Switching to a new browser is typically dead simple but some interface idiosyncrasies can make the transition a little more frustrating than it needs to be. Moving from Safari 5 to Opera 10 looks easy but it is not. Browsers like Google Chrome will automatically pull your bookmarks over upon installation however Opera does not seem to do this and the means for moving over your favorite websites is hidden. Though it may seem like magic I will guide you through the process of getting those Safari bookmarks into Opera (and also a few other customization tips).
If you launch Safari and go to File > Import and Export you can export your Safari bookmarks for back up or, conceivably, to import into another browser. Likewise, in Opera, going to File will reveal an import bookmarks selection. However Safari exports bookmarks in .html format and for one reason or another Opera is not able to import the bookmarks export file created by Safari. Instead the process involves using the .plist file for Safari’s bookmarks.
The bookmarks.plist file is a file created by Safari which the browser uses to store the bookmarks which the user saves while browsing. For your information, you can find the bookmarks.plist in your Mac’s Library folder. Open the Finder window (the blue smiley face down in the dock) and click on the Home folder in the left sidebar. If you are new to Macs, the Home folder has an icon that looks like a house and usually has your name beside it (or whatever name was used when the computer was first set up). Once it is selected you will now see its contents, a list of various folders, in the main window. Scroll down to the folder named Library. You will be presented with even more folders. Scroll down to the Safari folder, open it, and near the top you should see a file entitled bookmarks.plist. This will be the file you will point Opera to for grabbing your bookmarks.
Now to actually accomplish this feat, open Opera. Go to File > Import Safari Bookmarks. Within the navigation window that appears go to the bookmarks.plist file I just showed you (Home > Library > Safari > bookmarks.plist). Select it and click the blue Import button. In a snap, Opera will load your Safari bookmarks into Opera’s Bookmarks menu in a folder of their own called Safari Bookmarks (or something similar to that).
Once the bookmarks are in Opera you can now organize them just as you would in Safari. Select Bookmarks and then Manage Bookmarks. Within the Bookmarks manager it is simple to organize the bookmarks into any order or even in folders.
To create a special bookmarks folder for shopping links, for example, select the Add button at the top of the Bookmarks manager then give the folder the name Shopping (or whatever name best suits your purposes). Next you can simply drag and drop the links you want in this folder within the Bookmarks manager itself. To delete a folder of course you click the Delete button at the top of the Bookmarks manager.
Unfortunately creating a Bookmarks toolbar is not as straight forward in Opera as in other browsers. You can create one however using the Personal Bar in Opera. Turn on the Personal Bar by clicking the View drop-down menu and check “Personal Bar.” This will create a new portion of the main header. From within the Bookmark Manager you can now organize bookmarks or folders of bookmarks into the Personal Bar. This will give you the same functionality you are used to from Safari’s bookmarks toolbar.
As with any other browser, you may find that Opera does some things very well and other things not so well. In the end it comes down to personal preference. But if you decide that Opera is the right browser for you, I hope this tutorial will prove to be useful in transferring your bookmark data from Safari. Good luck!