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What Syntax or Format Should The HTML File Be For Booksmarks Import

Posted

Hey guys,

We are creating a HTML file from scratch of URL's needing to be imported as bookmarks into Firefox. The file is generated by Microsoft Excel, which means it has lots of fun unnecessary code in the HTML file.

The Firefox Help is full of How To's from other browsers, however, we were not able find any details about syntax when one creates a HTML file outside of other browsers.

Is there any specific format or syntax the HTML file should be setup in in order to successfully import them into Firefox Bookmarks?

Thanks for your help.

Hey guys, We are creating a HTML file from scratch of URL's needing to be imported as bookmarks into Firefox. The file is generated by Microsoft Excel, which means it has lots of fun unnecessary code in the HTML file. The Firefox Help is full of How To's from other browsers, however, we were not able find any details about syntax when one creates a HTML file outside of other browsers. Is there any specific format or syntax the HTML file should be setup in in order to successfully import them into Firefox Bookmarks? Thanks for your help.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:66.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4255 solutions 59591 answers

I suggest you export your current bookmarks and check out the file. Note: When importing an HTML bookmarks file, its data is added to the current.

If you want to replace the current, remove or delete first. Removing the places.sqlite file removes History and Bookmarks.


Open the Bookmarks Manager; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the toolbar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> B.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Export Bookmarks To HTML, and follow the prompts and save it to a HTML file. Copy the file to another computer/profile. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select Import Bookmarks From HTML.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recover-lost-or-missing-bookmarks

Mozilla search: Import {web link}

I suggest you export your current bookmarks and check out the file. Note: When importing an HTML bookmarks file, its data is added to the current. If you want to replace the current, remove or delete first. Removing the '''places.sqlite''' file removes History and Bookmarks. ----------- Open the '''Bookmarks Manager; ''' Press the '''Alt''' or '''F10''' key to bring up the toolbar, and select '''Bookmarks. ''' Hot key is '''<Control> ''(Mac=<Command>)'' <Shift> B. ''' Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled ''' Import and Backup. ''' Select '''Export''' '''Bookmarks To HTML, ''' and follow the prompts and save it to a '''HTML''' file. '''Copy''' the file to another computer/profile. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select '''Import Bookmarks''' '''From HTML. ''' https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recover-lost-or-missing-bookmarks [https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/search?esab=a&w=1&q=import Mozilla search: Import] {web link}
the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5406 solutions 40228 answers

Firefox looks for this header when importing a bookmarks.html file.

<!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>
<!-- This is an automatically generated file.
     It will be read and overwritten.
     DO NOT EDIT! -->

After that header a text list of URL's with each starting on a new line is all you need, iirc.


See this MSDN article: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/aa753582%28v=vs.94%29

Firefox looks for this header when importing a '''bookmarks.html''' file. <blockquote><pre><nowiki> <!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1> <!-- This is an automatically generated file. It will be read and overwritten. DO NOT EDIT! --> </nowiki></pre></blockquote> After that header a text list of URL's with each starting on a new line is all you need, iirc. ----------------------------- See this MSDN article: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/aa753582%28v=vs.94%29

Question owner

Hi Everyone,

FredMcD - quick note...these booksmarks do not exist in another browser. These are a list of 200+ URL's that I would like to import into a specific (specified) folder into Firefox.

the-edmeister - let me share with you what I did using your information and the results.


I can confirm my Firefox version is 66.0.5 May 7, 2019

I created a simple HTML file like you suggested. Using those heads you sent along with each line was <A HREF="(url)>Title</A>

Then I opened a newly created Booksmarks folder which has nothing in it...and the status is that this folder is open.

That was then followed by running the import "Import Booksmarks from HTML"

Then I selected the .HTM file on my Mac.

What happened was the bookmarks all ended up in Recently Bookmarked, but I cannot find them in the newly created folder or for that matter anywhere else within the Booksmarks structure.

What is interesting is in the "Recently Bookmarked" area only 10 of them show up at a time. When I deleted 10 of them, the next 10 displays....considering there are over 200, why would they all not display.

From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a specific way to import directly to a specified Bookmarks Folder...at least the import process should ask even if one is open.

Another item is when you import, there is no confirmation as to how many imports were made or a confirmation that any imports were completed.

It seems like this process could be better developed in future revisions....especially....for someone who is not exporting from a different browser and importing a prevoius browser's export file.

In this case I have 200+ URL's that I want to import into a specific folder. Seems odd that this cannot be easily done.

Passing along my two cents from my experience.

Open to other thoughts.

Thanks again.

