Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to make an attractive Opera Speed Dial and win prizes

When you add a new site to Opera’s Speed Dial, Opera adds a thumbnail image of the site. This thumbnail image can easily be edited or replaced by your own customized image. You can put an altered thumbnail image or the logo of the site. Further, Opera 10 beta allows you to set a custom image as background to Speed Dial's page. You can also change the number of rows and columns in the Speed Dial.

Let’s find out how we can go about making all these changes and create a gorgeous Speed Dial.

Changing Thumbnail Images

  1. The image you want to use as thumbnail must be saved in the PNG format. There is no limitation on size of image but 256x192 pixels or less is recommended.
  2. Go to Opera’s profile\thumbnails directory. You can find it’s location by clicking on Help > About Opera. The default location is %SYSTEMROOT%\Documents and Settings\%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Opera\Opera \thumbnails.
  3. Find the already existing thumbnail image for the site and replace it with the new image but with the original name.
  4. Right click on the image and select Properties. Check the box 'Read only'. This is to prevent update of thumbnail image when you use reload.
  5. Restart Opera to see the new thumbnail image in Speed Dial.

You can also use the Opera Image Dial generator if you suck at image editing

Changing Rows and Columns, and Background Image

The number of columns and rows to display, and background image can be set in Opera 10 beta by clicking on the Configure Speed Dial button on the Speed Dial page.


If you are using Opera 9.X, you can set the number of rows and columns by following these steps:

  1. Go to Opera’s preference directory (the usual location in Windows XP is %SYSTEMROOT&\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Opera\Opera\profile).
  2. Open speedial.ini in any text editor. Add the following lines to adjust the number of rows & columns to your requirement.


The Competition

Now that you know how customize the Speed Dial, how about taking part in a contest? Opera is currently running a contest for the best looking Speed Dial. To take part join the Opera community, create a new photo album and upload the screenshot of your Speed Dial, or create a blog post in Opera’s blogging platform and show off your Speed Dial. Take note, that you have to use Opera 10 beta, otherwise you won’t be able to change the background image and without a good background image you can’t possibly produce a good Speed Dial.

You stand to win Opera T-Shirts, Opera Pens & Post-it notes, Opera USB sticks,
Opera stickers, and Opera laptop bags. The contest ends on August 7th.

Some Inspirations

Here are some beautiful and clever customization to help you get going. Don’t copy. Get inspired.

speed dial (7)

speed dial

speed dial (1)

speed dial (2)

speed dial (3)

speed dial (4)

speed dial (5)

speed dial (6)


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