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Web Page Bookmarks / Favorites

Bookmarks (called "Favorites" in Internet Explorer) record an Internet URL so you can revisit it later without having to remember its address.

Bookmarks are one of the early innovations of the Mosaic web browser. The first bookmarks were simple lists of URL's stored in a "Bookmark" menu. They couldn't be sorted, and all new sites went to the bottom of the bookmark list. Today, modern browsers and third party bookmark managers provide a range of advanced management features.

A knowledge of Bookmarks enables you to easily revisit the sites you like without having to remember their exact URLs. You can collect lists of good sites, and build up a library of your favorite and most useful destinations.

The following sections provide more information on bookmark use, managers, categories, editing, Explorer features, and Firefox features.

Use. Once you add a bookmark to your list, you simply select it from your browser's bookmark list to revisit the page. You add a page to your bookmarks by visiting it and then adding it with your browser's add bookmark feature.

Explorer: Favorites / Add to Favorites

Firefox. Pick up the URL from the address bar with the mouse (click on address and hold button down) and drag it to the Bookmarks menu at the top of the window, then drag it to the folder you wish from the resulting drop down list.

Managers. A range of third party tools have been developed to help you manage bookmarks. Many provide import and export capability with the leading browsers.

Different bookmark managers provide different capabilities, such as advanced organization and searching features, automatic checking for dead links, upload to the web, and other functions. You can find more information at the following sites:

Categories. Managing bookmarks consists of deciding on a set of categories in which to store your bookmarks. Most browsers come with a built-in set of categories and bookmarks, but you should create your own so they aren't cluttered by sites you don't use. A representative set of top-level category folders is listed below, with the most frequently used items shown at the top above a separator bar:

News
Search
Weather
----------
Education
Entertainment
Financial
Games
Gardening
Health
Internet
Local sites
Soccer

The four basic skills of bookmark category management are described below:

  • Creation. Create a set of categories for your major subject area interests.

    Explorer: Favorites / Organize Favorites / Create Folder

    Firefox: Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / New Folder.

  • Order. Move the categories you use frequently to the beginning, and arrange the rest in alphabetical order.

    Explorer: Favorites / Organize Favorites
    - drag items up and down

  • Firefox: Bookmarks / Manage Bookmarks
    - Drag items up and down in right-half of window.

  • Subfolders. Add subfolders for subcategories when necessary; a general rule of thumb is to create subfolders when you get more than twenty bookmarks in a category. Keep in mind that you maximize a bookmark's visibility by keeping it at a high level, and you double the difficulty of finding a bookmark when you move it down one level.

    Explorer: Favorites / Organize Favorites / Create Folder

    Firefox: Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / New Folder.

  • Separators. Put in separators to divide different sets of bookmarks.

    Explorer: Favorites / Organize Favorites / Create Folder
    - rename the folder to "-------------" to create a separator

    Firefox: Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / New Separator.

Editing. You can edit your bookmarks with the leading browsers as described below.

Explorer: Select the Favorites button, right-click on the link, select Properties

Firefox: Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / Properties.

Explorer features. The following resources help you manage your bookmarks in Internet Explorer:

  • Export. You can export Internet Explorer favorites files to an HTML page with the following commands:

         File / Import And Export / Next / Export Favorites / Next /
           Favorites / Export to a File or Address

    Q152681 -- The Microsoft Knowledge Base article How to Use Netscape Navigator Bookmarks in Internet Explorer provides information on access to Netscape bookmarks.

Firefox features. Building on its Netscape heritage, Firefox has the following unique bookmark functions:

  • Search. Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / Search
  • Importing Bookmarks. Bookmarks / Bookmark Manager / File / Import
  • Bookmarks Home Page. You can set your browser home page to your bookmarks file -- with a little ingenuity. First, locate your bookmarks file, named "bookmarks" and probably in the folder "Firefox/Profiles". Drag it onto a Firefox window to open it. Copy the address in the browser top navigation bar, which is a web address for the file. Select:
    Tools / Options / General
    and paste the address of the bookmark file into the location field.
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