Updated: February 22, 2010
Skinning Opera is a non-violent procedure of changing the default theme (skin) of your Opera browser to make it look more the way you want it to be. Reasons for doing this? Well, for example, Opera changed between releases 9 and 9.5 and then again when the software switched to version 10, taking on a new look.
You may or may not like the new looks, but that's not important. What matters is that you have the choice of switching back to older themes if you want, or even use a completely new one, adding color and spice to your browser usage.
Let me show you how this can be done, quickly and easily.
Opera skinning, let's do it!
Materials: one 4" Bowie knife, Latex gloves, tanning powder ... nope, you only need your browser and about three minutes of your time. Launch Opera. This is what Opera 10 looks like, the brand new theme:
In the main menu, go to Tools > Appearance.
The settings menu has several tabs. The first one, Skin, shows installed themes by default. You can switch between them, delete them, change color scheme and icon size, and enable special effects.
What we want to do is look for more. So toggle the Find more skins button. You will again have several tabs to choose from: Popular skins, New skins, Editor's picks, and Top rated.
Choose any one category you like, browse the available skins, read comments if you want, pay attention to the skin rating, and check out the skin preview on the left side. Once you find something that draws your attention, hit Download.
Once the skin is downloaded, it will be automatically enabled. However, you'll be given a prompt to decide whether to keep or discard the new skin. You can later revert to other skins, if you want.
And here's the final result. I customized Opera 10 to look like Opera 9.5, as I'm not really fond of the new semi-Chrome semi-Windows-7 looks:
Very neat, very simple.
Changing the looks and behavior of the Opera browser is a very simple, painless affair. Anyone can do it, quickly, easily, using a friendly, intuitive wizard. Best of all, you do not need to leave the comfort of your browser, which adds to security and usability.
P.S. I was also thinking about writing a pun article, i.e. a lost trapper trying to skin an Opera building, but decided against it, in favor of an actual article. Well, that's it.