HOW  TO  USE  SAFARI  WEB  BROWSER  FAVOURITES  /  BOOKMARKS  EXPLAINED


Bookmarks, otherwise known as: Favorites (American spelling), is a feature built-in to most, if not all, web browser applications these days that allows you to create (bookmark) a list of your favourite websites and web pages. Hence the term Favorites/Bookmarks. The idea is that when you need to visit one of your favourite websites or web pages again you simply select it from your list of favourite (bookmarked) websites and web pages, as opposed to having to type its website address into Safari's address bar edit box each time.

For every website or web page you bookmark (add to your list of favorite websites/web pages) a record of that bookmarked website or web page is kept inside the Bookmarks.plist file which is stored inside your Home (User Name) >> Library >> Safari folder. And whenever you delete a bookmarked website or web page from your list of favourite websites and web pages it is also deleted from the Bookmarks.plist file. Putting those technicals aside; All you need to remember here is that Safari keeps a copy of your list of favourite websites and web pages inside its Bookmarks.plist file, which is good to know for backup purposes. Furthermore, whenever you view your list of favourite websites and web pages within the Safari web browser application you are viewing the actual records (bookmark entries) held inside the Bookmarks.plist file. Don't worry too much about Bookmarks at this point because the examples will make things clearer!


To add a website or web page to your existing list of favourite websites and web pages, which should be an empty list at this stage, begin by visiting the website or web page you want to bookmark (add to your list of favourite websites and web pages). In this example I am viewing the Amazon website and will therefore bookmark it. When you have your chosen website or web page on display click on the BOOKMARKS menu of Safari to display its BOOKMARKS menu-items and then click on the ADD BOOKMARK menu-item.



Fig 1.0  Click on the BOOKMARKS menu and then on the ADD BOOKMARK menu-item to continue

Clicking on the ADD BOOKMARK menu-item brings up a ADD THIS PAGE TO: message requester, which is the equivalent to a SAVE AS File Requester in that it wants to know where you would like to store/save the currently selected website's (or web page's) title and address/url details; on the Bookmarks Bar, on the Bookmarks Menu or inside Top Sites.



Fig 1.1  The ADD THIS PAGE TO: message requester wants to know where the currently selected website (or web page) should be bookmarked

By default (normal behaviour) a bookmark (favourite website and web page) is placed on the Bookmarks Menu, but you can change this so that it is placed on the Bookmarks Bar or inside the Top Sites instead. Simply click on the ADD THIS PAGE TO: drop-down menu and select an alternative location for the currently selected website or web page.



Fig 1.2  Click on the ADD THIS PAGE TO: drop-down menu and select an alternative location for the currently selected website or web page

The Bookmarks Bar is the line/area going across the Safari window, from the Glasses icon to the end of the window. It is the ideal place for storing bookmarks (favourite websites and web pages) that you use all the time; such as your top ten websites and/or web pages.



Fig 1.3  A direct link to the Amazon website has been placed on the Bookmarks Bar

The Bookmarks Menu is the menu you have just used to bring up the ADD THIS PAGE TO: message requester (Fig 1.0 above). It is the ideal place for storing masses of bookmarks (favourite websites and web pages); many of which you might not use that often.



Fig 1.4  A direct link to the Amazon website has been placed on the Bookmarks Menu

Top Sites is a page consisting of 12 Bookmarks. It is different from the Bookmarks Bar and Bookmarks Menu in that it allows you to see a visual representation of each website or web page you have previously bookmarked, which makes it ideal if you quickly want to view a website or web page you might of forgotten about and/or cannot remember the look of. As it primarily only stores 12 bookmarks it is ideal to use purely for websites and/or web pages you visit on a regular basis.



