In windows when right clicking a folder there is an option: send to -> desktop (create shortcut).
How can I do this on a Mac?
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Now you have an extra option under the right click menu, and a service in the finder menu!
Alternatively, you can simply drag the folder to the desktop while holding the optioncommand keys…
If your windows are so cluttered that it is inconvenient, just make sure your Desktop icon is showing in the "Places" location on the Finder sidebar, and drag the item while holding optioncommand to that icon.
You can drag the proxy icon onto the desktop to create a shortcut.