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What happened to bookmarks "Description" box?

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In prior versions of Firefox, the Properties Box used to include a large text "Description" box where I could put login information and other details for that bookmark. Now, in version 62.0, that text box no longer exists. Old bookmarks that I have no longer have this information either.

I used this text box extensively and Firefox was the one browser that had this box. Now it appears to have been removed. Can I get this Description box back? Or do I switch to a different browser?

Thanks, Macbel

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Hi macbel, cor-el gave you the steps to export your bookmarks out to a web page you can view in Firefox or another browser for reference.

Next Steps

If you use the Description field frequently, you could consider adopting a new program (or an add-on?) that will help you maintain your notes. I've tested one so far:

Zotero

Zotero is an open source bibliographic/research tool for collecting references. Zotero knows how to read a Firefox HTML bookmarks file and will preserve the descriptions. You can keep your storage purely local, or you can optionally sync with the Zotero cloud.

This is a one-way trip: you can send new references to Zotero from within Firefox using a Zotero add-on, but you won't be able to read/edit bookmark descriptions from within Firefox.

If you want to try it:

The Zotero research tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux from https://www.zotero.org/

When you import a bookmarks.html file, it creates entries for each page but it flattens the folder structure, so it comes out like this:

  • bookmarks.html, with top-level Bookmarks Menu items
    • Bookmarks Toolbar folder
    • Folder1
    • Folder2
    • Other Bookmarks folder

When you click a bookmark, Zotero displays the Title, URL, and "Abstract" which contains the imported Description. (Screenshot #1) Double-clicking the item will launch the page in the default browser.

Zotero also has an optional Firefox Connector webextension, which allow saving new pages to a Zotero collection (either under the bookmarks structure, or other folders the user created in Zotero). (Screenshot #2)

(I didn't look at cloud sync.)

Using a second program is less convenient than using Firefox features or a fully self-contained Firefox extension. However, it might suit your needs.

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The description field has only been removed from the user interface in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) for now. This description field is still present in the places.sqlite database and you can export the bookmarks to an HTML file or create a JSON backup to have a backup copy that includes the descriptions.

See also:

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Valgt løsning

Hi macbel, cor-el gave you the steps to export your bookmarks out to a web page you can view in Firefox or another browser for reference.

Next Steps

If you use the Description field frequently, you could consider adopting a new program (or an add-on?) that will help you maintain your notes. I've tested one so far:

Zotero

Zotero is an open source bibliographic/research tool for collecting references. Zotero knows how to read a Firefox HTML bookmarks file and will preserve the descriptions. You can keep your storage purely local, or you can optionally sync with the Zotero cloud.

This is a one-way trip: you can send new references to Zotero from within Firefox using a Zotero add-on, but you won't be able to read/edit bookmark descriptions from within Firefox.

If you want to try it:

The Zotero research tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux from https://www.zotero.org/

When you import a bookmarks.html file, it creates entries for each page but it flattens the folder structure, so it comes out like this:

  • bookmarks.html, with top-level Bookmarks Menu items
    • Bookmarks Toolbar folder
    • Folder1
    • Folder2
    • Other Bookmarks folder

When you click a bookmark, Zotero displays the Title, URL, and "Abstract" which contains the imported Description. (Screenshot #1) Double-clicking the item will launch the page in the default browser.

Zotero also has an optional Firefox Connector webextension, which allow saving new pages to a Zotero collection (either under the bookmarks structure, or other folders the user created in Zotero). (Screenshot #2)

(I didn't look at cloud sync.)

Using a second program is less convenient than using Firefox features or a fully self-contained Firefox extension. However, it might suit your needs.

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cor-el said

The description field has only been removed from the user interface in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) for now. This description field is still present in the places.sqlite database and you can export the bookmarks to an HTML file or create a JSON backup to have a backup copy that includes the descriptions. See also:
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Thank you, Cor-el. If I understand that the description box is gone from the user interface for now and may be brought back again, that will work for me. I do keep backups of my bookmarks so I have the ones from earlier Firefox versions. I'd still like to be able to have the description box user interface for future bookmarks. This is why I still use the Bookmarks in Firefox.

I appreciate your quick response. Regards, macbel

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And thank you, jscher2000 also for the comprehensive response. I appreciate all the help. macbel

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thank god the information is still in the file exported! please give a warning to the user before making change like this!!! I use this field very often now I can move the information to another program, but not if it dissapears without warning!

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This change is mentioned in the Firefox 62 Release Notes.

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Yes that would be good if showed before removing the description and giving me a heart attack.

