In literal sense, bookmarks are page keepers that distinguish the page from others. In most cases, when reading a book, we put page markers/bookmarks as shown in the picture on the left so as to be able to easily come back to that page for future reference or to resume after a break.
The slideshow shown to the left shows some examples of what physical bookmarks are.
These can be any objects you have at hand, such as a pagemarker, your spectacles, a pen/pencil etc. Many of us must have used them already (sometimes without even knowing what they are!).
Web browser bookmarks or favourites are very similar in function to those mentioned above. The only difference being that these are software bookmarks and not physical like the ones we have spoken about earlier.
The reason for writing this blog post on web browser bookmarks is because I suddenly noticed a lot of my friends do not know what a 'bookmark' is and have never used this excellent helpful functionality. And there must be more and more people like them on the internet who are unaware of this convenient facility and thus I have decided to devote a series of posts on this small but useful topic - 'web browser bookmarks'.
According to Wikipedia, "in the context of the World Wide Web, a bookmark is a locally stored Uniform Resource Identifier (URI or an URL). All modern web browsers include bookmark features. Bookmarks are called favorites or Internet shortcuts in Internet Explorer, and by virtue of that browser's large market share, these terms have been synonymous with bookmark since the first browser war. Bookmarks are normally accessed through a menu in the user's web browser, and folders are commonly used for organization. In addition to bookmarking methods within most browsers, many external applications offer bookmark management".
Suppose one is browsing a random website and likes a particular article/information on the current page. He decides that he may require this page in future, so what method does he use to store it for future reference? There are 3 simple methods to do that:
- maintain a diary listing important webpages by manually writing them down as and when needed. You can refer to this diary in future if required. I used to do this when I was a newbie to the world of internet and computers and I guess there are many who still do this. The main drawback of this system is that over a period of time the diary will fill up and it will become a mess of scribbled web links that will become more and more difficult to refer to as time passes and more links get added.
- another option would be to save the entire webpage in a folder on your hard disk using the 'File>Save as/Save Page as' option from your web browser. This method saves the page for offline viewing and that could be of some use but again a clutter of hundreds of pages may become irritating after a period of time to search from.
- the best and most effective way, as you might have already guessed, is to use a bookmark. It will be stored in the browser itself and will be indexed for future reference.
Just click on the Bookmarks option in the Menu Bar on the top of the browser and select Bookmark this Page. Alternatively one can also press Ctrl+D to save the current page as a bookmark.
One can edit the name of the bookmark, select the folder where one wants to save the bookmark and give it tags for indexing.
For Internet Explorer
Click on the Favourites option in the Menu Bar on the top of the browser and select Add to Favourites. One can then edit the name to be saved with and also specify the folder in which the favourites/bookmark is to be stored.
For the latest editions with the big red O(the menu button for Opera), click on the top left hand corner on the Opera Menu, Click on Bookmarks and click on Bookmark Page. The bookmarks add menu is a bit more elaborate with extras like html address, descriptions and a couple of other options.
For the older ones, its same as in Firefox.
Note that other than accessing the menu, one can also book mark by
- pressing Ctrl + D
- clicking on the 'star' on the right hand corner of the address bar (place where one types the web address such as www.google.com; the star may be located somewhere else too as in case of Internet Explorer.)
We learnt 'how' to bookmark and now let us see the benefits. As mentioned earlier in the post, bookmarks are an alternative to saving pages on hard drive or listing our favourite website addresses in a diary. It is more convenient to just bookmark the site and let the browser do the homework. A bookmarked site can be easily found out when-
- one types the partial name of the site in the address bar and the browser gives you the choice for the complete addresses from the saved bookmarks(kind of autocomplete feature in google search).
- one can directly seek the bookmark from the bookmarks menu or the bookmarks toolbar. Just keep the most visited websites in the toolbar for 'click and use' access.
Note: Some of the pictures used here are taken from over the internet and were found using Google image search. Their copyrights belong to their respective owners.