Set up Opera for partners and parents

Opera 9.2 update

The page below has not been updated since Opera 7 days. Don't use the download links on this page for Opera 9 installations. See this recent blog posting for Updated setups for 9.2


Everyday millions of people browse the web with Opera. But sometimes their better halves or their parents haven't seen the light yet. Are you one of those who haven't convinced their girlfriend (or boyfriend)? Or do you want to install Opera on your parents' machine to make the web safer for them, but you are afraid they will be confused by all those options you dearly love yourself? Then maybe this page will help! Read on...

Screenshot of Opera with KISS 7.5 settings

What does KISS do?

The KISS setup that is explained here (and that can be installed with two clicks) will give Opera a minimal menu, with options that should never take more than ten seconds to explain to anyone. The idea is that you set up an Opera installation that works and looks well, and then simply leave it alone. It is not a setup for people who explore the program, try out configurations etc. Nor is it a setup for those designing webpages. But it offers a stable, safe and powerful browsing experience. Setting up KISS at their machines should minimize support calls from your loved ones.

Tabbed browsing (multiple 'pages' in a 'window') is nice, but real MDI is not suitable for a lot of people. So the Window submenu is removed. Only the list of 'Closed' pages remains, under the 'File' menu. And the Pagebar is set to automatically hide if there is only one page open. Context menu options like page validation, copy image address and other hardly used items (by the target audience) are removed from the context menus, making them a lot smaller. Just as all 'Open in new window' items; 'pages' should be enough. I've avoided multi-level menus, except where they are the natural way to present options.

The new KISS toolbars are designed to offer mostly one-click buttons that will be used, and to show information where needed. Two toolbars will be visible, though their location depends on the choice for the registered, banner-ad supported or Google-ad supported versions. The top toolbar has the two important navigation items: a 'Back' button and the address field. The 'Fast Forward' button is also kept, the 'Rewind' and 'Forward' buttons are removed. The Google search box is replaced by a button that sends the content of the address field as a query to Google (except in the banner-ad version, because there is too little room in that case - I recommend enabling the Personal bar in that setup).

The 'Reload' button, and buttons showing off Opera's power (images toggle, user mode/author mode toggle, zoom) are placed to the bottom toolbar. I've also added the 'Identify as' field to the bottom toolbar, because it is the one difficult thing that might have to be explained to new users. Having the ID state visible might help awareness of the issues involved with bigotrous web pages.

I haven't made changes to the M2 part of Opera; there is little fluff there that can be removed without crippling the user. Some parts of M2 might require more than 10 seconds; but I've made sure the KISS menu adapt well to unchecking the 'Enable mail and chat' setting (see 'Tools > Preferences > Programs and paths').

I haven't made KISS keyboard shortcuts or mouse gestures. There is a risk people accidentally trigger some, but on the other hand I want to use them myself when I'm visiting my dad...

Make a KISS 7.5 setup: step by step instructions

  1. Install Opera 7.5 in a new directory (this gives you a clean installation)
  2. Download and automatically install the KISS toolbar 7.5 setup file:
  3. If you really want to add or remove buttons, do it now *
  4. Download and automatically install the KISS menu 7.5 setup file:
  5. Enjoy!

* If you want to change the toolbars after installing the KISS menu, you'll need to first go back to the 'Opera Standard' menu. This can be done from 'Tools > Preferences > Toolbars and menus'. Then make the changes you want, before switching back again to the 'Kiss' menu setup.

Menu files for KISS 7.2x

Use the Minimal toolbar supplied with Opera.