Personalize Orkut to your liking

Are you an orkut addict? I have been one every since I joined orkut long back. Infact, I am an active member of orkut with a couple of thousand scraps and hundreds of friends. Thanks to orkut I could reconnect with many of my long lost friends.

Every since I joined orkut, there was something about it that I didn’t like – the design. The initial design of the site, before Google took over the site was very bad. A large amount of Javascript code was embedded within the page, that made it slow to load and resource hungry. After its merger with Google Accounts, the site was redesigned. It was much better than the previous design, though there are many who are dissatisfied with the new look. The best thing about the new design was that the embedded Javascript and CSS codes were replaced by linked external files, which reduced made the pages load faster.

A few days back, while going through my previous article “Gmail and Yahoo! Mail Beautifiers“, a question struck me. Are there any similar script for Orkut? Once again GreaseMonkey came to our help. There are several scripts that allows you to change your Orkut theme. I checked two of the scripts with Opera User Scripts, and it worked fine with Opera too. The only downside of this method is that the theme switches only after the complete page load. For IE users, there is nothing you can do other than yell out, “IE Sucks“.

The first script I tested and the one I liked the most was Matrix by Crazysouls.com. The design was really cool, but unfortunately the design was broken at several places (most probably due to some recent updates by Orkut team). Hence, I have tweaked the files a little bit to make it compatible with the latest orkut layout. You can download the updated file from here.

Here is a screenshot of the Matrix Theme.


Matrix theme for orkut

Keyboard Shortcuts

There is one more userscript that I wish to mention. OrkutShortcuts allows you to visit some of your most frequently visited orkut pages with some simple keyboard shortcuts. The supported shortcuts are

  • Home : Ctrl + Shift + H
  • Scrapbook : Ctrl + Shift + S
  • Communities : Ctrl + Shift + C
  • Friends : Ctrl + Shift + F
  • Edit Profile : Ctrl + Shift + E

Installation

Inorder to install the script for Firefox, you must download and install the GreaseMonkey extension from the Firefox Addon Repository. After installing the extension and restarting Firefox, clicking on the appropriate download link above will popup an installation window. Click install and reload Orkut and you are done.

For installing the script in Opera, save the script somewhere on your HardDisk, say C:\\Program Files\\Opera\\Profile\\UserJs\\, or anywhere you like. After that go Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Content > Javascript Options in your Opera browser and click the choose button at the bottom of the window and select the directory where you saved the userscript. And reload the window to see your brand new Orkut.

If you are using TorPlus,  then the user script path is already configured. Hence all you have to do is save the file in the corresponding directory. If you are using TorOpera, save the file in the directory TorPlus\\Opera\\Profile\\js\\user\\  and if you are using TorKestrel, then save the file in the directory TorPlus\\Kestrel\\Profile\\js\\user\\   and you are done.