No one replied yet huh?
Ok i guess i'll take a first shot at this:
By far the best way to see what aliases can do is to look at the provided sample aliases, they demonstrate a bunch of techniques.
The help file also goes into it in some detail.
The most basic way to use alias groups is to collect a bunch of related programs in a "group":
- For example you might make a group called "games" and put all your games in that group (there are a variety of ways to put files into a group, you can right click on a found item and sent it to a group, or from group options dialog drag and drop into that).
- Then you type "games" from FARR text box to show all games and launch the one you want.
- One nice thing about alias groups is you can name each item in a group the way you want it to display.
You can also have just one item in an alias, in which case the alias is basically acting as an "alias" for this one item, so you can type the alias name instead of the real item name, or so that you can launch a program with commandline options.
Aliases can also support regular expressions, so that you can launch programs or functions based on the pattern that you type in the main FARR search editbox. You can check out the various web based alias groups to see this in action. For example type "define [somewords]" and youll see the define alias regular expression kicks in and offers you some choices of web urls to launch.
In addition to launching programs or URLS in your web browser, aliases can do some cool tricks.
One such trick is that an alias can match a regular expression based on what you type and simulate a search for another string. So for example lets say you often do a search like this "+mydocs .pdf SOMEEXTRAWORDS".
With an alias you could create a pattern like "md .*" and instruct it to act as if you typed "+mydocs .pdf $$1". This can be very useful for repeat invocation of complex searches.
Aliases can do some other things as well, acting like a menu. So you could make an alias containing a list of other aliases or searches.
You can also make alias entries that paste text into the last active window (for example type "paste" and youll see a few from the paste alias group).