When it comes to the world of internet technology, there are a variety of popular terms and phrases that have reached the point of global saturation and awareness. For example, if you use the term "URL" in casual conversation, the chances are good that your peers will know what you are talking about. A URL file is slightly different from the web address you input into your browser, however. Understanding how to create a URL file can help you streamline your computer operations and maximize your productivity.
The process for creating a URL file will largely depend on which specific operating system you are using. Both Windows and Apple computers have their own distinct methods for creating these shortcuts.
Exploring the Basics of URL Files
By definition, a URL file is a form of "shortcut" that allows users to quickly navigate back to a website they may have visited previously. By clicking the URL file, the user will automatically be routed to their internet browser and, ultimately, the URL included in the URL file.
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URL files can be particularly valuable in situations where a user needs rapid access to a wide array of internet-based content. By creating and storing a variety of URL files, direct access to these websites is not only available, but can also be shared with other users. The relative ease with which these files can be created also makes this a potent and powerful tool for improving general efficiency.
URL files should not be mistaken for custom short URLs or free URL shorteners. While these tools are also very powerful, a URL file is a unique file format that has its own particular applications.
Learning How to Create URL Files
You may be surprised to realize that creating a URL file doesn't actually require the use of your internet browser at all. In fact, these files can be generated using one of the most fundamental tools in your computer's arsenal of applications, the text editor.
If you are using a Windows computer, open the Notepad application. Once the application has been opened, your next step is to prepare the document for the URL you will be accessing.
The following steps will be compatible with Windows operating systems only. On the first line of the document, type the phrase '[InternetShortcut]', making sure to exclude the apostrophe characters included above. The brackets must be included in the text, however.
Once this has been completed, your next step should be to enter the phrase:
"URL= (insert URL here)"
Be sure to include the quotation marks, as well as the parentheses. Substitute your URL for the prompt included in the example above.
Finalizing Your URL File
The only text you need for your URL file has now been input into the document. To finalize your file and prepare it for use, your next step should be to save it as a URL file. You can accomplish this by navigating to the "Save as" menu, selecting the "Save as type" command and then inputting "[yourlinkname].url", substituting the prompt in brackets and the brackets themselves with your given file name. Once this is complete, your URL file should have been saved successfully.
URL Files and Apple Computers
To complete a similar process on an Apple computer, you won't actually be required to create a URL file at all. Simply open the Safari browser, navigate to the specific website you would like to create the shortcut to and then click and drag the favicon (the small icon to the left of the URL) to your desktop. This will automatically create the shortcut you desire.