Hi Everyone, FredMcD - quick note...these booksmarks do not exist in another browser. These are a list of 200+ URL's that I would like to import into a specific (specified) folder into Firefox. the-edmeister - let me share with you what I did using your information and the results. I can confirm my Firefox version is 66.0.5 May 7, 2019 I created a simple HTML file like you suggested. Using those heads you sent along with each line was <A HREF="(url)>Title</A> Then I opened a newly created Booksmarks folder which has nothing in it...and the status is that this folder is open. That was then followed by running the import "Import Booksmarks from HTML" Then I selected the .HTM file on my Mac. What happened was the bookmarks all ended up in Recently Bookmarked, but I cannot find them in the newly created folder or for that matter anywhere else within the Booksmarks structure. What is interesting is in the "Recently Bookmarked" area only 10 of them show up at a time. When I deleted 10 of them, the next 10 displays....considering there are over 200, why would they all not display. From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a specific way to import directly to a specified Bookmarks Folder...at least the import process should ask even if one is open. Another item is when you import, there is no confirmation as to how many imports were made or a confirmation that any imports were completed. It seems like this process could be better developed in future revisions....especially....for someone who is not exporting from a different browser and importing a prevoius browser's export file. In this case I have 200+ URL's that I want to import into a specific folder. Seems odd that this cannot be easily done. Passing along my two cents from my experience. Open to other thoughts. Thanks again.
the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5406 solutions 40228 answers

"Recently Bookmarked" is a smart folder that displays the 10 most recently saved (or imported) bookmarks; delete those 10 in the "Recently Bookmarked" folder and 10 more will appear and the 10 that you deleted are just plain gone. That folder is like an ongoing survey of incoming activity; save a new bookmark and the 10th one in "Recently Bookmarked" drops off the list there.

"Recently Bookmarked" is not the display of all your saved bookmarks, it's not a real folder used for storage of bookmarks. The real storage folder is the Bookmarks Menu folder, or in "Other Bookmarks" depending upon whether a bookmark is saved without placing it a folder (like a "quick save" folder for categorizing later on) ; and when it is saved to a specific folder it would be in the Bookmarks Menu set of folders where you placed it purposely. I hope you get my description of the relationship of "Recently Bookmarked" with "Bookmarks Menu" and "Other Bookmarks".

And the situation can be even more confusing when Recent Highlights" comes into play with a different way to get to your bookmarks from via a Toolbar button; same as "Recently Bookmarks".

I just right-click that "Recently Bookmarked" folder and Delete it - period. IMO, it is a useless artifact which I curse with every new installation or every new Profile that I create - for the last 11 years.


As far as the user being able to select a specific folder goes, that could complicate the import process depending upon the source. The "import" function drops all the bookmarks into the Bookmarks Menu folder. Now if bookmarks are imported from another browser that is installed on that computer, all the imported bookmarks would be in their own folder that is labeled with the brand of browser that Firefox pulled them from; and in From Safari (other something like that, I have been using Firefox for close to 17 years and never imported bookmarks from any other browser, so I have never seen it first-hand just the occasional mention here or a screenshot here.

I agree that it would be nice to have a confirmation that the "import" was successful and maybe even give the user a count of many have been added.

But importing bookmarks into Firefox is usually a a one time thing so adding options or features to "Import" of bookmarks really doesn't get considered, especially considering that if "another browser" changes something in their Favorites / Bookmarks it might break a new feature in Firefox.

It gets the job done, but isn't very elegant.


My perception is that that process works pretty much the same as it did in 1995 when Netscape Navigator first arrived on the web scene. And Mozilla has done little with the base bookmarks.html structure besides adding the ability for the Favicons (web site images) saved in the actual bookmarks.html file and also "exports" that data, too.

Opera came after Netscape Navigator; it also used the DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1 format for import, export, and iirc for storage, too - with the Presto engine until 2013 when it became WebKit / Blink based.

When Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer (1997) they included the ability to "import in HTML" format and "export in HTM" format file for the sake of a "universal cross-browser standard" that every other web browser I have ever tried out also can handle, at least for "import".

BTW, that MSDN article offers the best explanation of the "tags" used in the NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1 html format - a deviation from HTML syntax standards as used on the web. It is possible to create folders and multiple levels of sub-folders, too. But I never tried doing that with folders; far easier for me to drag'n'drop bookmarks and / or folders around once they are imported to Firefox to rearrange them.

Hope this helps you.

