I would like to create a shortcut in my .profile file in OS X Lion to launch the iWork program "Numbers".

The application is in:

/Applications/iWork '09/Numbers.app

I created this shortcut:

alias psd="open -a Adobe\ Photoshop\ CS3"

It works fine to open Photoshop. So I created:

alias num="open -a iWork\ \'09/Numbers"

When I type "num" I get an error:

Unable to find application named 'iWork '09/Numbers'.

I don't think it's a problem of backslashes before the space or the quote because I have tried countless variations to no avail. I also tried adding ".app" to the application name, but got the same error message.

How can I create this alias?


Have you considered the following?

open -a Numbers

Applications opened by open aren't opened relative to their path, but just according to their actual name, as identified in Contents/Info.plist in the .app file itself.

If you want to be sure, you can also use the Bundle Identifier with the -b option:

open -b com.apple.iTunes

Which can be found in the Info.plist file too:

enter image description here

  • 1
    You could also use an absolute path like open "/Applications/iWork '09/Numbers.app/" – Lri Dec 12 '11 at 11:25
  • I started with that, but I got an error message. After reading your post, I went back and tried again. This time I noticed that the problem came from an old Mac System file from the '90s called Numbers. Once I deleted it, everything was fine. Thanks for the useful information, too. – Andrew Swift Dec 12 '11 at 11:52

Have you tried, alias num='/Applications/iWork '09/Numbers.app/' ? It works for me. Add this to your ./bashrc and source it. Then you can just execute it by typing num Using absolute path every time can be tedious.

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