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I know that the way to install an application on Mac is to drag the icon from the disk image onto applications. Often these folders don't just contain an application but resources (such as a readme as well). How do I then access these resources later? Do I have to save the disk images as well? This seems kind of silly as then the default instructions for installing the application mean that you can't easily access the readme later (as the disk image has probably been saved to the downloads folder where it will eventually end up being deleted).

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

What I do in these cases (which I seem to run into fairly often lately) is create a new folder in Applications, and then drag everything from the disk image into that folder. It's one extra level, but it works just fine for almost every application.

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Same here, except I create a folder called "Binary/Software/" under my home directory. I just don't like the clutter that arises in the Applications stack when I put extra stuff in it. – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 20 '10 at 3:17
However be aware that some functions e.g. services are only available and can only make use of apps in /Application, ~/Applications and subdirectories – Mark Sep 20 '10 at 9:12
Unless you really need something “all the time”, I’d say it’s best to save the original disk image. Disk space is cheap and you can always have the application back whenever you need it. – Martín Marconcini Sep 20 '10 at 14:00

As you have correctly guessed, those resources won’t be available unless the application provided an installer and/or a folder (for example World of Warcraft is a big folder with lots of things in there).

If the application is just a bundle you have to drag (like most), if you want to access any resource in the disk image at a later time, you will have to save it. There’s no other automatic way.

On the other hand if the application is a simple bundle you have to drag, there isn’t much “install instructions” you really need. When you don’t need the application anymore, you drag it to the trash.

Some applications include more stuff in the Disk Images, generating this type of confusion, but most software doesn’t have this problem, because it either has a pkg installer or a simple icon you have to drag and nothing more.

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Things alongside the .app are sometimes aliases, sometimes duplicates of things within the .app

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