How To Set Up A New Version Of Opera 7

12th May 2004 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


Once the basic browser, Opera 7.50, is installed, these are the steps I feel necessary to take to ensure an improved program. Of course each individual will have their own list of changes they make each time Opera release a new browser, while some people may leave it exactly as it is installed. Compare my list to your own - it's probably light-weight compared to the customisation that is possible. There's a lot you can change, but the more changes you make, the longer it will take to restore them each time a new version is released. I am still fairly new to regular use of Opera, so my list is likely to expand over time. But for now, it's quite a long list! See what you think.

  1. Right-click on the far left window edge and untick "Show panel toggle" - this gets rid of the unwanted line of extra pixels. Update 22nd August 2004: I now keep this on because the panel icon on the toolbar jumps right when you open the panels!
  2. Right-click on the toolbar down the left side and choose "Top" for "Panel placement".
  3. Right-click on the icons and choose "Customize toolbars". Make sure the icons are highlighted by an orange border (if not click on them).
  4. Now choose "Wrap to multiple lines" from the "Wrapping" drop-down menu.
  5. Right-click on the icons and tick "Info" (strangely off by default). (See screenshot.)
  6. This time click on the mini browser navigation icons. Why is there no Home button???
  7. Click on the "Buttons and fields" tab and drag the Home and Panels icons onto the toolbar. Between the Stop and the Wand icon is a good place. (See screenshot.)
  8. Go up to the images (camera) icon on the far left of the same toolbar and right-click to choose "Remove from toolbar". Since this button is two buttons combined, it needs to be gotten rid of. Click on "Browser view" in the side list of available buttons. Now drag the Show Images and Author Mode buttons onto the toolbar instead. (Avoid dragging the images button with the drop down arrow next to it.) Now we can turn images off and select user styles from 2 separate buttons without getting mixed up. (See screenshot.)
  9. Drag the security icon to the end of the toolbar (out of the way). I never use it, only noting it change when on a secure site. Click OK to set the toolbar changes.
  10. On a screen size of 1024 x 768 I also remove the Zoom drop-down menu, because you can press plus and minus on the keypad to do the same thing. But on a larger screen, you might leave it on.
  11. On the Customize toolbars window, tick "Show hidden toolbars while customizing". Highlight the Status Bar (the blank line underneath the large icons near the top) and change the position from "Off" to "Bottom". Although you lose a line of the view, it is vital for hovering over links and seeing where they lead to. I don't want to wait for the tooltip to give me the same information as it slows me down, especially when moving the mouse over a long list of links. (See screenshot.)

    Note: you can drag the function of the status bar onto another toolbar! So if your screen is wide enough, consider adding it to the end of the navigation bar. Then you don't need the status bar at the bottom to be on at all.

    Sadly I found that you can't drag the status field to the loading bar (which comes up showing various statistics such as loading speed and images loading). However, the buttons on that bar can also be moved around! So there is plenty of scope for setting Opera up just how you want it.

  12. Next adjust the size of the side panel by dragging the vertical divider line until the icons fit neatly 4 across by 3 down. Avoid any blank squares!
  13. Go to View -> Toolbars and untick Personal Bar - a waste of screen space. Tick Navigation Bar instead, which is only shown when needed by default. (See screenshot.)
  14. Now time to set the home page. I use a file on my PC with a few key links in it. Use File -> Open to load the page. Then Navigation -> Set home page and choose "Set current page as home page" - you don't want the Opera portal loading every time you start Opera!
  15. Next go to Tools -> Preferences. Choose the Personal information page. I enter a few basics here such as name, email and website - it saves a huge amount of time when posting comments on sites.
  16. I then swap the Google search bar for "Find in page" as it's a brilliantly useful feature. (Just start typing a word to find it on a page. Then press ENTER to jump to repeated uses of the word. (There's a similar search field shown for emails and bookmarks.)) To set it go to the Search page in Preferences and click on "Find in page". (If I need Google, I can go to their website instead.)
  17. I see you can choose what the middle mouse button does. On the Mouse and keyboard page, click the "Middle click options..." button. I'm going to try opening links in a new page - tabbed pages are ideal for forums.
  18. On the Windows page, one utterly essential thing to do is go to the "Pop-ups" drop-down menu and choose "Block unwanted pop-ups". Why this isn't the default option I dont know!
  19. I then like to change the "Loading" menu to "Redraw instantly". Why wait for pages to load? (Though this may cause problems such as the dreaded Flash Of Unstyled Content effect where a page first appears unstyled, before the style kicks in. But that only happens rarely.) Update 22nd August 2004: It's far better to set Opera to redraw after 1 second. This avoids the flashing of blank space when a new page loads. I found this way Opera neatly replicates Firefox's smooth method of seemingly drawing a new page ontop of the old one.
  20. On the Sounds page untick "Enable program sounds". If you're playing music via the computer, it's annoying to hear beeps over the top.
  21. The Fonts page is next. I make sure "Webpage normal text" is changed from Times New Roman to Trebuchet MS. So much nicer on unstyled pages.
  22. I set the "Minimum font size" to 10 pixels, not the default 6. Do this incase sites try to give you unreadably small text.
  23. On Page Style click on the "Configure Modes" button, then tick "My style sheet" under "Author Mode". This means you can now mix the user styles with those of a web page, without having to turn off the existing styles. You can also create your own user stylesheet that will affect other web pages.
  24. Moving on to the Default application page, click on "Select all" to make web pages open in Opera. But I untick the image formats listed - I don't want Opera to open image files.
  25. The Network page - home of the sin that is Opera being set to identify itself as MSIE 6.0 by default! Use the "Browser identification" drop-down menu to choose "Identify as Opera" as fast as you can.
  26. On the History and cache page, the "Disk cache" setting of just 2Mb seems a little low, so change it. I use 100Mb.
  27. There are a lot more preferences you can set but the majority seem OK for me so I don't alter them.

