Web Browser Wednesday

Opera LogoOpera is a free web browser that is available for the Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. One of the things that Opera is best known for is being highly customizable out-of-the-box, but I think that some people overlook how customizable the toolbars are.

I’ve seen quite a few people using Opera before, and almost none of them move thye toolbars or buttons around. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t know how, or whether they love the default layout that much. On the other hand, almost all Firefox installations that I ever see have customized toolbars, and a good example of that can be seen at Lifehacker’s “Show Us Your Firefox“.

I thought about making this your typical tutorial that walks you through all of the different steps, but it would be extremely long and hard to explain. For that reason I’ve assembled a video demonstration that starts with a fresh installation of Opera, and shows you how I go about positioning things.

–Customize the Toolbars–

In the video demonstration I show you how to customize the look and position of any toolbar in Opera. Even the bar with the tabs and the sidebar are included in this category, and changing their location is as simple as right-clicking on them and choosing the Customize option. Then there is a drop-down menu next to a label called “Placement,” and that is what you’ll need to adjust to move toolbars around Opera.

–Tab Bar–

One of my favorite things in Opera is that you can move the tab bar to the bottom of the browser, or to one of the sides. Seeing that I have a widescreen monitor, I prefer to utilize the extra screen width by placing my tabs on the right-side, which is also nice because your tabs don’t get so small that they are unreadable.

In the video I’ll also show you how to move the tab bar below the address bar without any hacks or inconvenient tricks. By default the tab bar is above the address bar with Opera, which is something Firefox and Internet Explorer users might have a hard time getting used to.


I like to view myself as a minimalist when it comes to icons and clutter, but there are some things that I do simply because it makes me more productive, and the sidebar is one of those things. It takes up way too much room out-of-the-box, and I was anxious to find a way to condense it down. The reason why this is important to me is that I have hundreds of bookmarks that I frequently access, so to allow me to be as productive as possible, I need to leave the bookmarks sidebar open at all times. As you’ll see in the video, there is a surprising amount of customization options that pertain to the sidebar.


Are you ready for the video? I spent a lot of time making sure that, despite the low-resolution, you can still clearly see everything that I’m doing. So without further ado…


Opera is about as powerful as you want it to be. Once you get diggin’ under the hood you’ll find all kinds of surprises that you didn’t know existed, and that’s one of the joys with using it as your browser. Play around, mess with the options, and don’t be afraid to screw something up…that’s my motto! :)

Opera Homepage