Import Firefox bookmarks file as Zotero collection

I maintain several thousand Internet bookmarks. Since migrating to Linux from Windows, I have been unable to find a competent bookmarks manager and even on Windows I never found one that was adequate for my needs. (I used Compass on Windows.) Zotero comes far closer to what I need than any other tool I have found on either platform.

I would love to be able to import my bookmarks into Zotero as a Zotero collection. That would allow me to add keywords, tags, gain the benefits of search, clean up citations, and recycle my annotations. But as nearly as I can tell, I can only recreate the bookmark entries in Zotero, not import them en masse.

While I realize that Zotero is designed as an academic research assistant, I think it would also find far wider usage if bookmark files could be imported as Zotero collections, with folder structures intact. The closest free Firefox add-on seems to be Scrapbook, <https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/427/>. But Zotero has distinct advantages, e.g., metadata tagging and citation grabbing from online databases, assembly of annotated bibliographies, etc., not to mention a more intuitive interface.

I hope that bookmarks file import will be a feature soon.

Zotero is a very nice implementation of an excellent concept. My compliments and thanks go to the developers and to those who have supported their work.
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  • Hi Marbux,

    We hope to offer Zotero users the ability to import their Firefox bookmarks in the very near future. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • Thought I'd second Marbux...

    - import of firefox bookmarks would be a real 'icing on the cake' item that would probably be useful to quite a few users who would use it primarily as a bookmarks manager with a tagging feature

    Best wishes with the project...
  • I second, I mean, I third, this request/suggestion.

    At least one of the tag lines (not to be confused with tags) is:
    "Zotero(beta) Citation management is only the beginning."

    I offer:
    Zotero: Your bookmarks on steroids.
    Zotero: Currently legal in MLB.
    Zotero: Brainfood for your bookmarks.
    Zotero: Tag your bookmarks...you're it.
    Zotero: Enhancing your performance through your bookmarks.
    Zotero: We enhance your bookmarks; now it's up to you.
    Zotero: All-Natural browser enhancement. <wink> <wink>
    Zotero: Browser enhancement for men and women. <wink> <wink>
    Zotero: Feed me your bookmarks.
    Zotero: Bookmarks are better on Zotero.

    --Dan
  • Nine and a half months ago there was a reply that this feature was coming "in the very near future". Any updates on the status of this feature?

    I've just discovered Zotero and think it's got marvelous possibilites far beyond student research. I really hope this import function is still being developed.
  • We had to delay implementing the integration of Firefox bookmarks until the upcoming (3.0) version of the browser. Mozilla is completely redoing the bookmarking system into a database (just like Zotero), so the integration should be worth the wait.
  • I don't see why this is such a stumbling block -- though I must humbly admit I don't have a solution ...yet!?

    All we need to do is convert the bookmark.html file to a bibtex file. Here is ruby file that almost does that : http://www.karl-voit.at/scripts/bmconverter.rb .

    I would think there must be other bibliographic software (bibtexutils, jabref, pybib, endnote?) that would import bookmarks directly and that could then export to bibtex. I just haven't found one yet. If I don't, I will try to tweak the ruby converter.
  • I don't see why this is such a stumbling block… All we need to do is convert the bookmark.html file to a bibtex file.
    By all means feel free to offer a standalone tool to do this. Any built-in solution would need to use the internal Firefox calls to extract the bookmarks, since, among other things, Ruby isn't available by default cross-platform and we wouldn't use an external call to do something that was possible internally.

    Anyhow, it's not a stumbling block, nor likely even difficult, but we have many feature requests, and this one didn't make 1.0.
  • Wow, just came across Zotero - what a great Add-on! Finally an alternative to my long used Linkstash, a stand-alone-application working with IE and FF. Of course I was instantly assuming that I'd be able to import my bookmarks and notes from Linkstash but now I learn that this is not the case. I do agree with Marbux and others that Zotero could also be a very comfortable way of saving and organizing links, adding keywords and notes for easy finding - if only there was a possibility of importing a number of database formats ...
    Anka
  • I have from april 2007 (although i just registered), i really think that is great to organize all type of information that come from internet.
    But i had all my old bookmarks that i can't use properly...

    Now i am in a mess...
    I have two computer (one for work and one for personal use) and i have 2 different bookmarks and 2 different zotero database.

    All my information is all over... in four different "databse" because there is not a way of syncronise zotero on the two computers.

    so i decided to syncronise the two pc with foxmark for the bookmarks.

    And to syncronise the two zotero i am going to try to use foldershare...but i am not sure that i would be able to reach what i am looking for...

    All this process is taking me long time... and because the other computer is in the office in which i work, its difficult to set up the syncronisation.(at work i don't have access to internet for my personal computer...)
    So maybe i ll be able to sync only one time every two days...

    hope that you develop something to fix my problems
  • Synchronization and backup of Zotero is a planned feature, and extensive testing is already underway.
  • Any update on when this feature might be available now that Firefox 3 has been out for awhile? So far, bookmarks management in FF 3 looks like a step backwards. Hopefully they'll soon get to more of the features they discussed when they announced they would switch to SQLite. But I'd still much prefer to manage my bookmarks in Zotero where I can do far more with them.

