Convert links: desktop shortcut to bookmark?

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
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Joined: July 17th, 2004, 2:41 pm

Post Posted February 12th, 2007, 9:38 pm

Hi folks,

I'm wondering if there's a way to convert a link youve dragged to your desktop into a bookmark without having to open the link in your browser and bookmark it that way.

Since I find the Firefox bookmarking system and manager to be terribly clunky, I started dragging links to my desktop with the intention of bookmarking them later when I had more time. Firefox does not offer a good solution to this, and I have yet to find a good third-party bookmark manager.

When I went to finally move all those shortcuts into my bookmarks, I discovered that for some reason when you drag desktop shortcuts into bookmark manager or the bookmarks sidebar, all desktop shortcuts are for some reason stripped of their name, which is replaced by the URI. This is a calamity. :) I need to have this information preserved.

Is there ANY way to convert links that youve made into desktop shortcuts - keeping the name intact! - into bookmarks without having to individually open each link and bookmark it? Barring that, is there any way to click and drag several desktop shortcuts at a time into the firefox browser and make them all open simultaneously in separate tags? Whenever I do this, Firefox will only open the first shortcut in the group.

Please dont tell me I'm stuck with a couple thousand shortcuts that I've got to manually open and bookmark one by one. :(

I originally posted this question <a href="">in another thread</a>, because it was related, but only got one response. Starting a new thread now just to see if I can get some help, if any is available.

Thanks in advance! :)


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Post Posted February 12th, 2007, 10:54 pm

Create a folder in the IE Favorites folder (c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Favorites\)
Copy all the url files to that folder
Start IE and export that folder to a file.
Import that file in Firefox.
Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks > File: Import : "From File"

That should do it.

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Post Posted February 14th, 2007, 6:21 am

Oh nice, I'm going to try this as soon as I clear my workload for the morning - I've been really busy, so sorry for the delay in following up.

I'll post again in a little while to confirm if this works or not, but this does make perfect sense! And of course as such, I'd never have thought of it. /sigh


EDIT: Okay, so I couldnt wait and tested it out now...and it worked perfectly! Thank you SO much! I'll be able to get this whole thing done in about 10 minutes now, thanks to you!!! :)

One thing I did notice, too: when I dragged those desktop shortcuts into the new folder I created in the Favourites folder for IE, they retained ALL their information, but Firefox does not do this. Why not?

It really galls me every time I see IE do something better than Firefox does! It just doesnt make any sense to me at all that this couldnt be done as easily and quickly as it can be done in IE, but that instead I have to go through all these shenanigans with IE first, just to get these shortcuts into Firefox as bookmarks. I should have just been able to simply drag these bookmarks into the Firefox bookmark manager and been done with it...just like you can do in IE.

Just my .02; I love Firefox to pieces. But it is these little, annoying, doesnt-make-any-sense buggy kind of things that are all over the software that really can get in the way and irritate the hell out of you, you know? And I do know from personal experience that small irritations like this one have kept a number of my non-tech savvy and impatient clients from using it, despite my showing them live examples of how vulnerable IE makes them to the hostile side of the Intarwebs.

Ah, well - as far as I'm concerned, Firefox 4 lyf, regardless.

Anyway, thank you again. Youve saved me HOURS of frustration. Hopefully others will find this as useful and welcome as I did. :)
Last edited by perilous on February 14th, 2007, 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Post Posted February 14th, 2007, 6:33 am

Why bother going to all that trouble of using IE? Just drag it from your desktop and drop it into a FF bookmark folder. WFM.
[edit] Using both the Bookmarks Sidebar and the Bookmarks Manager both work for me, retaining all info.
"Doesn't the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit... unnatural ?" - Bill Hicks
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"It's not a bug, it's two features having a fight in the pub car-park." - Me

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Post Posted February 14th, 2007, 6:44 am

Well, RM, as I said in my original post in the other thread as well as my first post in this one, when you simply drag the shortcut from the desktop into the Firefox bookmark manager or sidebar, for some incredibly aggravating reason it strips the name from the bookmark and replaces it with the URI, which is really bad, because then I can't tell what link is what. That's why they have names in the first place. :) When you have several thousand bookmarks you simply cannot tell what the majority of them are at a glance if they dont have their names.

When you drag them into an IE favourites folder, this information is NOT stripped, and so I was able, as per Dickvl's excellent suggestion, to drag all those shortcuts into a new IE favourites folder, then export that folder to my desktop, and then import it into my Firefox bookmarks and in so doing retain all of the info that Firefox inexplicably and very annoyingly strips.

Edit: For some reason, RM, it does NOT work for me, but instead strips the name from the shortcut. Believe me, I'd love to eschew using IE altogether - I dont even want it on my machine - but hey, as long as this works, I'm happy! The idea of having to manually open and bookmark almost 4,000 shortcuts one by one by one was making my hair fall out. :P

I wonder why it works for you but strips all that info for me? Hmmmmm....


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Post Posted February 14th, 2007, 7:40 am

You're welcome.


Post Posted March 1st, 2012, 7:30 pm

Hey everyone.
Here's a better way to do this, that I hacked together today:
Code: Select all
@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

cd /d "%~dp1"
set output="URL-to-HTML-%RANDOM%.html"

for /f "tokens=* delims=" %%t in ('dir /b "%~dp1*.url"') do (
     set strLine2=%%t
   type "%%t" | find "URL=" > u2htemp
   set /p strLine1= < u2htemp
    echo ^<a href="!strLine1:~4!"^>!strLine2:~0,-4!^</a^>^<br/^> >> %output%
del u2htemp

@echo off
echo Open HTML file in default browser?
call %output%
del %output%

8-) Save this as URL-to-HTML.cmd or whatever filename you want, wherever you want.
Then hit [Windows Key]-R, type shell:SendTo. You are now in the Send To special folder. Drag a shortcut to your newly created .cmd file there! (I named it All .URLs as HTML list and chose a different icon for it so that it stands out in the context menu)

:roll: Now what this does:
When you're in a folder with lots of .url shortcut files, right click on one (or all) of them and choose Send To > All .URLs as HTML list.
This starts the batch file with the working directory set to the one where you right clicked.
It will then go on to create a temporary HTML file there, that will contain the .URL shortcuts magically ordered as links
The HTML code looks like this:
Code: Select all
<a href="">First Link from Folder</a><br/>
<a href="">Second Link from Folder</a><br/>

When it's done generating the file it will pause and once you hit any key - it opens the HTML file in your default browser.

:wink: Why this is awesome:
You now have a clean list of links, with their original titles. Select all and Copy. Now you can paste an entire folder of links straight into an email you're composing in GMail!

It could be improved a lot. It works based on some shady code: we subtract the beginning 4 characters with :~4 and the ending 4 characters with :~0,-4 to get rid of the unwanted stuff - "URL=" and ".url".
Even though it's rudimentary, it DOES work like a charm!
Enjoy :!:


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Post Posted March 1st, 2012, 7:35 pm

That might work, but your about four years too late to help the OP with their issue.

Locking due to the age of the original post.

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