The Favorites Folder: Sites to Remember
The sad truth is that much of what you’ll see on the Web will be utterly forgettable and
not worth a second look. However, there are all kinds of gems out there waiting to be
uncovered—sites you’ll want to visit regularly. Instead of memorizing the appropriate
URLs, jotting them down on sticky notes, or plastering your desktop with shortcuts, you
can use Internet Explorer’s handy Favorites feature to keep track of your choice sites.
The Favorites feature is really just a folder (you’ll find it in your
that you use to store Internet shortcuts. The advantage of using the Favorites folder as
opposed to any other folder is that you can add, view, and link to the Favorites folder
shortcuts directly from Internet Explorer.
Adding a Shortcut to the Favorites Folder
When you find a site that you’d like to declare as a favorite, follow these steps:
1. Select the Favorites, Add to Favorites command. The Add Favorite dialog box
2. Make sure that the Make Available Offline check box is deactivated. (See “Reading
Pages Offline,” later in this chapter, for the complete story on viewing web pages
3. The Name text box displays the title of the page. This is the text that appears when
you later view the list of your favorites. Feel free to edit this text if you like.
4. Internet Explorer enables you to set up subfolders to hold related favorites. If you
don’t want to bother with this, skip down to step 8. Otherwise, click the Create In
button to expand the dialog box as shown in Figure 18.4.
5. Select the folder in which you want the new folder to appear.
6. Click New Folder to display the Create New Folder dialog box.
7. Type in the name of the new folder and then click OK. Windows XP takes you back
to the expanded Add Favorite dialog box.
8. Select the folder in which you want to store the favorite.
9. Click OK.
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FIGURE 18.4 Use this dialog box to add a shortcut to the Favorites folder.
Internet Explorer offers two methods for quickly adding a site to the Favorites folder:
• If the current page has a link to the site you want to save, click and drag the link to the
• If you want to save the current page, instead, click and drag the icon from the Address
bar to the Favorites menu.
When the Favorites menu pulls down, drag the item to the position you want (you can even
hover over submenus to open them) and then drop the item.
Opening an Internet Shortcut from the Favorites Folder
The purpose of the Favorites folder, of course, is to give you quick access to the sites you
visit regularly. To link to one of the shortcuts in your Favorites folder, you have three
• In Internet Explorer, the Favorites menu contains the complete list of your Favorites
folder shortcuts. To link to a shortcut, pull down this menu and select the shortcut
• Click the Favorites toolbar button, or select View, Explorer Bar, Favorites, to display
the Favorites Bar, as shown in Figure 18.5. Click a link in the Favorites Bar.
You can also toggle the Favorites bar on and off by pressing Ctrl+I.
• Select Start, Favorites and then click the favorite you want from the submenu that
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FIGURE 18.5 The Favorites bar keeps your favorite links visible at all times.
If the Favorites submenu doesn’t appear on your Start menu, right-click the Start button, click
Properties, and then click the Customize button beside the Start Menu option (which should be
activated). In the Advanced tab’s Start Menu Items list, activate the Favorites Menu check box,
and then click OK.
When you have a large number of favorites, you need to do some regular maintenance to
keep things organized. This involves creating new subfolders, moving favorites between
folders, changing URLs, deleting unused favorites, and more. Here’s a summary of a few
maintenance techniques you’ll use most often:
• To change the URL of a favorite, display the Favorites list, find the item you want to
work with, and right-click it. In the context menu, click Properties and then use the
property sheet to adjust the URL.
• To move a favorite, display the Favorites list, find the item you want to work with,
and then drag the item to another spot on the menu (or into a submenu).
• To delete a favorite, display the Favorites list, find the item you want to work with,
right-click it, and then click Delete.
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