Leaning Hard into Vivaldi Browser

Published: 2023-04-05 09:48 |

Category: Technology | Tags: browser, settings, tweaks, user, usage

I've been a Vivaldi user for several years, but this year, I pushed hard into making it as efficient and usable for me as possible. Some of this was sparked by my experiments with Arc last fall and others were picked up from other people sharing their tips.

Quick commands

Vivaldi's command palette (Cmd + E) is a helpful tool with a couple tweaks. I like to get as much space as I can - the browser is often full screen - and using the command palette lets me keep my tab bar hidden. Instead of toggling the tab bar open and closed, you can use the palette to find what you want.

In Settings, go to Quick Commands and set your search preferences. In order of priority, mine are:

  1. Open Tabs
  2. Extensions
  3. Web Search & URL Entry
  4. Commands

This gives me the ability to use one shortcut and search. The command palette will give me a page I already have open first, and if I don't have that tab open anywhere, I can go right the URL in a new tab. This also lets me toggle any of my extensions before resorting to a search.

Command chains

Command chains are automations you can set within the browser. I don't use a whole lot of these, but I did take time to set one up for when I'm preparing to do some research. The chain can be entered into the command palette (launched with one shortcut) and will give me two vertically split tabs automatically opened to Google Scholar and a blank Google Doc for notes. It's a small change, but it saves me from having to do all of that manually.

There are probably some other chains I could put some time into, but I haven't found others that would make a huge difference yet.


I love that Vivaldi has shortcuts for everything. Some of these are set up by default, others need to be set manually. But if it's something you want to control in the browser, you can do it. My favorites are:

  • Cmd + [ and Cmd + ] for moving backward and forward through page history.
  • Caps + B to show/hide the tab sidebar. (I use Karabeaner Elements to remap caps lock to a 'hyper' modifier. It's the same as holding all of the modifier keys at once.)
  • Caps + J to open the browser console on the current page.
  • Caps + P to pin the current tab.
  • Caps + H/L to go to the previous/next tab (in the tab order)

Real estate

I already mentioned that my tab bar is pinned to the left side of the screen. Clive Thompson is clear on why and I have to admit, this is a carry over from Arc for me. I appreciate the veritcal browser space and the tab nesting offered in Vivaldi looks better vertically than horizontal.

I really wish Vivaldi offered an automatic show/hide of the left-pinned tab bar based on mouse position, so for now I rely on my shortcut to show the tab bar if I need it. I also wish the address bar could be pinned to the top of the tab bar on the left, but it's another feature I'll have to wait for.

Do you use Vivaldi? What other tips do you have?

Comments are always open. You can get in touch by sending me an email at brian@ohheybrian.com