Fig 1.5  A direct link to the Amazon website has been placed inside a Top Sites slot (preview pane)

Getting back to the ADD THIS PAGE TO: message requester - Once you have decided where to store the currently selected (open) website or web page as a bookmark (favourite website or web page) the next step is to decide upon its Title. By default a bookmark will take its name (title) from the website or web page itself - The title the website programmer gave it. In the case of the Amazon website, it uses the long-winded title/name of: Amazon.co.uk: Low Prices in Electronics, Books, Sports Equipment & more. This is obviously too long for the title/name of a bookmark, so I would suggest you shorten your bookmark titles/names to something more meaningful; such as Amazon Books or just Amazon for these examples. Simply edit the title/name within the ADD THIS PAGE TO: edit box before clicking on the ADD button.



Fig 1.6  Change the location and title of the bookmark (favourite website or web page), if need be, before clicking on the ADD button.

With your chosen website or web page now bookmarked, all you need to do when you want to visit that website or web page again is click on its bookmark icon, menu-item or top site thumbnail (preview icon); as opposed to manually searching for the website or web page again. And that is the point of a bookmark. It means you do not have to remember how you found a website or web page in the first place. Once you have found that golden nugget of a website (or web page), bookmark it! If you have ever found a really good website and then forgotten how to find it again days or weeks later whereby you are kicking yourself for not writing down its website address, you will appreciate the Bookmark......because they can be life-savers, literally.

HOW  TO  DELETE  SAFARI  WEB  BROWSER  FAVOURITES  /  BOOKMARKS


To delete (or modify) a bookmark from the Bookmarks Menu you first need to view what is listed in the Bookmarks Menu. You could do this by simply clicking on the BOOKMARKS menu, but this would only show you the listing (as menu-items) without being able to delete (or modify) a bookmark from it simply because a menu is meant for selecting menu-items that cause something to happen. So instead of clicking on the BOOKMARKS menu and then trying to delete a bookmark from it, you should click on the BOOKMARKS menu and then select its SHOW ALL BOOKMARKS menu-item. Or better still, you should click on the BOOKMARKS icon located on the Safari web browser Bookmarks Bar. Either way, the content of the Bookmarks Menu will be shown as a folder layout with the bookmarks being the files within it (Fig 2.1 below).



Fig 2.0  To view and modify your bookmarks click on the BOOKMARKS icon located on the Bookmarks Bar




Fig 2.1  The content of the Bookmarks Menu is storing nine bookmarks inside it

In the above example I have already bookmarked nine websites. To delete one of them from the list, now that the Bookmarks Menu has been opened, first select it (click on it) and then right click over it to bring up its context (Options) menu. From there click on the DELETE menu-item.



Fig 2.2  Click on the bookmark you want to delete, right click over it and then select the DELETE menu-item.

Although you can just right click over a listed bookmark and then select the DELETE menu-item, it is better to select it first. That way you have the choice of the right click, pressing the DELETE keyboard key (or CMD + Backspace) or using the Safari EDIT menu; Click on the EDIT menu and then select the DELETE menu-item, with the bookmark selected (highlighted in dark blue).



Fig 2.3  Click on the bookmark you want to delete, click on the Safari EDIT menu and then select the DELETE menu-item.

You can delete more than one bookmark at a time if you wish using the CMD keyboard key or SHIFT keyboard key methods, as described in the Select, Copy & Paste section. Remember - Select a bookmark and then hold down the Command (CMD) keyboard key as you then select (click on) the other bookmarks you want to delete. If you want to delete a range/selection of bookmarks; Click on the first one, move the pointer over the last one in your range and then hold down the SHIFT key as you then select the last bookmark. Once you have multiple bookmarks selected (highlighted in dark blue) use the Safari EDIT menu to DELETE them.



Fig 2.4  Select the bookmarks you want to delete by using the Command (CMD) keyboard key or SHIFT keyboard key

Do not use the right-click method to delete your selection as the right-click will cancel your selection and only reselect the bookmark that is underneath the right-click (underneath the mouse pointer). So use the Safari EDIT menu, DELETE menu-item instead.

HOW  TO  ORGANISE  SAFARI  WEB  BROWSER  FAVOURITES  /  BOOKMARKS


If you want to organize your bookmarks into folders you can do, but if you want to organize them into Alphabetical Order you cannot natively. Meaning, the Safari web browser application does not have a SORT BY NAME or SORT A-Z option in any of its menus or preferences. Don't panic though! There is a 'workaround' for this and that is to copy your bookmarks into a standard OS X (Mountain Lion) folder on the desktop for example. You can also manually drag bookmarks up and down the Bookmarks Menu.