    One potential advantage is that FF 3 can still import and export bookmarks in Netscape bookmarks format. So too with the Konqueror browser on the Linux platform. And many client-side bookmarks managers can read and write to that format and convert from MSIE Favorites. Such factors lead me to suspect that Zotero import of bookmarks would be of use to more people if the Netscape format were used as the bookmarks import format, rather than talking directly to the Firefox 3 SQLite database. That blinks past synchronization issues, of course.
  • I would certainly love for this to be included. Any solution here?
  • Here's a workaround: Save your Firefox bookmarks as an html file, then load that webpage into Z (create new item from current page). If you're like me they're in some sort of order/categories. As you use them you can then migrate them more permanently into Z. Of course, doesn't address the indexing en masse, but do a few at a time, and you're there eventually, until Z-folk get it sorted out.
  • Please implement integration with bookmarks !

    Folks at Bibsonomy has already done that !
  • It would be even better if Zotero can be the backend for Firefox bookmarks. I am not sure if this is possible at this time but it would be nice if Firefox can provide an interface for various backends and Zotero can then implement this interface. Firefox's bookmark management (free text comments, tags, search, etc...) appears to be a subset of what Zotero provides (except for the ordering of bookmarks) and it should be easy for Zotero to implement this. This will also partially help with Zotero's sidebar display issue.
  • I add my voice to the chorus of people badly needing a functionality to import Firefox Bookmarks into Zotero. My F-bookmarks have been neatly organized in folders for years and it is not an option to open those pages, import them individually and reorganised them. Also I wouldn't want to import all my bookmarks but selected folders. Ideally for my organisation, perhaps obviously, F-folders should become Z-collections and F-bookmars Z-items. Users ask developers this big help!
  • Hello,

    Any news about the subject?

    I would really like to be able to import bookmarks, and import html file as bookmarks I think would be the best option since then we could import from different browsers (I think most browsers can export bookmarks as html).
  • It might be feasible to implement this as an import translator that reads bookmarks files like the ones that Firefox, IE and others can export (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Import_bookmarks#Import_from_another_browser); the format is straightforward HTML.

    Such an approach would be pretty easy to take, but I'm not sure I understand the use case well enough to say if it matches it. What do you want an imported bookmark to look like? Should it just be a webpage item for that URL? Should it include a snapshot of the page?
  • webpage item for URL + tags + note containing description would be great
  • adrian_g has nailed it. Z is so much better than bookmarks or scrapbook, I'd prefer to just use Z instead of the others. Adding Z groups to a toolbar, a la bookmarks toolbar, would be useful.
    First things first - import bookmarks, as per adrian_g's suggestion. Good enough for now.
    I/we can sort/categorize/re-arrange later.
  • Has anything happened with importing bookmarks from Firefox (4.5 years after the initial post)? I have a lot of bookmarks in Firefox and really want to be able to organize them in Zotero. Seems like such a great add-on should have this function by now.
  • I think someone here even wrote code to import bookmarks files, but I can't find it. There is absolutely nothing preventing Zotero from adding support for bookmark file imports, just it hasn't been done yet. It would only need to be an import translator, a small piece of JavaScript maybe 30 lines long.
  • @ajlyon: maybe you were thinking of my CSL style to export bookmarks from Zotero? (https://gist.github.com/766801) I don't recall having seen any code for bookmark import.
  • I am definitely thinking of your CSL style to export bookmarks. I'll try to do this one soon.
  • also for anyone interested, I think the bulk delicious export format is that same bookmark html, so I believe an import translator for bookmark html would also do delicious (not sure how lossy or not that is).
  • Please go to http://github.com/ajlyon/zotero-bits/raw/master/Bookmarks.js and save the file to the translators directory of your Zotero data directory (http://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data).

    Restart Firefox. Now just import and export bookmarks, and let me know how it goes.
  • I don't have my huge bookmark collection to test on, but it worked for me on basic data exported from firefox as well as one from delicious.
  • I'd like to import tag data, but it looks like Firefox doesn't include it in bookmark exports. Tags would matter even more for delicious-- if someone can send me some example data, maybe I can get it to import.
  • del.icio.us tags are in the 'tags' attribute of the A entity and are comma-separated:&lt;DT&gt;&lt;A HREF="https://dev.launchpad.net/UltimateVimPythonSetup"; ADD_DATE="1290441115" PRIVATE="0" TAGS="development,editor,ide,programming,python,tips,ubuntu,vi,vim"&gt;UltimateVimPythonSetup - Launchpad Development&lt;/A&gt;
    &lt;DD&gt;Configuration for setting up Vim to work with PythonStyleGuide
  • Got it.

    An updated importer and exporter is now up at github, with support for importing tags and descriptions. Export is weak.
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