Giving users same rights as root
I have 2 users on my account: root and tristan are the only 2 I use. Since I runa webserver, I use the GUI of RH 9 to edit my documents. I always login under 'tristan' because I've customized that for myself. WHen I go to edit my webpages (/var/www/), I get a read-only error because I am not root. So, I have to logout, login as root, change the files there, logout, login as 'tristan' and then go on with my business.
Is there any way to give 'tristan' permission to folders such as /var/ and/opt/ ? If not, is there a quick way to switch between 'tristan' and 'root' within the GUI without having to logout?