To put bookmarks in Alphabetical Order first you first need to select them all from within the Bookmarks Menu - Click on any bookmark and then press the Command and A (CMD + A) keyboard keys. Or use the EDIT menu and select its SELECT ALL menu-item. Either method will highlight all of your bookmarks in dark blue, therefore selecting them all.



Fig 3.0  Select all your bookmarks from within the Bookmarks Menu by pressing the Command and A (CMD + A) keyboard keys

With all of your bookmarks selected the next step is to copy them into a new folder on your desktop screen for example. So if you haven't already, go ahead and create a new folder on your desktop screen. It doesn't matter if leave its name as: Untitled Folder because it will only be used, temporarily, for this organizing into alphabetical order. When you have created a new folder on your desktop screen go back to the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder), drag your selected bookmarks from it (Fig 3.0 above) and drop them into that new folder on your desktop screen (Fig 3.1 below). You cannot COPY & PASTE them because Safari and/or OS X (Mountain Lion) does not permit it for some strange reason. Probably for the same strange reason why they don't have a SORT BY NAME option. Typically Apple not listening to its customers yet again.



Fig 3.1  A copy of all my selected bookmarks have been copied into the new Untitled Folder on my desktop screen

As you can see above; A copy of all my selected bookmarks have been copied (dragged and dropped) into the new Untitled Folder on my desktop screen. More importantly though, they are all in Alphabetical Order. Don't worry about the thumbnails (preview, company, icons) being missing as these will return in the next step; which is to do the reverse of what has just been done - You now have to create a new folder within the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder) so that you can then COPY & PASTE or DRAG & DROP the alphabet organized bookmarks from the new folder on the desktop screen into the new folder within the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder).

You create a new folder within the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder) either by clicking on the PLUS (+) button underneath the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder) or by clicking on the actual Safari menu called BOOKMARKS and selecting its ADD BOOKMARK FOLDER menu-item. Either way you should rename that new folder, which is called Untitled Folder by default, to something more meaningful such as BookmarksAZ, AtoZ or Alphabetical. When the new folder has been created it will automatically be selected (highlighted in dark blue) and open (denoted by the down-triangle to the left of its folder icon).



Fig 3.2  Create a new folder within the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder) and then give it a more meaningful name

With a new folder created inside the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder), called BoolmarksAZ in this example, the next step is to go back to the new folder on the desktop screen and select all of its bookmarks using the Command and A (CMD + A) keyboard keys or the EDIT menu, SELECT ALL menu-item. Once they are selected you can then either COPY & PASTE or DRAG & DROP the alphabet organized bookmarks into the new folder within the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder). The DRAG & DROP method can be fiddly at the best of times, especially if you are an absolute beginner to computers. I would therefore use the COPY & PASTE method if I was you - Click on the EDIT menu and select its COPY menu-item. Now go back to the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder), select the new folder, click on the EDIT menu and then select the PASTE menu-item.



Fig 3.3  You can DRAG & DROP the selected bookmarks but this can be fiddly, so use the COPY & PASTE method instead.




Fig 3.4  Either DROP the selected bookmarks into the BookmarksAZ folder or PASTE them into the BookmarksAZ folder

Now that you have a folder that contains Alphabetically Ordered bookmarks inside it you can either delete the original bookmarks or simply reuse them. You could drag them into other new folders for example. I could create a folder called Travel and then drag the original Transport For London bookmark into it. I could then create a new folder called Online Shops and drag the original PC World, Maplin and so on bookmarks into it. I could also create bookmark folders in the sidebar by clicking on the PLUS (+) button in the bottom-left corner of the Bookmarks Menu window and then drag bookmarks into it. Once you know about folders and files, by reading the relevant Folders & Files sections within this website for example, you will find it much easier to work with bookmarks, e-mail attachments and so on.

