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Tips on Organizing and Saving Your Bookmarks in Firefox

written by: Chris Carson•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 9/27/2010

Saving and using bookmarks is an important part of any browsing experience, and this handy guide will help you with organization and saving bookmarks in Firefox.

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    Using Bookmarks In Firefox

    Bookmarks are a great way to store websites you want to remember to check often, things you want to remember to read or view more carefully but won't have the time for until later, or even things you want to be sure to show someone else that may not be available at the moment you find it. They help us to organize ourselves and our browsing time and increase our efficiency, something important in all aspects of life. Whether at work or at play, our time is always limited, and greater efficiency in our browsing experience helps to maximize the amount we can do, both for business and pleasure, which is a good thing in either case.

    For something we use so readily, many of us are not aware of how much we can do with our bookmarks, and how much we can get them to do for us. This article will guide you through all the steps of organizing and saving bookmarks in Firefox, and show you all of the features available to you to improve your browsing experience.

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    Creating Bookmarks In Firefox

    Bookmarks Tab Creating and saving bookmarks in Firefox is easy. The easiest way to do this is to bookmark the page you're already on. First click on the bookmarks tab along the top of your browser window. Then, simply click Bookmark This Page. In the window that appears, Firefox will automatically populate the "Name" field with the Header from your browser, but you can type in any different name you prefer. The next step is to select where you want to save the bookmark to. Firefox defaults to adding bookmarks to the Bookmark Menu, which will place it in your main Bookmarks tab, outside of any folders.

    Also, if you have multiple related tabs open at once, and you want to bookmark them all, you can click the Bookmark All Tabs button. It will automatically create a Folder and place each tab, as its own bookmark, in that folder. First, choose a name for the folder to override the default of "[Folder Name]," and then choose where to save the bookmark folder to, just as you would with a single bookmark. Now click Done and the bookmark will be saved.

    Finally, you can right-click anywhere in your Bookmark Tab and simply select New Bookmark. Fill in the name as before, and manually enter the URL of the website you want to bookmark under "Location." Tags, keywords, and description are all optional things you can add to better describe that bookmark if you wish. Click Add and the bookmark will automatically be added to your Bookmark Menu. You will need to manually move it if you wish to save it somewhere else. You can also add a Folder or a separator simply by right-clicking anywhere in the Bookmark Tab and selecting the appropriate option.

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    Editing and Saving Bookmarks In FirefoxThis handy guide well explain saving bookmarks in Firefox and how to edit your saved bookmarks to make the best use of them through effective use of tags, descriptions, folders, and all other organizational tools.
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    Saving Bookmarks In Firefox

    Saving Bookmarks Once you've chosen to bookmark a page, you may not want to simply save it to the main Bookmark Menu. When saving bookmarks in Firefox, from the "Add Bookmark" dialogue box that appears, click the arrow on the far right side of the drop down box to expand all of your choices for Folders to save to. You can place the bookmark in any folder you have, or you can click the New Folder button to create a new folder, which will automatically add a Folder to your list. Like adding a folder anywhere else on your computer, it will be named "New Folder" by default, but that can of course be changed by typing something else in. Once you've selected a folder you like or created one to select, you can choose that folder in the drop-down box to save your new bookmark to.

    Alternately, you can choose to save the bookmark to your "Bookmark Toolbar," which adds to it to a toolbar list of bookmarks that appears directly underneath your URL bar. Lastly, you can add tags, separated by commas, to your bookmark, describing what the site is about, using words like news, games, images, etc. Tags can be used later to help with organizing your bookmarks, and also, if you type a tag into your address bar in place of a URL, Firefox will open a list of pages that apply to that tag. Choose one, and it will load that page as if you had typed in the URL. Once all of fields are completed to your satisfaction, simply click Done, and the bookmark is saved.

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    Editing Bookmarks In Firefox

    Editing Bookmarks After saving your bookmarks, you'll want to make sure you have all their information entered properly. By opening your Bookmark Tab and right-clicking, you will be presented with a list of options. Click on properties to edit, and re-enter any information you want to change. Changing the location will change the actual bookmark as this is the URL. You can, however, change the name, tags, or description here, and you can add a keyword if you wish. Keywords are a really neat feature for bookmarks you're going to be using a lot. Enter something easy to remember that's easy to type (maybe only a few letters long) and save it. Now, type that keyword into your address bar instead of typing a URL. Firefox will instantly read that keyword as your bookmark and take you the appropriate page, just like typing in a tag, except this will always be tailored to a single exact URL instead of a list, which is great for sites you check daily or even more often, such as your email for instance.

