Vivaldi is a free web browser that brings some fresh new tricks to browsing without feeling complex. Its advanced features are straightforward to access, so we can all be power users. Vivaldi runs on Windows, macOS and Linux, but not iOS or Android.
Uses Chrome extensions: Because Vivaldi is built on the same engine as Chrome and Chromium, it supports Chrome extensions. While not all extensions are guaranteed 100 percent portable, most should work fine. That means there's a ready-made base of extra features to tap into.
Attach notes to web pages: Any web page can have a note attached to it. This can include links, a screen grab, and even markdown formatting to make notes more readable. It's easy to copy notes to other apps.
Bookmarks speed dial: When you open a new tab, its start page houses a series of "speed dial" websites. Put the sites you use most frequently here, and they will always be easily accessible. Vivaldi will even make speed dial suggestions from your browsing history.
Pop-out side panel: A panel down the side of the browser window gives fast access to bookmarks, search history and tabs and notes. You can add specific web pages to this panel for fast access. An example might be a social media feed that needs regular checking. This panel is on the left by default, but can go on the right if you prefer.
Web panels: You can add favorite sites to the side panel so that they are always easily accessible. Unlike the bookmarks speed dial, when a web page is opened from the Web panel it appears in its own dedicated pane. This means two web pages can be viewed side by side. You might use this to compare two websites, read one site while writing into a Google doc, keep a social feed accessible all the time, or use a chat or collaboration app.
Tab stacking: Several tabs can be grouped into a "stack" by dragging them onto each other. You can view thumbnails of every tab in a stack just by passing the cursor over the tab, and open a page into the browser window with a click on the thumbnail. To open all tabs in a stack at once, right click and select Tab tiling; they will open in separate vertical windows. Obviously there is a limit to the number of tabs this is useful for: two or three tabs work well on a standard screen, while ultrawide screens can cope with more.
Status Bar extras: The Status Bar on the bottom of the Vivaldi window includes a page zoom slider so it's easy to get text on sites at just the right size for reading. There is also a toggle for making image loading settings -- turning images off can keep bandwidth use down. Another button can be used to set image animations to play once, never, or in a continuous loop.
Easy screenshot: The Status Bar also has an easy screenshot tool that can save a full page or a selection to JPEG, PNG, or to the clipboard.
Page Actions: A whole host of settings can be made for specific web pages from the Status Bar. This can be a lot more useful than you might think. You could be on a page whose color design makes it difficult to read, for example, or that has not been properly calibrated for color-blind users. There are lots of different color filters, including making a page black-and-white or grayscale, inverting the colors and rendering it sepia.
Reader View: Some web pages are so full of extraneous content that they're difficult to read. One Page Action sends a web page into Reader View, which removes panels and sidebars, just leaving the core images and text.
Forward and rewind: Buttons on the address bar let you move quickly back and forward through the pages at a site. They're also really good for paging through search results.
Finger friendly: All the features available from the side panel, status bar and address bar make Vivalidi very finger-friendly, so it's great to use with touchscreen devices.
No mobile version: This will be a deal-breaker for many. The sooner Vivaldi extends its reach into Android and iOS, the sooner it will be able to establish a firmer foothold among those who want to sync browsing habits and history across platforms.
Vivaldi has plenty of useful features that are accessible at speed via a mix of finger-friendly buttons and panels around the main viewing area. It's very customizable too, so these buttons and panels can be placed exactly where you like them. It's a shame there aren't versions for Android and iOS, but Windows users might find it a great alternative to the usual fare.