In the example below I am currently dragging the original Transport For London bookmark into the newly created folder I called Travel. Travel was created by clicking on the Safari BOOKMARKS menu and selecting the ADD BOOKMARK FOLDER menu-item. It then creates a default folder called Untitled Folder within the sidebar of the Bookmarks Menu window.



Fig 3.5  You can create new folders within the sidebar of the Bookmarks Menu window if you wish

You can even DRAG & DROP, but not COPY & PASTE, bookmarks into the Bookmarks Bar folder so that they can be seen and used from the Bookmarks Bar. You might think this is a bad idea because you can only get so many bookmarks viewable on the Bookmarks Bar, which is true to a certain extent but not really a limitation. Why? Because you can always create folders on the Bookmarks Bar by right clicking on an empty part of the Bookmarks Bar and selecting the NEW FOLDER option that appears. You can also DRAG & DROP bookmarks directly from the Bookmarks Menu onto the Bookmarks Bar as well as into folders already on the Bookmarks Bar.



Fig 3.6  These bookmarks have been dragged from the Bookmarks Menu (window/folder) onto the Bookmarks Bar and its sub-folders

Because it is beyond the scope of this section/lesson to show you everything about bookmarks and the way they can be dragged around and copied into certain folders and window panes, I would suggest you experiment. Play around by creating bookmarks and moving them one place to another to see what happens. Once you are confident start using "proper bookmarks" (bookmarks you actually want to use) and put them in their correct place(s) such as the Bookmarks Menu and/or Bookmarks Bar.

Going back to Top Sites - Click on the 4 by 3 Square Grid icon, to the right of the Bookmarks (book) icon, to open the Top Sites window whereby you will see a grid formation of website thumbnails (preview icons). Those thumbnails are normally previews of Apple suggested websites and recently visited websites amongst others. In the bottom-left corner of the Top Sites window you will see an EDIT button that once clicked on will allow you to add and remove those website thumbnails; which act just like bookmarks.



Fig 3.7  Click on the 4 by 3 Square Grid icon to open the Top Sites window

To add a website thumbnail (bookmark) to the Top Sites grid it's best to have two separate Safari windows open. In the first window the website you want to add to the Top Sites grid (the PC World website in this example - Fig 3.8 below) and in the second window the Top Sites grid. To add a website such as the PC World website into the Top Sites grid you simply DRAG & DROP its website address (url) onto the Top Sites grid (window pane).



Fig 3.8  DRAG the PC World website address (url) out of the Safari web browser's Address Bar edit box.....




Fig 3.9  .....and DROP it onto the Top Sites grid (window pane).

When the PC World website has been added to the Top Sites grid you follow the same procedure as above to add another website - You use window two again to display another website, such as the Amazon website, and then drag and drop that Amazon website address (url) onto the Top Sites grid. You repeat the process until you have your collection of favourite websites (bookmarks) inside the Top Sites grid. Before you finish and click on the DONE button you should move the website thumbnails (bookmarks) around by dragging them into a preferred slot (grid position).

When you add a new website to the Top Sites grid it is automatically pinned to the grid, denoted by the Pin icon, which you can unpin at any time by clicking on the Pin icon. And if you want to remove a pinned, or even unpinned, website simply click on its X button. One other way of adding a website to the grid is to drag its bookmark from the Bookmarks Menu and drop it directly onto the top sites Grid icon located on the Bookmarks Bar.


Hopefully the above has been enough to get you started with Bookmarks and left you confident enough to experiment. Bookmarks in general can save you a lot of time hunting around the internet, typing out the same old website addresses each day and so on. Think of your bookmarks as address book entries - Once a website has been bookmarked it never needs adding again and never needs typing out again. You simply click on its thumbnail/link and visit its website. And as said above; the above procedures work with web pages too, even though I concentrated on website addresses. With regards to renaming bookmarks and bookmark folders; you rename them in the same way as normal folders and files, hence why learning the lessons within the Folders & Files sections will be one of the smartest things you can do for yourself computer-wise.