"Recently Bookmarked" is a smart folder that displays the 10 most recently saved ''(or imported)'' bookmarks; delete those 10 in the "Recently Bookmarked" folder and 10 more will appear and the 10 that you deleted are just plain gone. That folder is like an ongoing survey of incoming activity; save a new bookmark and the 10th one in "Recently Bookmarked" drops off the list there. "Recently Bookmarked" is not the display of all your saved bookmarks, it's not a real folder used for storage of bookmarks. The real storage folder is the '''Bookmarks Menu''' folder, or in "'''Other Bookmarks'''" depending upon whether a bookmark is saved without placing it a folder ''(like a "quick save" folder for categorizing later on)'' ; and when it is saved to a specific folder it would be in the '''Bookmarks Menu''' set of folders where you placed it purposely. ''I hope you get my description of the relationship of "Recently Bookmarked" with "Bookmarks Menu" and "Other Bookmarks". And the situation can be even more confusing when '''''Recent Highlights'''''" comes into play with a different way to get to your bookmarks from via a Toolbar button; same as "Recently Bookmarks". I just right-click that "Recently Bookmarked" folder and Delete it - period. IMO, it is a useless artifact which I curse with every new installation or every new Profile that I create - for the last 11 years. ---------------------- As far as the user being able to select a specific folder goes, that could complicate the import process depending upon the source. The "import" function drops all the bookmarks into the '''Bookmarks Menu''' folder. Now if bookmarks are imported from another browser that is installed on that computer, all the imported bookmarks would be in their own folder that is labeled with the brand of browser that Firefox pulled them from; and in '''From Safari''' ''(other something like that, I have been using Firefox for close to 17 years and never imported bookmarks from any other browser, so I have never seen it first-hand just the occasional mention here or a screenshot here.'' I agree that it would be nice to have a confirmation that the "import" was successful and maybe even give the user a count of many have been added. But importing bookmarks into Firefox is usually a a one time thing so adding options or features to "Import" of bookmarks really doesn't get considered, especially considering that if "another browser" changes something in their Favorites / Bookmarks it might break a new feature in Firefox. It gets the job done, but isn't very elegant. -------------------------------- My perception is that that process works pretty much the same as it did in 1995 when Netscape Navigator first arrived on the web scene. And Mozilla has done little with the base bookmarks.html structure besides adding the ability for the Favicons (web site images) saved in the actual bookmarks.html file and also "exports" that data, too. Opera came after Netscape Navigator; it also used the DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1 format for import, export, and iirc for storage, too - with the Presto engine until 2013 when it became WebKit / Blink based. When Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer (1997) they included the ability to "import in HTML" format and "export in HTM" format file for the sake of a "universal cross-browser standard" that every other web browser I have ever tried out also can handle, at least for "import". BTW, that MSDN article offers the best explanation of the "tags" used in the NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1 html format - a deviation from HTML syntax standards as used on the web. It is possible to create folders and multiple levels of sub-folders, too. But I never tried doing that with folders; far easier for me to drag'n'drop bookmarks and / or folders around once they are imported to Firefox to rearrange them. Hope this helps you.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71663 answers

It's a little confusing that you have two similar threads going where the main issue is: "Where are the imported bookmarks?"

https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1258814

Or was that just a test and you still need to get the data from Excel to another format?

It's a little confusing that you have two similar threads going where the main issue is: "Where are the imported bookmarks?" https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1258814 Or was that just a test and you still need to get the data from Excel to another format?

Question owner

Hi Everyone,

JSCHER2000 when I originally searched Google and the support forum I was not able to find what I was looking for.

I had two problems and it was best to put each into its own support question to the community. Down the road someone may have only one of these problems and not both. It will be easier to be indexed and find.

Overall, I was able to successfully import booksmarks from a self-created HTML file. Unfortunately, the booksmarks did not end up anywhere useful.

Best as I can tell this issue needs more attention by the Firefox team to improve the import process...and...not limit it to just thinking that people are importing from another browser.

I cannot say this problem is resolved. However, I don't see a reason to add any additional comments.

Thank you very much for collaborating.

Hi Everyone, JSCHER2000 when I originally searched Google and the support forum I was not able to find what I was looking for. I had two problems and it was best to put each into its own support question to the community. Down the road someone may have only one of these problems and not both. It will be easier to be indexed and find. Overall, I was able to successfully import booksmarks from a self-created HTML file. Unfortunately, the booksmarks did not end up anywhere useful. Best as I can tell this issue needs more attention by the Firefox team to improve the import process...and...not limit it to just thinking that people are importing from another browser. I cannot say this problem is resolved. However, I don't see a reason to add any additional comments. Thank you very much for collaborating.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17529 solutions 158478 answers

Weren't those imported bookmarks added at the bottom of the Bookmarks Menu folder?

Where would you want them to be added?

You mentioned the "Recently Bookmarked" folder as where you found them, but this folder is not a real folder, but is a folder that shows the result of a database query. Folders that show in this list are located elsewhere. If you can't find them then simply open a bookmark in a tab and click the highlighted star. Open the full folder tree to check where the bookmark is located (use the scroll bar or the mouse scroll wheel until you notice the selected profile).

Weren't those imported bookmarks added at the bottom of the Bookmarks Menu folder? Where would you want them to be added? You mentioned the "Recently Bookmarked" folder as where you found them, but this folder is not a real folder, but is a folder that shows the result of a database query. Folders that show in this list are located elsewhere. If you can't find them then simply open a bookmark in a tab and click the highlighted star. Open the full folder tree to check where the bookmark is located (use the scroll bar or the mouse scroll wheel until you notice the selected profile).
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17529 solutions 158478 answers

I will lock this thread for now since you posted in your earlier thread and this question has been answered there.

  • [/questions/1258814#answer-1221432 How to import booksmarks into a specific folder
I will lock this thread for now since you posted in your earlier thread and this question has been answered there. *[/questions/1258814#answer-1221432 How to import booksmarks into a specific folder