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    Organizing Bookmarks and Using Live Bookmarks in FirefoxUsing the best types of bookmarks will give you access to the most features, and keeping them well-organized will ensure you get the most out of them. This will guide you through subscribing to RSS feeds of Live Bookmarks so that you can stay updated on the latest from your favorite websites.
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    Organizing Bookmarks In Firefox

    To change where a bookmark is saved to, instead of right-clicking on it, you can simply left-click and hold (if you don't hold down the mouse button it will just open the bookmark) until it lets you drag it. Then, drag it to the new place you want to keep it. Alternately, when viewing a page you've bookmarked, there will be a yellow star in the right-hand side of your address bar. Click on that, and a box will appear to let you change all the options, in exactly the same manner as when you first create a bookmark. However, notice the addition of a "Remove Bookmark" button at the top of the box, which will delete the bookmark. You can also click on delete when you right-click a bookmark in the Bookmark Tab to remove it.

    You can also open the Organize Bookmarks option under the Bookmarks Tab for access to all of the organizational options more readily collected. From here you can change individual bookmark information, and change where bookmarks are saved to. As well, you can organizational things such as New Folders and New Separators to your Bookmark Menu and your Bookmark Toolbars.

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    Subscribing To Live Bookmarks In Firefox

    Live Bookmarks Another feature Firefox offers is that of "Live Bookmarks," which allows you to bookmark pages that update right in the bookmark. By default, Firefox has one Live Bookmark: "Latest Headlines." Clicking on it, at any time, will open a list of the latest news headlines from the BBC News website. You can click on any one of them to open that headline. Also, at the very bottom of the list, you can click on Open Latest Headlines to open the main news website, or you can click on Open in All Tabs, which will open each headline in the list, each in its own Firefox Tab. These guidelines for using Live Bookmarks will apply to any other Live Bookmarks that you save.

    To save a Live Bookmark to your Firefox browser, you must first choose a page with an RSS feed to bookmark. An RSS feed (which technically stands for Rich Site Summary, but often gets expanded colloquially to Really Simple Syndication) is simply something that, once you've subscribed to it, checks for updates frequently and downloads those updates directly to your list so that you can see when a page has updated without actually going to that page. It's something that is provided by many sites that update frequently, such as blogs, news sites, or content-based article sites such as Bright Hub itself. A website will inform Firefox when it has an RSS feed by placing the RSS symbol in the address bar, right before the Bookmark star. You can click that button, or under the Bookmark Tab, you can click Subscribe to this page. Then, simply type a name and choose a place to save it to, just as you would with any other Bookmark. You will now have a live, automatically updated feed of that website at your fingertips.

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    Backing Up Your Bookmarks In FirefoxSaving bookmarks in Firefox is very helpful, but it does you little good if you suddenly lose them. Read this for a helpful tutorial on backing up your bookmarks in Firefox so that you'll always have them available to you.
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    Backing Up Your Bookmarks In Firefox

    Xmarks Within the "Organize Bookmarks" option, there is a clickable option along the top labeled Import and Backup. This allows you to save your bookmarks as a file browsers can recognize, or import a file saved from another browser. With just one plugin, however, you can go one step further and have your bookmarks automatically back themselves up online. There are many plugins available to back your bookmarks up online, but I suggest Xmarks.

    Xmarks, formerly known as Foxmarks, saves your bookmarks to a web account, allowing you to instantly recover them should your browser ever need to be re-installed. It also backs itself up any time you make a change so that you don't have to back them up on your own. Most importantly, however, because your bookmarks are saved to your account online and not to a file on your physical computer, they can be recovered from any computer at any time, simply by downloading the Xmarks plugin to that computer as well and logging in. Now, your bookmarks can be easily accessed and altered at home, work, school, or anywhere else.

    In addition, Xmarks will optionally synch all opened tabs across multiple browsers at once, and it supports most major browsers. It also allows users to review sites and will suggest recently bookmarked and well-reviewed sites when you search for things, helping you to hopefully find something even more useful to you. Finally, available only in Firefox, Xmarks has an optional password synch feature that allows you to recover your passwords from any computer instead of having to remember them, and it stores them in an encrypted format, protected by a PIN you choose, so that no one can steal them.

    Either way, whether you choose to download a plugin or simply things up to your computer, you should always be sure to back up anything you wouldn't want to lose, and there's no reason bookmarks should be any different.

    Once you have a set of well-organized bookmarks, backed up so you'll never lose access to them, you'll find that your browsing experience becomes much better. You won't forget about certain pages you wanted to read or messages you wanted to reply to for days on end. Things you meant to show to people will actually be shown to them. Follow the tips above, and you'll be free to make the most of your online time.