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How do I *add* bookmarks, and nothing else, from another Firefox setup?

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I haven't found a straightforward method to simply add the bookmarks from a different Firefox account. I don't want to replace my existing bookmarks or any other account info; I just want to add more bookmarks. I have a json backup file from the second Firefox account (that now is difficult to access), and I hope that bookmarks can be extracted from it.

Giải pháp được chọn

No, the JSON backup files that Firefox creates automatically will replace all your existing bookmarks when your "restore" a JSON file, but the HTML export will append your existing bookmarks when imported.

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To open the Bookmarks Manager, press the Alt or F10 key bring up the tool bar, 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. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select Import Bookmarks From HTML,

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That isn't much help. I believe that importing bookmarks that way replaces existing bookmarks instead of adding to them. It also isn't practical for me to use another computer. I cannot believe how difficult this is. A bookmark isn't much more than a web page title, a url, and the location of the bookmark in the sidebar. A user should be able to drag an exported bookmark file onto the sidebar and get asked "Append or Replace?" If a user clicks Append, the imported bookmarks appear beneath the others.

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Giải pháp được chọn

No, the JSON backup files that Firefox creates automatically will replace all your existing bookmarks when your "restore" a JSON file, but the HTML export will append your existing bookmarks when imported.

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You would have to export existing bookmarks to an HTML file if you need to restore a JSON backup. Then you can import this HTML afterward and merge the bookmarks.

You can also consider to create a second profile and restore the JSON backup in that profile and export the bookmarks to an HTML file.

See "Creating a profile":

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Thanks to the-edmeister and cor-el for explaining the differences between JSON backup files and HTML export files. I had only a JSON backup file from the other computer. I was able to solve the problem of no HTML bookmark export file. A JSON file is a comma-separated values file without returns at the end of each record. Here's how to fix a JSON file for use in apps other than Firefox:

1. Open the JSON file in a text editor or word processor that can read any file. (I used BBEdit.)

2. Create rows by finding and replacing ',{"title' with 'return{"title' (Don't type the single quotes and, in the replace field, use the appropriate substitute for return: ¶ or \r, for example. My search looked like this: Find: ,{"title Replace: \r,{"title Replace All gave me rows instead of a continuous stream of text.

3. Save the file as text and open it in a spreadsheet. Each bookmark will have its own row. The site name, URLs, and other data are in columns.

4. Create a bookmark by copying the URL, pasting it into Firefox, and going to the website.

5. Drag the URL from the toolbar to the desired location in the sidebar. Change the bookmark title if you don't like the website-assigned title.

6. Repeat as needed.

I had only 21 bookmarks to add, so it wasn't an onerous task. If I had many bookmarks, I would have written a script to automate the process. (On a Mac, the combination of Applescript and QuicKeys usually works.)

From now on, I will export bookmarks at regular intervals and save the HTML files to a document folder that gets backed up with my incremental backup program. The backups are off-site, and I always have access to them, unlike the computer in question. (Don't ask.)

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That was very good work. Well Done. Please flag your last post as Solved Problem so others will know.


These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backups of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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You can make Firefox create an automatic HTML backup (bookmarks.html) when Firefox is closed by setting browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML to true on the about:config page.

This HTML backup is created by default in the profile folder as bookmarks.html every time you close Firefox, but you can set the path and file name via the browser.bookmarks.file pref on the about:config page.

The browser.bookmarks.file pref doesn't exist by default and you need to create a new String pref with the name browser.bookmarks.file and set the value to the full path of the backup bookmarks.html file including the file name.

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I was able to create the HTML bookmark backup files. I checked out the first backup using BBEdit, a text editor that is extremely useful for writing HTML code. It found over one hundred errors and could display only the first few bookmarks. The bookmark backup wouldn’t open in Safari. I opened the backup in Firefox, and it was perfect. Obviously, Firefox bookmark backups are not written in standard HTML code.

Thanks for your help.

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my_Nonoperating_System_owns_me said

.... I checked out the first backup using BBEdit, a text editor that is extremely useful for writing HTML code. It found over one hundred errors and could display only the first few bookmarks. The bookmark backup wouldn’t open in Safari. I opened the backup in Firefox, and it was perfect. Obviously, Firefox bookmark backups are not written in standard HTML code.

True, it has a special DOCTYPE which isn't part of the W3C standards = <!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1> Most browsers until recent years did display it well, but since HTML5 has come-in-to-play and other browsers stopped supporting it for "interchange", that file may not display 'properly' if at all. But it was never intended to be used on the web, even 20 years ago. Happily, it did work inside many web browsers and on the web with them, and still works with Gecko browsers on the web.

Intended for strictly bookmarks storage in the original Netscape browser back in 1995, and was adopted as the unofficial interchange standard in browsers of that era. Hard to get someone to try a different browser if their bookmarks data can't be easily transferred over from what thay are currently using. And since Netscape came out with the first widely used web browser in 1995(which was begat from Mosaic, the "recognized first"), Internet Explorer allowed for users to import "bookmarks" from Netscape into IE "Favorites", and when the first version of Opera came out - iir, it used the same <!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1> storage system. And the original Safari also allowed for import / export via 'bookmarks.html'. Sometime after 2007 - 2009 some web browsers ended support for that "unofficial bookmarks interchange format". And with Firefox 3.0 the storage of bookmarks system became places.sqlite, leaving the old bookmarks.html format for "interchange" and legacy uses.

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I knew the general history of web browsers, but not the details of bookmark exports. I do remember that Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer could read Netscape (and then Firefox) bookmarks. I must say I was thankful for Netscape—the Mac version of IE wasn’t very good.

Here's some history for you. Microsoft started out writing operating systems for the early PCs. It's first real shot at writing applications came from Apple Computer. Apple was close to finishing the Macintosh 128 and didn't have the programming staff to complete the Mac OS on time. Apple Computer wrote MacWrite, MacPaint, and MacDraw but needed a better word processor for business and academic use. It had a spreadsheet for its Apple II computers, but it wasn’t worth porting. Microsoft helped write the Mac OS and wrote Word and Excel at a time when its PC OS was the mediocre MS DOS version 2. Word and Excel helped Apple sell many Macs. Some business bought Macs just to run Excel, which was better than Lotus 123. (I believe Excel was the best program Microsoft created.) Few realize that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had a good working relationship for years until Gates decided to steal code and “look and feel” from Mac OS 6 (that Microsoft helped write) so Microsoft could improve Windows (versions 1 and 2 sucked).