Converting Pocket Exports to Safari Bookmarks with Python

Have you ever wondered how to convert your Pocket export files to a format that can be easily imported as bookmarks into Safari? Well, I've got just the solution for you, and it involves a pinch of Python and some HTML parsing magic. In this blog post, I will walk you through a Python script that accomplishes this task, step by step.

The Python script relies heavily on BeautifulSoup, a library that is fantastic for web scraping and parsing HTML files. The first part of the script contains a function named parse_pocket_export. This function reads the Pocket export HTML file, parses the HTML content to extract all the link elements, and stores the title and URL of each link in a dictionary. The result is a list of dictionaries, where each dictionary represents a bookmark.

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

def parse_pocket_export(file_path):
    with open(file_path, 'r') as file:
        data =
    soup = BeautifulSoup(data, 'html.parser')
    links = soup.find_all('a')
    pocket_links = [{"title": link.text, "url": link['href']} for link in links]
    return pocket_links

The second part of the script is the write_to_bookmark_file function. This function takes as input the list of dictionaries generated by parse_pocket_export, and writes them to a new HTML file in a format that can be imported as bookmarks into Safari.

def write_to_bookmark_file(pocket_links, output_file_path):
    with open(output_file_path, 'w') as file:
        file.write('<!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>\n')
        # ... (omitted for brevity)
        for link in pocket_links:
            file.write(f'<DT><A HREF="{link["url"]}" ADD_DATE="" LAST_VISIT="" LAST_MODIFIED="">{link["title"]}</A>\n')

To use this script, we need to manage its dependencies. For this, we will use Poetry, a dependency management and packaging tool. Poetry allows us to specify the exact versions of the packages we depend on, and it ensures that these packages are installed in a virtual environment. To use Poetry, first install it using the command curl -sSL | python3 -.

Next, to specify that our script depends on BeautifulSoup, create a new file called pyproject.toml in the same directory as our script, and add the following content:

name = "pocket-to-safari"
version = "0.1.0"
description = "Converts Pocket exports to Safari bookmarks."

python = "^3.7"
beautifulsoup4 = "^4.9.3"

requires = ["poetry-core>=1.0.0"]
build-backend = "poetry.core.masonry.api"

We also want to ensure that our code is working as expected. For this, we can write tests using Python's built-in unittest library. Here's a simple test case for our parse_pocket_export function:

import unittest
from pocket_to_safari import parse_pocket_export

class TestPocketToSafari(unittest.TestCase):
    def test_parse_pocket_export(self):
        pocket_links = parse_pocket_export('pocket_export.html')
        self.assertIsInstance(pocket_links, list)
        self.assertGreater(len(pocket_links), 0)
        self.assertIsInstance(pocket_links[0], dict)
        self.assertIn('title', pocket_links[0])
        self.assertIn('url', pocket_links[0])

if __name__ == "__main__":

This test checks that parse_pocket_export returns a list of dictionaries and that each dictionary has a 'title' and 'url' key.

Finally, to import your new bookmarks file into Safari, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Safari.

  2. Click on File in the menu.

  3. Select Import From -> Bookmarks HTML File.

  4. Navigate to your created HTML file and select it.

That's it! I hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to convert Pocket exports to Safari bookmarks using Python, BeautifulSoup, and Poetry. Happy coding!

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