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cor-el said

This change is mentioned in the Firefox 62 Release Notes.

Why was it removed at all?

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I have literally 100's of missing Properties descriptions, after using FF for yrs. According to the release notes, doesn't sound like they are coming back. I certainly hope they do ASAP!!!!!! Just spent 1/2 hr. just getting logged on to post this. Will now probably spend hrs. trying to find the descriptions from instructions above. Bad enough my wife always hiding things, now FF wants to play hide & seek. I hate hide & seek!!!!!! To quote olds97_lss: "Why was it removed at all?"

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Hi Dockate, you can immediately access a list of all your bookmarks with their descriptions by exporting your bookmarks to an HTML file (a web page) and opening that in any browser. This article has the steps:

Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks

That's of course a "read only" archive of your descriptions, so to update them in the future you'll need to find a new tool for maintaining them. There are some ideas in this thread.

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Thanks jscher2000. However the link you gave says: "Your bookmarks are now successfully exported from Firefox." Will the original bookmarks stay put, & I'm just exporting a copy?

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Dockate said

Thanks jscher2000. However the link you gave says: "Your bookmarks are now successfully exported from Firefox." Will the original bookmarks stay put, & I'm just exporting a copy?

Yes, the exported HTML page is a static snapshot of your current set of bookmarks. It doesn't remove anything.

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Thanks jscher2000. At least I found them, but what a mess. The file hierarchy isn't the same. What was contained in one simple drop down menu is now about 60 pages long That Zotero doesn't look like much fun either. I sure hope the Bookmarks descriptions comes back & soon.

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Dockate said

I sure hope the Bookmarks descriptions comes back & soon.

I'm not aware of any concrete plans for a replacement feature. Not to say such a thing is impossible, but if it's not already in testing, we would be well after the new year before the feature would be released.

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IMO, the easiest solution is to replace Firefox 62 with the Firefox 60 ESR version which is available here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/

Intended for system administrators who deploy and maintain the desktop environment in organizations such as schools, governments and businesses. But there is no prohibition on regular users using that version. The main advantage is that Firefox stays basically the same for the next 7 release cycles, and does receive security updates as they are made. Plus the Description data is in Firefox 62, at this point only the "access" fields are gone.

Install ESR 60 after removing Fx 62; your Profile won't be affected.

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the-edmeister said

IMO, the easiest solution is to replace Firefox 62 with the Firefox 60 ESR version which is available here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/ Intended for system administrators who deploy and maintain the desktop environment in organizations such as schools, governments and businesses. But there is no prohibition on regular users using that version. The main advantage is that Firefox stays basically the same for the next 7 release cycles, and does receive security updates as they are made. Plus the Description data is in Firefox 62, at this point only the "access" fields are gone. Install ESR 60 after removing Fx 62; your Profile won't be affected.

I suppose that's the better way to go vs just going to filehippo.com and going back to 61.0.2 like I did. Then you at least get security updates for a while. But eventually, it will lose the description as well, will it not?

Still, it would be interesting to me to know why it was removed to begin with.

Ændret af olds97_lss den

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There is no need to get Firefox anywhere else, Mozilla has every version of Firefox ever released since early 2002 on it's servers. Using sites like filehippo is what causes too many people to get "bed bugs" in addition to Firefox when they patronize such web sites. It's just a matter of knowing where to look and not going off half-cocked when your upset about something and making rash or ill considered decisions.

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olds97_lss said

Still, it would be interesting to me to know why it was removed to begin with.

What difference would "knowing" make. It ain't gonna fix the situation.

Basically a Bug report was filed like 7 years ago about removing that feature which was used by a very small % of Firefox users. The pros and cons were discussed, a few years later that % was halved from what it had been. Consensus was reached and a number years later the developers carried thru and first hid the access to the data in Fx 62, then in Firefox 64 the data would be removed per another Bug report which dealt with that stage of the process. You have to give Mozillla credit for not just "pulling the plug" all at once.

That is what I took away from the original Bug report along with a listing of the Bug reports ID's for the subsequent reports that provided the separate tasks that were needed to achieve their goal. Then all those subsequent Bugs were done, the main one was finished and the version number where that solution would be released in.

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OK I'm confused, are the description boxes where they are supposed to be in FF 60 ESR? In other words, FF 60 ESR is an older version, so the description boxes are still intact, or, it's the latest version of ESR, but the description boxes are still there as they have been since Netscape? "Install ESR 60 after removing Fx 62; your Profile won't be affected." If I uninstall FF, doesn't the Profile get uninstalled too?

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