How to Customize Opera’s Speed Dial Page

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The Speed Dial tab is Opera’s equivalent of the New Tab page in Google Chrome. You can add shortcuts to all your fave websites to it, but the speed dials don’t include thumbnail images of pages. Instead, they have site logos and titles on them. You can customize the Speed Dial page with the browser’s options and browser extensions.

Customizing the Speed Dial Page Theme

First, check out some of the themes for the Speed Dial page. You can click Menu > Themes to open the tab shown in the snapshot below. Select Default themes to open a list of the themes included with the browser. Then click one of the thumbnails there to switch themes.


You can add more themes to the browser by selecting Get more themes. That opens the Themes gallery on the Opera add-ons website. Click a theme thumbnail and press the + Add to Opera button to add it the browser.

Alternatively, create your own theme for the Speed Dial page. Select Create your theme to open the options shown directly below. Press the Choose file button to add your own background to the Speed Dial tab, and then input a title for the theme. Click Create to add the custom theme to the Speed Dial page.


The Customize Start Page Sidebar

The Speed Dial page includes a Customize start page button at the top right. Click that button to open the sidebar in the snapshot below, which includes further options and settings for the Speed Dial. Click Navigation there to expand a list of check boxes that you can select to customize the navigation bar on the left of the page with. Click all the options there to include all the buttons on the navigation bar.

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There’s also a Search box option on the Customize start page sidebar. Uncheck that check box to remove the search box from the Speed Dial tab. The search box is set up for Google by default, but you choose alternative search engines for it by selecting Menu > Settings. Then click the drop-down menu under Search to select an alternative.

Adjusting the Number of Columns on the Speed Dial Page

You can also alter the number of columns the Speed Dial page includes. To do that, you should click Menu > Settings and then scroll down to the Maximum number of columns option. Then click the option’s drop-down menu and select an alternative column number from there. If you choose a higher value from there, you might need to press Ctrl + – on the Speed Dial page to zoom out and fit all the columns on the page.

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Add a Clock and Weather Update to the Speed Dial Page

The great thing about Opera’s Speed Dial page is that you can add more than just website shortcuts to it. There are a variety of speed dial extensions that add extras to the page. For example, you can add clock and weather dials to it with oClock and The Weather.

Open this extension page to add oClock to Opera. Then open the Speed Dial tab, which will now include a new clock dial on it as shown below. This clock also has a moon on it to highlight the lunar phase.

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The clock has numerous customization options that you can open by right-clicking it and selecting Options. That opens the tab in the snapshot below from which you can switch its format and customize the clock skins. Furthermore, you can also add an alternative URL for the oClock dial to open.

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To add a weather forecast to the Speed Dial tab, open this page and press the + Add to Opera button. Then you’ll find a weather dial on the page as shown in the snapshot below. Click How to Setup at the top right of the weather dial, and then follow the guidelines on The Weather tab to set up a forecast.

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The Weather dial gives you weather updates. It’s not exactly a forecast as it doesn’t include weather details for additional dates. Right-click the dial and click Options to open a couple of extra configuration options for it.

Add a New Start Page to the Speed Dial Tab

If you’re looking to add something entirely new to the Speed Dial tab, check out the extension here. This is an Opera, Google Chrome and Firefox extension that adds a customizable start page to those browsers. When you’ve added the extension, you’ll need to create a new account and sign in to it. That will open your page as below.

opera 8 includes a tour that gives you a good overview of its options and settings. You can run through that for more details, or quickly select pre-made pages by clicking the hamburger button at the top left of the page and selecting Find pages of interest. Then choose one of the pages from there.

Click the green Edit Page button and then the small arrow button on toolbar to further edit a selected page. Then you can select Add Bookmarks to open the sidebar in the snapshot below and add new shortcuts to the page. Select <New Bookmark list> from the Add to drop-down menu, and enter some URLs in the text box above. Click Add Bookmarks to add the new website shortcuts to the page, and you can drag and drop the box to a new place on the page.

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To add widgets to the page, click Add widget and choose one from the sidebar. A preview of the widget will then open. Click the + Add widget button on the preview to add it to page.

Click Change background on the arrow button’s menu to select new wallpaper for the page. Then you should click the background thumbnail image on the sidebar below to open a Select Background window. Click a wallpaper thumbnail there to add the background to your start page.

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Note that the page doesn’t replace the Speed Dial page by default. To add your new start page to the Speed Dial tab, first install the New Tab Start Page Pro extension for Opera from here. Press Ctrl + Shift + E and click New Tab Start Page Pro’s Options button to open the page below.

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Now copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) your page URL into the Set New Tab & Start Page URL text box. Below that select Yes from the Use the Custom Page above to Override “New Tab” drop-down menu. Press Save to confirm the new settings. Then the page will open when you press the + button on Opera’s tab bar.

You can also configure the Start page button to open the page instead of default Speed Dial. Select Yes from the Also, Override the “Start Page” button (Opera only) drop-down menu. Press Save and click the Start page button left of the address bar to open the page.

So Opera has quite a few options to further customize the Speed Dial page’s theme, navigation bar and search box with. With the and Configure New Tab & Start Page Pro extensions and Opera settings you can give the Speed Dial tab a considerable overhaul. 

Posted by Matthew on July 14, 2016

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