  28. Next it's time to set up my bookmarks from previous versions of Opera. If you just import them you'll be left with a mass of duplicated folders. There are several ways I can think of to get round this:
    • One way is to go into your old Opera program and rename each folder by adding something like "X" to the end. Go to Bookmarks -> Manage bookmarks to do this. Scroll to the bottom of the list and click on each folder, then use the Properties button to rename them. Each folder opens as you click on it, hence it's easier to manage by starting from the bottom, else you have to keep scrolling down as the folders move further and further down. Don't bother to close them, just keep going.

      You're probably wondering why it's not easier just to delete the folders, leaving any you added. Well what if you wanted to return to that version of Opera? It's best to keep it preserved.

      Next choose File -> Export -> Opera bookmarks and save them to the desktop so they're easy to find. In the newer version of Opera then go to File -> Import -> Opera bookmarks. Then go to Bookmarks -> Manage bookmarks and delete all the identical folders you've marked with an extra letter or something similar. (Make sure you also delete the duplicated Trash folder (not icon).) The reason for this method is that bookmarks inside the commonly named folders you get by default with Opera can change. Some are no longer listed, while others are new. So you want to make sure you have the newest set. (Any you find to be missing can be copied manually later.)

    • Another method is to export the bookmarks as HTML and edit the file. Not recommended if you don't know how to edit such code.
    • If you only have a few bookmarks you've added yourself, then you can highlight them and right-click to select File -> Save selected as. Then just import these in the usual way into your new Opera version.
  29. If you use Opera's built-in email client then you'll need to import your emails now. I have yet to attempt this. Update 24th May 2004: To upgrade from Preview 4 to the final version of Opera 7.50, all I had to do was copy the Mail folder across. If you do this, note that it's no longer stored in the main program folder (at least on Windows XP). It's now under C:\Documents and Settings -> your name -> Application Data -> Opera -> Opera750.
  30. Passwords and customised files can be manually copied across but don't ask me how. Again, it's not something I've attempted yet.

Comments (9)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. Moose:
    You should have the "max connections to server" set at 4, and the other one to 128 if you are on broadband.


    Posted on 14th May 2004 at 9:50 am
  2. hass:
    Thanks for the setup tips! And I'll post it here, that blinking-links site made me laugh out loud.

    Posted on 14th May 2004 at 9:22
  3. Pete Forman:
    5. Which icons offer an "Info" option?

    6. Do you mean why is there no Home button _in the default_?

    Generally add a comment that there should be a single window with a single tab pane so that changes need to be entered once only.

    A couple of screenshots would be helpful.

    Posted on 18th May 2004 at 2:25 pm
  4. Chris Hester:
    5. I refer to the main icons in the side panel. The "Info" one is unticked by default.

    6. Yes!

    I thought about screenshots. Any particular ones you'd like to see?

    Posted on 18th May 2004 at 3:38 pm
  5. Pete Forman:
    > 5. I refer to the main icons in the side panel.

    Ah, found it now. I'd switched off the side panel.

    I don't like having the side panel taking up space. I've added a Panel button to my main toolbar and turned off the Panel Selector and Panel Toggle.

    > I thought about screenshots. Any particular ones you'd like to see?

    A Before and After should suffice. Perhaps with annotations. Even though I've used Opera for a long time there are so many components to the display that identifying them is tricky. Consider the newbie.

    Posted on 19th May 2004 at 11:48 am
  6. Britta:
    About switching/exporting your bookmarks over to the new Opera version:

    Why not just copy your "opera6.adr" file across?
    That's what I always do. I've been using Opera for yonks and never had a problem with that.
    Also: always backup that file if your bookmarks are precious! :)

    Posted on 6th June 2004 at 2:22 am
  7. Just a surfer:
    Hi, your page inspired me to better configurate my own Opera. Thanks!

    BTW, I'm using Opera 7.51 on Linux. I have the following observations:

    a) this form field (Comment:) is wider than the above ones. The "Very long comments may be truncated." line, e.g., overlaps this field.

    b) I managed to add the "status field" function to the location bar. I now have only 4 bars: 1] menu (File, Edit...), 2] "text ads" bar, 3] tabs bar and the last 4] (navigation buttons, location field, ... and the status field).

    c) some modifications in these bars do not take place in tabs already open! One must open new pages to see them taking effect.

    Best of luck!


    Posted on 25 June 2004 at 2:13 am
  8. Chris Hester:
    I've redone the comments entry form. Better?

    Posted on 25th June 2004 at 9:16 pm
  9. Friedrich:
    I think the "home" button is useless. Just have Opera open with only your home page, File -> Sessions -> Save Session, and be sure to have the option TICKED. That way, when you start Opera, that session (i.e. your home page/pages) gets opened and loaded automatically.


    Posted on 21st November 2004 at 1:08 am