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How to Manage Bookmarks in Safari

Keep Your Bookmarks Under Control With Folders

By Tom Nelson and Mary F. O'Connor

How to Manage Bookmarks in Safari

To open the Safari sidebar, click the Bookmarks menu and select Show All Bookmarks.

Screen shot courtesy Coyote Moon, Inc.

Bookmarks are an easy way to both keep track of your favorite sites and mark interesting sites for later, when you might have more time to spend exploring them.

The problem with bookmarks is that they can easily get out of hand. One way to get and keep them under control is to store them in folders. Of course, the process is easier if you set up folders before you start saving bookmarks, but it's never too late to get organized.

The Safari Sidebar

The easiest way to manage your bookmarks is through the Safari sidebar (sometimes referred to as the bookmarks editor). To access the Safari sidebar, click the Bookmarks menu and select Show All Bookmarks, or click the open book icon on the left side of the Bookmarks bar. From the Safari sidebar, you can add, edit, and delete bookmarks, as well as add or delete folders or subfolders.

There are two main places to save bookmarks and bookmark folders: the Bookmarks bar and the Bookmarks menu.

The Bookmarks Bar

The Bookmarks bar is located near the top of the Safari window. The Bookmarks bar is visible by default, but you can turn it off or on in Safari's preferences. If the Bookmarks bar isn't currently visible, click the View menu and select Show Bookmarks Bar.

The Bookmarks bar is a great place to store your favorite web sites, either as individual links or in folders. There's a limit to the number of individual links you can store horizontally across the toolbar, and still see and access them without needing to click a drop-down menu. The exact number depends on the length of the names you give the links, and the size of your typical Safari window, but a dozen links is probably the average. On the plus side, if you put links rather than folders in the Bookmarks bar, you can access the first nine of them using keyboard shortcuts rather than the mouse, as we describe in this tip:

If you use folders rather than links, you can have an almost endless supply of web sites available from the Bookmarks bar, although you might want to reserve the Bookmarks bar for sites you visit daily or at least once a week, and store everything else in the Bookmarks menu.

The Bookmarks Menu

The Bookmarks menu provides drop-down access to bookmarks and/or folders of bookmarks, depending on how you decide to organize it.

The Bookmarks menu also provides a second way to access the Bookmarks bar, as well as bookmark-related commands. If you turn off the Bookmarks bar, perhaps to gain a little more screen real estate, you can still access it from the Bookmarks menu.

Add a Folder to the Bookmarks Bar or the Bookmarks Menu

Adding a folder to the Bookmarks bar or the Bookmarks menu is easy; the trickier part is deciding how to set up your folders. Some categories, such as News, Sports, Weather, Tech, Work, Travel, and Shopping, are universal, or at least pretty obvious. Others, such as Crafts, Gardening, Woodworking, or Pets, are more personal. One category we strongly suggest that nearly everyone add is Temp (although you can name it whatever you like). If you're like most web surfers, you bookmark numerous sites, on a daily basis, to revisit later, when you have more time. Most of them probably aren't sites you want to bookmark permanently, but they're interesting enough to check out, just not today. If you keep them corralled in a Temp folder, they will still pile up frighteningly fast, but at least they'll all be in one place.

As far as names, whether you decide to add individual bookmarks or folders to the Bookmarks bar, keep their names short, so you can fit more of them in. Short names aren't a bad idea in the Bookmarks menu, either, but because the links display in a hierarchical list, you have more leeway.

To add a folder, click the Bookmarks menu and select Add Bookmark Folder. A new folder will appear in the Bookmarks section of the Safari sidebar, with its name (currently 'untitled folder') highlighted, ready for you to change it. Type in a new name, and press the return or enter key. If you accidentally click away from the folder before you get a chance to name it, right-click the folder and select Edit Name from the pop-up menu. If you change your mind about the folder, right-click it and select Delete from the pop-up menu.

When you're happy with the name, click and drag the folder to the Bookmarks Bar or the Bookmarks Menu entry in the sidebar, depending on where you want to store it.

Adding Subfolders to Folders

If you tend to collect and save a lot of bookmarks, you may want to consider adding subfolders to some of the folder categories. For example, you might have a top-level folder called Home that includes subfolders called Cooking, Decorating, Gardening, and Green Guides.

Open the Safari sidebar (Bookmarks menu, Show All Bookmarks), then click the Bookmarks Bar or the Bookmarks Menu entry, depending on the location of the top-level folder.

Click the target folder to select it, and then click the chevron to the left of the folder to display the folder's contents (even if the folder is empty). If you don't do this, when you add a new folder, it will be added at the same level as the existing folder, rather than within the folder.

From the Bookmarks menu, select Add Bookmarks Folder. A new subfolder will appear in the selected folder, with its name ('untitled folder') highlighted and ready for you to edit. Type in a new name and press return or enter.

To add more subfolders to the same folder, click the folder again, and then select Add Bookmarks Folder from the Bookmarks menu. Repeat the process until you've added all of the desired subfolders, but try to resist the urge to get carried away.

Organize Folders in the Bookmarks Bar

Once you add folders to the Bookmarks bar, you may change your mind about the order they're in; rearranging them is easy. There are two ways to move folders in the Bookmarks bar; directly in the Bookmarks bar itself, or in the Safari sidebar. The first option is the easiest if you're rearranging top-level folders; the second option is the one to choose if you want to rearrange subfolders.

Click the folder you want to move, and drag it to its target location in the Bookmarks bar. The other folders will move out of the way to accommodate it.

You can also reorganize the folders in the Bookmarks menu from the Safari sidebar. To view the Safari sidebar, click the Bookmarks menu and select Show All Bookmarks. In the Safari sidebar, click the Bookmarks Bar entry to select it.

To move a folder, click and hold the folder's icon, then drag it to the desired location. You can move a folder to a different position at the same level in the hierarchy, or drag it into another folder.

Organize Folders in the Bookmarks Menu

Open the Safari sidebar and click the Bookmarks Menu entry. From here, rearranging folders is exactly the same process as the second option, above. Just click the icon for the folder you want to move, and drag it to the target location.

Delete a Folder

To delete a folder from your Safari Bookmarks Menu or Bookmarks Bar, right-click on the folder, and select Delete from the pop-up menu. Check the folder first, to be sure that it doesn't contain any bookmarks or subfolders that you want to save elsewhere.

Rename a Folder

To rename a folder, right-click the folder, and select Edit Name from the pop-up menu. The folder's name will be highlighted, ready for you to edit. Type in a new name, and press return or enter.

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