original file intact.

We hope that you understand this new feature much better now and that you'll spread the word. We're on Facebook, and Twitter. You can reach our support here.

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