Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
I-SIG reviews bookmark organizers
by Bob Gowan
your web surfing involves only a few sites that you visit
on a regular basis, then it is likely that you will soon
learn the URLs and just type them in. The type-ahead
feature of recent versions of the main web browsers makes
this even easier - just type the first few letters and
the rest is auto-completed for you. In this scenario, you
probably will have few bookmarks, and you won't have any
problem organizing them.
But what if you have several hundred bookmarks, including
many with long and complicated URLs; most of which are
used regularly, but not that frequently? Or what if you
use several workstations, at home, at the office, at
other worksites or cybercafes, or a laptop on the road?
And what happens when you use, whether by necessity or
choice, more than one browser? What if you and your
colleagues or friends want to share bookmarks? In any of
these situations, you will have a difficult time in
keeping track of favorite websites with the bookmark (or
favorites) lists maintained by your browser.
Fortunately there is an increasing number of solutions -
some of which have been discussed at Internet SIG
meetings over the past year or so. I will mention several
of them in this article. Perhaps one or more of them may
fulfill some of our readers' particular needs.
I've observed that quite a few people try to keep all
their bookmarks in a single list - often unsorted - and
as it gets to be too long, they simply delete a few of
the less important ones. With my kind of luck, those are
certain to be the ones I will be looking for the next
time I use the computer. The first step needed here is
the creation of some Folders, and then a little time to
move the bookmarks into them. As more bookmarks
accumulate in any give folder, additional sub-folders
should be created, and the bookmarks sorted and moved
into these. Sub-folders can be as many levels deep as you
need to keep the lists at a length with which you are
When it comes to converting bookmarks to use in another
browser, the newer versions of the two main browsers will
import each others bookmarks, and there are some useful
utilities to do the conversion and further organization.
One of the earliest bookmark conversion tools was PC
Magazine's SyncURLs, which first appeared in January 6,
1998. This useful program was one of the first featured
on the I-SIGs web pages (check out our Software Archives
page for the link to download SynURLs). It allows you to
synchronize Netscape bookmarks and Internet Explorer
favourites, by importing both into a single "Bookmark
Library", rearranging them within SynURLs and then
exporting the common set of folders and bookmarks back
out to your browsers. You can also move these Libraries
to another computer so that you will always have access
to all your bookmarks.
Bookmark Wizard, a freeware program by Moon Software (http://www.moonsoftware.com) combines your bookmarks
in a single HTML page with all your links grouped and
sorted in ascending order. With it's simple wizard-like
interface, you can specify the colours to be used for
links and for the page background, title, caption etc.
The page template can be modified by more advanced users
to make a fully customized links page. I saved the
bookmark page generated by Bookmark Wizard on my desktop,
so I always have easy access to my bookmarks. Similarly,
you can use it as the startup page, or the home page, for
your browser, or as a "links" page on your web
site. To share your bookmarks with others, or to move
them to another computer, all you have to do is copy the
For a few more features, then you may want to consider
LinkSync, from Blue Squirrel Software (http://www.bluesquirrel.com/products/ls/
linksync.html). This inexpensive accessory
product does not just merge your Netscape bookmarks and
Internet Explorer favourites; it also tracks any changes
(additions, deletions, moves, cuts, copies, pastes or
renaming) you make to links in one browser, and applies
them to the other. Both browsers can be kept current at
the same time. Using LinkSyn, you can alternate
frequently between browsers without having to worry about
where your recently saved bookmarks are located.
In a future article, I will discuss several services for
sharing bookmarks on the Internet. Until then, readers
may want to check out Blink, Backflip, Hotlinks and other
I encourage readers to try out any or all of the
solutions and services described and provide some
feedback (on these or others) at the next I-SIG, which
will immediately follow the main presentation at the
March 2001 OPCUG meeting. Other topics posted on our
Internet SIG message area, and those raised at the
meeting, are likely, as usual, to make this another
If you have not yet joined the I-SIG Listserve, you can
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from Moon Software
Web site: http://www.moonsoftware.com
Proprietary Software: (price n/a)
from Blue Squirrel Software
Web site: http://www.bluesquirrel.com/products/ls/
Copyright and Usage
Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street,
Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews may not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.