Modifying Bookmarks

You can change bookmarks by right-clicking the bookmark entry and selecting Properties from the context menu to display the Properties screen (shown in Figure 5-4).

Figure 5-4. The Properties screen.

The Properties screen lets you edit the name (which is too long in this case; "Auction Sniper" is fine for the bookmark list), the location (for example, if the web address changes to a new domain), and the keyword. Although keywords (aka "Smart Keywords") are discussed in detail in Chapter 4, "Searching the Web," here's a taste: you can enter a keyword that you type in the address field to bring up the website quickly. You might assign the website in Figure 5-4 a keyword of "AS"short, simple, and easy to remember. Keywords are very helpful for websites you go to frequently. Entering a description is purely optional, but if you've got several bookmarks that are similar and you need additional information, you can enter a description. The description doesn't appear in the bookmark list, but it's there if you look at the properties. When you are satisfied with your entries, click OK.

You can add a bookmark from scratch by right-clicking the bookmark list and selecting New Bookmark from the context menu. You then enter all the informationthe name, the web address, and so onmanually in the Properties screen rather than having Firefox pick up the name and location from the web page displayed on the screen. It's useful if you're setting up a few bookmarks offline that you want to look at later, but it's probably not practical for adding bunches of bookmarks to the list.

Someday you'll click a bookmark and get a 404 error. The website's gone away. If you don't have a new address you can enter through the Properties screen, it's time to delete the bookmark. Highlight the bookmark and press Delete. (You can also right-click the bookmark and select Delete from the context menu if you prefer.)

Moving Bookmarks

You can add as many bookmarks as you like. Firefox keeps adding them to the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, you'll have problems: pretty soon, you'll have a big list of bookmarks. You can do some simple organization by dragging and dropping a bookmark to a new location on the list, as shown in Figure 5-5.

Figure 5-5. Dragging and dropping this bookmark... a new location on the Bookmark menu.


Some websites have really cool iconsknown as faviconsthat help identify the address. If the website doesn't have a favicon, you just see the browser's standard icon. In Firefox, this is an icon of a page with a corner turned down (you know, a bookmark for people who dog-ear books). The favicons show up after you've used the bookmark the first time. Personally, I think favicons are pretty and really useful when looking for a specific bookmark, and I would like more websites to use them.

You can also cut or copy and paste a bookmark from one place on the list to another in about the same way. Right-click the bookmark and select Cut or Copy from the context menu, and then right-click in the bookmark list and select Paste from the context menu to paste the bookmark in the new location. When you copy a bookmark, it shows as the same thing: if you wanted to, you could have five bookmarks on your bookmark list that all say "Kelly WrightFabulous Vocalist" and that all point to The only real value to this would be if you wanted to put the same bookmark into several different bookmark folders (described in the next section) or if it would be easier to modify copies of the one bookmark for several slightly different locations.

Adding Separators

While dragging and dropping is helpful, it really helps to be able to organize your bookmarks into groups. If you've got just a few bookmarks, you can add separators to the bookmark list that break the list into groups. Figure 5-6 shows a bookmark list with separators added between some of the groups.

Figure 5-6. Bookmark list with separators added.

You can't move or delete separators directly from the bookmark list. You'll see how to move and delete separators with the Bookmarks Manager later in this chapter.

Adding Bookmark Folders

Between separators and dragging and dropping bookmarks to sort them, you're probably okay... but only as long as you've got only a dozen or two bookmarks. But I'm certain that you'll want to add a lot of bookmarks to your list and that the list of bookmarks will end up rolling off the bottom of your screen, out across your desk, and down to the floor before your list ends. You need to create bookmark folders.

Bookmark folders are a lot like folders on your computer or desk: you use them to hold a bunch of similar items so that you can more easily find them all easier and so that you don't have them all skittering around on your desktop. To create a bookmark folder, right-click in the bookmark list where you want the new folder to appear, and select New Folder from the context menu. The Properties for "New Folder" screen appears. Enter the name for the new folder (which will appear on the bookmark list) and the description (which won't). Figure 5-7 shows an example of how this might look.

Figure 5-7. The Properties for "New Folder" screen.

When you are satisfied with your entries, click OK. Firefox creates the folder in the bookmark list. As you can see from the example in Figure 5-8, there aren't any bookmarks in the folder yet.

Figure 5-8. The Bookmarks menu with a new folder added.

You can drag bookmarks over the folder (which opens conveniently), whereupon you can drop them into the folder. When you click the folder, the bookmarks in the folder now appear in the submenu, where you can select them as usual (as shown in Figure 5-9).

Figure 5-9. Folder with bookmarks added.

If a folder has lots and lots of bookmarks, you may want to create one or more subfolders in the same way and then add bookmarks to the subfolder, and so on. There's no practical limit to the number of folders you can create. You can't drag and drop bookmark folders, although you can cut or copy and paste them to a new location. Copying and pasting can be particularly useful when you've got subfolders of bookmarks that need to show up in different main folders.

One other thing you can do from the context menu is sort the bookmarks by name. This affects only the folder you're in at the moment. While this may be helpful for folders, it's probably a bad idea to do this to your entire bookmark list, because it's rare that your bookmarks and folders will benefit from being in straight alphabetical order.

TOOL KIT: Cleaning the Garage

Bookmarks are computer clutter incarnate. After you get used to them, it's almost automatic to do a fast couple of keystrokes and bookmark whatever nifty web page you're currently looking at because

  • It's interesting

  • It's relevant

  • It's funny (one of my favorite excuses)

  • It's of professional interest

  • You think you should be interested in it (even if you aren't really)

  • You don't have time to look at it now but you'll look at it Real Soon, When You Have More Time

  • You want to show it to someone else later ...and any of a dozen other reasons.

The problem is that you'll inevitably end up with a truly colossal bookmark list. And even if you do a good job of sorting bookmarks into the appropriate folders as you save them, many bookmarks are like many people: they don't age gracefully. web pages are deleted (particularly true for bookmarks to articles in online newspapers and magazines), websites expire and are no longer active, or the website might move to a new address.

Every so often (for some value of "often"), you need to check your bookmarks and folders to make sure that you're not keeping a bunch of dead links and links to websites with information that is no longer interesting, relevant, or funny. This takes a little while because you have to check most of the links to make sure that they're still active and you still want to keep them. On the other hand, this is a wonderful exercise for those days at work when you feel like you ought to be doing something productive but you don't really want to undertake anything large. Be sure to open every folder, because it's amazing what can sometimes get buried two or three levels deep.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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