Many browsers show a predefined page when they are loaded. This is usually either a blank page available under the program internal URL about:blank or the page of the browser distributor.
Most browsers also offer a list in which you can store the addresses of your favourite websites. This list is called bookmarks or favourites. However, one has to open a menu in order to access this list. Thus, it would be nice if this list would also appear as the starting page.
There are 3 common ways to store the bookmarks:
This format was used first in the Netscape browsers. Due to the clarity and simplicity of its structure it is the most used format.
The Netscape format stores all bookmarks as simple links inside an HTML file. All links are sorted inside a list, submenus are stored as sublists inside the list.
The following browsers create bookmarks in Netscape format:
The name of the bookmark file is called bookmark.htm by Netscape Navigator and bookmarks.html by newer browsers. It can usually be found inside the userīs directory of the browser, e.g. c:\Documents and Settings\name_of_user\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\.default\ for FireFox 1.0, or c:\Program files\Netscape\Users\name_of_user\ for Netscape 4.x.
If it canīt be found there, search inside the main directory of the browser program for bookmark.htm or bookmarks.html (often works with unknown browsers as well). Attention: If multiple users are configured, youīll get a file for each user! When using Internet Explorer or Opera, the name and position of the file can be determined freely since one has to use File -> Import and Export in order to create the bookmark file.
Once you found the file you can open it in the browser. Thus, one does not only see if it is the right file, but the complete address of the bookmark file appears in the address bar as well.
Now you can copy&paste this address into the starting page setting of your browser. Some browsers simplify this by offering a "use current page as starting page" option.
This format has a simple structure as well: Each bookmark (also called favourite) is represented by a *.url file, the Windows file format for links to internet addresses. All these files are inside a directory which is usually called "Favourites". Complex menus are implemented using subdirectories.
This format requires more disk space than the Netscape format but allows rearranging and deleting bookmarks using any file manager as well.
The following browsers use the Internet Explorer format:
The Favourites directory is either stored in the Windows folder or, if multiple users installed, in the appropriate user directory.
Using the Internet Explorer, you can simply drag&drop this directory into the browser window.
Thus, one does not only see if it is the right directory, but the complete address of the favourites directory appears in the address bar as well.
Now you can copy&paste this address into the starting page setting of your browser. Or use the "use current page as starting page" option.
If the browser does not support opening local directories, you may use the export function (if existing) for creating a Netscape bookmark file. However, changes in your bookmarks wonīt be applied to the file until you export it again.
Some Browsers like Opera save the bookmarks in their own format which cannot be used externally. But if an export function exists, you can create a Netscape compatible bookmark file which can be used as described above.