7.3 Managing Your Favorites
In Internet Explorer, URL bookmarks are called Favorites . They're crucial tools for power surfing ‚ but if you have a lot of them, your list can get unruly and hard to use. This section helps you tame the beast .
Note: The tips in this section apply specifically to Internet Explorer, but all browsers have similar features.
7.3.1 Finding Favorites Fast
Favorites lists tend to bloat up, making it hard to find the sites you want to visit ‚ and negating the point of having Favorites. Here's a quick remedy.
Your Favorites list is really only a folder on your computer, saved in My Computer Documents and Settings Your Name Favorites. To find a site that's missing, right-click that folder in Windows Explorer, choose Search, and then type the name of the site you're looking for, or a word you think is part of the site's name . Windows Explorer displays a list of matching results. Double-click the one you're looking for, and Internet Explorer takes you there.
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Launching Outlook from Within Internet Explorer
You're browsing the Web when you hit a golfing site that reminds you you have an appointment with the physical therapist ‚ but you can't remember when you're supposed to be there. So you go through all the pointing, clicking, and menu maneuvering to find Outlook, launch it, and then open the Calendar.
Here's a better way. Use the Internet Explorer's address bar to launch the Calendar or any other Outlook feature.
To open your Outlook calendar, type Outlook:Calendar in your browser's address bar and press Enter ‚ before you can say, "I'm late!", the calendar opens in Outlook. This trick also works for your Outlook contacts (type Outlook:Contacts ), Outlook Today ( Outlook:Today ), Outlook Tasks ( Outlook:Tasks ), Outlook Notes ( Outlook:Notes ) and any Outlook folder, such as your email inbox ( Outlook:Inbox ).
7.3.2 Organizing Favorites from A to Z
Finding favorites can be tough if they're not organized in any particular order. You may have to scroll past a site about fly- fishing , your Amazon Wish List, and a site that features cats in Halloween costumes just to get to your brother's divorce party photo album...or did that come after the Web site for your parking garage?
It's much easier to find a site you want if your list is alphabetized. To put them in alphabetical order, choose Favorites and right-click any site on the list; on the menu that appears, choose "Sort by name." Your browser rearranges the whole Favorites list alphabetically .
If you organize your Favorites in folders and want the contents of each folder alphabetized, you have to go through the process for each one. Select a folder, right-click one of the sites within the folder, and choose "Sort by name." Lather, rinse, repeat.
7.3.3 Copying Favorites to Another Computer
Once you've gone to the trouble of compiling a killer Favorites list ‚ maybe even organized into categories like "annoying loud music," " vintage videogame t-shirts," and "bipartisan political blogs " ‚ it would be heart-breaking to start over just because you bought a new laptop. Or perhaps you have such an enviable Favorites list you want to share it with a friend or a co-worker. Whatever the reason, it's easy to transfer your Favorites list from one computer to another. Here's how:
Tip: You can also follow these steps to export your cookies (for more about cookies, see Section 6.2).
In Internet Explorer, choose File "Import and Export. "
The Import/Export Wizard appears.
Click Next and choose Export Favorites, then click Next again .
Choose which folder you want to export from (Figure 7-10).
If you want to export all of your Favorites, choose the Favorites folder. But you can also export just one folder within your Favorites list (say, your news sites), by selecting a specific folder.
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Figure 7-10. If you just want to export one folder from your Favorites list, choose that folder, rather than Favorites, when you get to this screen. You can only export one folder at a time, though, so you have to run the Wizard twice to export two separate folders.
Click Next and browse to wherever you want to export the Favorites .
If you're sharing your Favorites with someone over a network, browse to a folder on that person's computer, so he can easily import the file. You can also save your favorites on a removable disk or CD-R, or save the file on your hard disk and then email it as an attachment.
Click Next, and then Finish .
Your Favorites are ready for importing.
On the computer you want to transfer your favorites to, find the export file, and then import it to Internet Explorer on that computer .
Choose File Import and Export. Run the wizard again ‚ except this time, choose Import Favorites, and follow the wizard's directions. Explorer adds the favorites you've imported to the existing Favorites list.
7.3.4 Creating Favorite Files and Folders
It's a fact of modern life: sometimes you're surfing eBay ‚ at work ‚ and, suddenly, your boss pops in. You've probably perfected the small talk to make while you furtively switch out of Internet Explorer, find the folder that has the document your boss wants, double-click the file you need, and wait for Word to open it.
You can save time ‚ and maybe your job ‚ by adding files or folders you use frequently to your Internet Explorer Favorites. That way, you can open the file or folder as you would any other Favorite ‚ with just a flick of the mouse.
Note: If you save a file to Favorites, the program you used to create it opens ‚ for example, Microsoft Word. And if you save a folder, Windows Explorer pops up with the contents of that folder.
The Favorites list is just a folder, just like any other folder on your PC; you can find it in My Computer Documents and Settings Your Name [Your XP user name] Favorites. Any files or folders you copy to the Favorites folder show up as Favorites in Internet Explorer.
Your best bet is to copy shortcuts to the files or folders, rather than move the actual files or folders themselves . That way, the files and folders stay where they are on your hard disk in whatever way you like them organized, but you can get to them via Internet Explorer. To copy a shortcut to your Favorites file, open Windows Explorer and highlight the file or folder you want to create a shortcut to, and choose File Create Shortcut. Then go to My Computer Documents and Settings Your Name Favorites, and choose File Paste Shortcut.
To create a shortcut to a folder, right-click the folder, and from the menu that appears, choose the folder name. From the menu that cascades off that, choose Create Shortcut. Then go to My Computer Documents and Settings Your Name Favorites, and choose File Paste Shortcut.