Save URLs copied to the clipboard with Portable Bookmarks for Windows

Many users save their favorite sites as bookmarks to preserve them and access them quickly. Though I prefer visual bookmarks (speed-dials), I maintain my bookmarks by organizing them into folders.

An advantage of syncing them with your Firefox or Google account, is that you don’t lose your collection when you reinstall Windows, switch computers, install the browser on other devices, etc.

But not everyone likes to store everything online, if you value your privacy, having your bookmarks locally backed up is a good idea. Portable Bookmarks is a freeware tool that helps you save and manage bookmarks in an easy way. The application true to its name is portable, and comes with the Linux and Windows executables in the same archive.

The dark theme of the interface makes it easy to read the text, but if you do not like the color scheme, you may change them as indicated by the first few lines. You can customize the color of the background, text, tags, font type and size, line size, etc.

How to save URLS in Portable Bookmarks?

Let the program run in the background, and use your browser as you normally do. When you copy a URL to the clipboard, Portable Bookmarks will automatically capture the address and save it along with a timestamp. You can rename the saved URL later. There are a few keyboard shortcuts supported by Portable Bookmarks, you can view them by clicking the ? button.

Portable Bookmarks keyboard shortcuts

Interestingly, Portable Bookmarks can also be used for adding shortcuts local folders and files, i.e., folder paths, which are opened in Windows Explorer. But it doesn’t capture the “file path”, you’ll have to add one manually using the shortcuts Alt + D and Alt + F, for directories and folders respectively.

Portable Bookmarks edit entry

Click on a bookmark to select it, double-click opens the URL in your browser. Right-click on a bookmark to edit its tag (title) or URL. Alt + Q deletes the selected link. Bookmarks that are captured are saved in a plain text document named links.txt, in the program’s folder. Save this file and you have a local copy of your bookmarks that can be edited easily.

Portable bookmarks links

Portable Bookmarks comes with a few presets for the F1 – F4 function keys. These open a new tab with Bing, Google, Wikipedia and YouTube respectively. Though these shortcuts are merely bookmarks, they are the only ones that support hotkeys. You can edit them and replace the URLs with your favorite websites.

Want to find a bookmark quickly? Hit the Escape button and start typing the keyword, and the search results will appear at the bottom of the screen. Though the program does not store text snippets, it displays the current clipboard content at the top of its window.

Pasting Issues

Portable Bookmarks seems to have a bug that prevents URLs stored in the clipboard from being pasted. For e.g. If I tried to copy a URL from a browser tab and paste it in another, it wouldn’t work. Upon closer observation, it seems that the application checks if the URL has been saved to its bookmarks file (if not, it is saved) and then clears the clipboard’s contents. Closing the program resolved the issue. This didn’t affect regular text snippets stored in the clipboard.

Portable Bookmarks is user-friendly, fairly customizable and works independently regardless of the browser that you use. If only it allowed organizing bookmarks into folders.

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