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How to make Opera Mobile even better - Mobile Minute

Opera MobileOpera Mobile is already hands down one of the best, if not the best web browser for Windows Mobile devices. It loads pages faster than almost any other browser, has excellent support for VGA screens, runs on Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6, and supports tabbed browsing.

An upcoming release will support zooming in and out of web pages, similar to the way Opera for the Nintendo Wii works.

Yes, there are some other browsers that handle some of these functions, including NetFront, Microsoft's DeepFish and ftxBrowser, Opera combines just about every feature you'd ever want in a mobile browser into one package.

While Opera has made its desktop browser a free program to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox, the company charges $24 for Opera Mobile, because there's really no other program that can perform as well on Windows Mobile devices. Opera Mobile 8.65 beta is currently available as a free download, but the program will expire on June 1st. this provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to play around with the browser for a while before deciding whether to make a purchase.

Now, the other exiting thing about Opera Mobile is that it's extremely customizable. It would be nice if there were a few more options built into the program's Settings feature. But if you're willing to edit a few .ini files, here are a few ways to customize and improve Opera Mobile.
Making a page down button, and other navigation settings

Probably the biggest complaint users have about Opera Mobile's default configuration is that pressing down on your navigation pad or scroll wheel doesn't cause the browser to scroll down an entire page. It just scrolls to the next link. While this is great if you plan to click on every link on a website, it's kind of annoying if you're just trying to read a news item.

What you need to do is edit the input.ini file, located on your device in the Application Data\Opera folder. The easiest way to edit it is probably to copy the file to your desktop and open it with Notepad or a similar text editor.
  1. Look for the section titled [Browser Widget]
  2. Change the entry that says "Down = Navigate down" to "Down = Page down"
  3. While you're at it, change "Up = Navigate up" to "Up = Page up"
  4. You can also change left and right to "page left" and "page right"
Here's a few keyboard shortcuts that you can reconfigure under the [WinCE Application] group in the input.ini file:
  • Bring up a list of open windows by changing "2=Show window list" to whatever number, letter, or action button you'd like
  • Flip through open windows by changing"8 = Cycle to next window" to whatever number, letter, or button you'd like
  • Bring up Opera's help file by changing "0=Show Help" to whatever number, letter, or action you'd like
  • Toggle Fullscreen mode by changing "F8 = Enter fullscreen | Leave fullscreen" to a key you actually have on your mobile device
  • Toggle Fit-to-screen by changing "F9 = Enable mediumscreen mode | Disable" to any key you'd like
Tweaking your cache settings and saving space

Browse cache lets Opera Mobile save copies of images, websites, and other data that you've obtained. Next time you visit those websites, the pages will load faster if their information is stored in your cache. But space is limited on mobile devices, so you have to decide whether you want quicker page loads or more free space. Here are some browser cache tweaks.

Change the size of your data cache:
  1. Find the Opera.ini file in \Application Data\Opera
  2. Copy it to your desktop to edit
  3. Find the [Disk Cache] group
  4. Change "Size=2000" to a larger or smaller size (measured in KB)
Move your data to a storage card:
  1. Edit Opera.ini
  2. Find the [User Prefs] group
  3. Change "Oper Directory=\Application Data\Opera" to another directory, such as "\SD Card\Opera\" or "\Storage Card\Opera," depending on how your device names your storage card
  4. Change "Help Directory=\Application Data\Opera\Help" to another directory
  5. Move all of the files and folders from your Opera directory to the new directory you've created, except:
    • Skin folder
    • browser.js
    • english.lng
    • input.ini
    • opera.ini
    • opera6.adr
    • search.ini
    If you're looking for a less painful way to move your data, Windows Mobile guru Menneisyys has a tutorial involving a registry file change.
    Change your history length (Opera normally remembers the last 10 websites you've visited):
  6. Edit the Opera.ini file
  7. Under [User Prefs], change "Max Direct History lines=10" to another number such as 0, 20, or 372
Change your download directory:
  1. Edit the Opera.ini file
  2. Under [User Prefs] change "Download Directory=\My Documents\" to another directory on your device or storage card
Importing bookmarks
  1. From the desktop version of Opera:
    • Use the desktop export bookmarks tool under File\Import and Export\Export Opera bookmarks to export your bookmarks
    • Replace the opera6.adr file in the \Application Data\Opera directory on your mobile device with the opera6.adr file exported from your desktop version of Opera
  2. From Pocket Internet Explorer:
    • Copy the \Windows\Favorites folder from your mobile device to your PC desktop
    • Open the desktop version of Opera
    • Click File, then Import and Export, then Import Internet Explorer Favorites and select the Favorites folder on your desktop
    • Open the bookmarks panel in Opera and find the Folder titled "Internet Explorer Favorites"
    • Highlight all of the files and folders within that folder (do not just highlight the "Internet Explorer Favorites" folder
    • Right click to "save as" opera6.adr
    • Save the file on your desktop and then copy it to \Application Data\Opera on your mobile device to replace your existing bookmarks with the new file
A few other tricks
  1. Type Opera:cache into the address bar to see the contents of your cache
  2. Type Opera:history into the address bar to see your link history
Thanks to Munk at Aximsite, Research Wizard, who have very useful tips for further customizing Opera, including customizing your start page and editing the default skin.

Tags: browsertips, config, ini, mobile browser, MobileBrowser, mobileminute, opera, opera.ini

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