Using Browser Bookmarks with Internet Explorer
from the June 2001 Actrix Newsletter

by Rob Zorn

All the major browsers come with the ability for users to create and use bookmarks. Sometimes known as "Favorites," bookmarks are easy to use and greatly convenient. They allow you to go to your favourite page(s) by a simple mouseclick without having to type in the whole URL or Internet address. Bookmarks are all handled a little differently, however, depending on the browser in question. This month I thought I would run through some of the bookmark basics for Internet Explorer. Next month I could probably do a similar article for Netscape and/or Opera.

Creating and Displaying Bookmarks with Internet Explorer

Creating bookmarks is very easy, but the way you choose to do it will be influenced by how you would like to use your bookmarks in future. Personally, I like to have all my bookmarks nicely in a line just under the address bar (the slim white field into which you normally type an Internet address). All I have to do is click one, and Explorer will automatically find and load the relevant page. Explorer refers to Favorites displayed this way as "Links". The picture below shows three bookmark Links," (DOMAINZ, AltaVista and one to a Bob Dylan related page I visit reasonably often).

To add links to your browser like this, all you have to do is go to the page you want to bookmark. Once the page has loaded:

1. Click Favorites on your menu bar. Note, the menu bar is the one at the top between View and Tools. Don't click the Favorites button (pictured to the left next to the Search button). We'll talk about what that button does later on below. When you click Favorites on the menu bar, a box will drop down containing a couple of options.
2. Click Add to Favorites. This will bring up a box called Add Favorite. This box allows you to change or shorten the name of your bookmark. It is recommended to keep bookmark names short so that you can fit more on your screen.
3. To the bottom right of the Add Favorite box is a button called Create In. Click this to reveal a few yellow folders into which you could put your new bookmark.
4. Click to select the yellow Links folder and then click Okay. You have now created a new bookmark in Internet Explorer's Links folder.

There may be one last step you need to go through in order to get your links to display on your screen. If you have made a bookmark link and it doesn't appear nicely below your address bar, you may need to "pull your link bar down." To accomplish this, rest your mouse on the area just below your address bar until your mouse icon turns into a small black double arrow (see picture left). Hold your left mouse button down and drag down gently. Your Links bar should then appear. Alternatively, click View/Toolbars, and then put a tick next to Links. You can add as many links here as you like. If you end up with too many to fit nicely across your screen, Explorer will put a small double arrowhead to the far right of your Links bar. Click this to have surplus links appear.

The Second Method

As stated, the above is my preferred method for displaying bookmarks. There is another way. If you click the Favorites button on your tool bar, a "Favorites" column will appear to the left of your screen. This column will display all of the Favorites you've built up over the years (and quite a few that come with Explorer by default) in various folders if applicable. Simply click these to load the required page. I don't like this method because it squashes my display screen a little. This is never a good idea as web page creators design for a full screen view. Yes, I know I could simply close the Favorites column again (cross in top left corner) but I'd rather not have to bother.

Admittedly, if you don't like either of these methods, you could simply click Favorites on the menu bar and select them from the drop down box(es).

Managing bookmarks is reasonably easy too. Simply right-click on them to find ways of dealing with them. In the grey box that appears when you right-click a bookmark, you can choose to delete them or rename them. If you select Properties, you can find out where they are currently pointing and make changes if you wish.

I hope this has made some sense, and I really encourage you to try it. Once you start with bookmarks, you'll wonder how you ever coped without them. It sure beats squinting and typing into your address bar over and over again.