Until the last week, for almost 2 years or so, I have used Chrome as my default browser. Unfortunately, last week some adware infected my chrome installation which was affecting my browsing experience. All the adware, spyware and rootkit removers failed to resolve the issue which was causing my browser to crash all of a sudden, open some Russian Black Jack and dating website and also play random video ads.
Formatting the PC to reinstall Windows 10 was the only option left, however, the time it takes to back up the files, install Windows 10 and reconfigure it for my official needs was holding me back. When I talked about the issue to our Senior Editor on Guiding Tech, Chaitanya, he told me to try Vivaldi browser that runs on the Chromium engine. Considering all tools and extensions of Chrome would work on Vivaldi, was enough for me to give it a shot.
What comes as an occupational habit, the first day was spent exploring the browser and checking out some of its interesting features. Truth be told, I fell in love with Vivaldi’s features and I was surprised to see that some of them were even missing on Chrome and Firefox which have been around for a long time. If you are wondering what these features are, here are top 5 that impressed, which you are not going to find on other popular browsers.
1. Option to Reposition Tabs
The default position of the tabs is at the top of the browser, or at least that’s what we have been taught by Chrome and Firefox for years now. However, Vivaldi has the guts to bring changes to it. By default, the tabs are at the top in Vivaldi and you can also drag it down to see a thumbnail preview of the tabs. But the best thing is that you can even reposition it to bottom, right and on the left edge of the browser, based on your comfort level.
To make the changes, open the Settings panel and navigate to Tabs. Here you can make changes to the Tab Bar Position. The settings will be made in real-time and therefore you can decide easily where you are comfortable with the tabs.
2. Add Web Panels for Facebook, Twitter, Email and Other Social Websites
This is one of my favorite feature where I can add an independent web panel to the edge of the browser and have a look at my social timeline or emails without having to leave the webpage I am currently working on.
To add these panels, just click on the + icon on the edge and type the URL of the website. The browser will identify the website and add it to a web panel which you can use without leaving the current page. Vivaldi uses page wrap feature to make these web panels compatible with space and you can even post new status updates, tweet links directly and even reply to emails. Basically, these web pages are opened as they would on a mobile browser.
3. Tab Stacking
If you have a habit of opening way too many tabs at the same time, the feature of Tab Stacking can help you out in organizing them. Tab Stack feature automatically organizes tabs from similar websites in one stack making it easier for you to work with multiple tabs without getting lost.
Let’s say you have 5 tabs from Facebook, 4 from Guiding Tech and 2 from Twitter. Using Tab Stacks you can make them 3 different tabs which will contain all the other child tabs from the same domain. You can either drag a tab over to another for easy grouping or right-click on a tab and select the option to Group Similar Tabs to Stack on the context menu.
4. Mouse Gestures
Gestures always make navigation easy and Vivaldi integrates it as one of its default features. Using the feature, you can use mouse gestures to open a new tab, close tab, go back a page and much more. To configure these things, open up Vivaldi Settings and navigate to Mouse Settings. Here, check the option that says Allow Gestures.
You will see a list of available gestures under Gesture Mapping. These gesture mappings are hardcoded and cannot be customized, but are designed in such a way that it’s pretty easy to remember and use.
5. Quick Commands and Hot Keys
Yet another addition to make navigation even better is Quick Commands which can be invoked by pressing the F2 key while you are browsing. These quick commands help you to navigate to tabs easily and even lets you search for bookmarks and launch them. You can also search for various commands you will be shown respective hotkeys next to it.
So these were the top 5 features of Vivaldi that might convince you to try it out today if you haven’t already. However, they are just getting started. The developers have promised to make Vivaldi even better in the future and integrate features like Notes and Mails that will make it a complete package.