Add Web Links To the Desktop, Dock and Menu Bar

In addition to adding quick ways to access web sites in Safari bookmarks and the Favorites bar, you can also put links outside of Safari that will launch Safari and go directly to that page. You can add them to the Desktop or any Finder location. You can also put them in the Dock as a single link or a folder of links. You can add them to the Menu Bar with the help of the Script Menu.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Add Web Links To the Desktop, Dock and Menu Bar.

So let's say you've got some websites that you need to access all the time. Sure, you can put them in your Bookmarks or your Favorites bar but you want even easier access. There are ways to get links to webpages that are even outside of Safari.

For instance, the simplest thing is to simply click and drag the link at the top. Notice I can drag it anywhere. I can drag it outside of Safari to the desktop here and drop it there. I get this dot web loc file. This will actually launch Safari and take me to that page. So I can quit Safari here and double click on this on my desktop and it will launch Safari and go right to that page. I can put this file anywhere. So I could put it in a folder somewhere or on the desktop. Wherever it's convenient for me to get to it. You get rid of it just like you do any file. I'll just drag it to the Trash here.

Here's another option. Say you want to put it in the Dock. You can drag and instead of dragging it to the desktop you can drag to the right side of the Dock and I'll drop it right there. You can see it appears right there in the Dock. It works the same way. I quit Safari. If I click on this in the Dock it launches Safari and goes right to that webpage.

Now the Dock can actually have folders in it as well. So let's create a new Finder window and let's just go to the Documents folder, say, and I'm going to create a new folder there. So I'm never going to access it there but I'm going to create a new folder called Links and I'm going to drag that to the Dock to the right side of the Dock there. Now I can put these same links in it. So I can drag this website here into Links and it's going to create a web loc file there. I can do another one and I'll put that in as well. Now we've got two in there. Let's do a third one. So I've got three of these web locations here. Let me quit Safari.

I've already got the folder added to Links there so it's already in the Dock. I can click on Links and it pops up here. I can have it appear different ways. So I can have it do as a fan which is this. I can have it do as a grid, which is this. Or I can have it do a list which is this. I can click on anyone of these and it will launch Safari and go right to it. So you can put a whole bunch of links here in the Dock. The handy thing is that Safari doesn't have to be running for you to actually go to these. So instead of the step of launching Safari and then using Favorites you can do it in one step.

Now what would be awesome is if you could also put links to webpages in the Menu Bar here at the top. There's some third party apps that kind of play around with that idea but there's no real strict way to do it. But there is one way to do it with just the stuff that's on your Mac. It's not going to put the website as its own icon but it will give you a menu up here to access websites easily.

The way to get to it is to run an app that you've got on your Mac already called Script Editor. So I'm going to hit Command Space for Spotlight and search for Script Editor and I'm going to run it. So Script Editor is something where you can use to create Apple Script. We're not going to use it to actually create any scripts. We're just going to use its' Preferences menu.

So Script Editor Preferences, under General, has something called Script Menu. So Script Editor gives you access to Script Menu. Turn it on and I get this little menu in the Menu Bar. It has all this stuff in here. These are computer scripts. If you don't want to use those or investigate those you can just turn them off. So now it's just really simple here. We'll Quit Script Editor. So now all it is is a little menu bar icon that allows you to access the Script Editor or access something called Scripts Folders. There's three of them listed.

Safari Scripts Folder is listed because Safari is running. User Scripts Folder and Computer Scripts Folder are things that are always going to be there. User only for that User Account on your Mac. Computer for all the User Accounts on your Mac. Probably you want to use User Scripts Folder. Open that up. That's going to be this pretty empty folder except for an Applications folder there. That's where that Safari comes in. We're not going to put anything in there.

We're going to drag and drop links just as before into this folder. So now we've added two links in there. So this folder is for Scripts but these web location files will work there as well. So let's look here in the Script Menu and now you can see those two links appear there. So we can close this folder and we can access it very easily again using Open Scripts Folder, User Scripts Folder so we can add more stuff to it. We can Quit Safari and now in the Menu Bar we know we've got this Scripts icon here. We can access any webpage we want. It's going to open Safari and it's going to go right to that webpage.

So now you can do it as an icon on your desktop, or in any folder. You can do it as a Dock link or folder of Dock links. You can do it in the Menu Bar in the Scripts menu.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Add Web Links To the Desktop, Dock and Menu Bar”

    11 months ago

    You can also rename the Web site you drag and drop onto your desktop; the webloc will still take you to the same website.

    william Middlehurst
    11 months ago

    Brilliant Video…… question is can you change the weblock icons to the original web icon,example being instead of weblock can this be changed to amazon icon.

    11 months ago

    william: You can sometimes. For instance, I dragged a link to the desktop to get an icon there. Then Command+i to get info. Then I pasted a new icon over the old one the standard way ( as an example tutorial on that). Doesn’t look like a way to do that with the Dock, unless you first create the alias on the Desktop (or any Finder folder), then change the icon, then drag that alias to the Dock. Another issue is finding good icons. The web icon you see in browsers is usually a very small low-res icon that looks fine in the browser address bar, but not as a large Finder desktop icon.

    11 months ago

    I lost you in the menu bar. When I clicked on command and space bar again, it would not go to script editor and instead went to Linex and I was lost.

    11 months ago

    Joseph: Launch the Script Editor any way you wish. Spotlight is the easiest. But you can also go to Applications/Utilities if you like.

    José Furlan
    10 months ago

    Hi Gary! I always use Safari in full screen mode. How could I save my links? Thanks

    10 months ago

    José: Full Screen mode doesn’t change much if you want to still use these ideas. But they are less useful since you won’t see them if Safari uses the whole screen. So just use the Favorites bar and bookmarks.

Comments Closed.