Increasing your browsing speed

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

Once you are comfortable with the layout and the basic features, the Opera browser offers much more to help you browse the Web even faster. This section covers some of these features. You can also read about other features on our browser features page.

Select the arrow to view each topic below, or select the Expand All button to view all topics at once.

Access favorite sites quickly with Speed Dial

Opera's Speed Dial is a set of visual bookmarks that gives you quick access to your favorite websites or dynamic, live extensions. When you open a new tab in Opera, Speed Dial automatically displays. The list below includes some basic tips on using Speed Dial, or you can view the video.

Open a webpage from Speed Dial
  • Just click the thumbnail of the page.
  • Alternatively, in the address field, type the number that corresponds to the thumbnail position and press Enter.
Add a new website
  • Click the star that appears to the right of the address field and select Add to Speed Dial.
  • In Speed Dial:
    1. Select the Speed Dial button, shown by a "+" symbol, and either select one of the suggested websites, or enter a web address (URL) in the Address field. Suggestions are based on frequently visited or currently open webpages.
    2. Enter a name to help you to easily identify it.
    3. Click OK.
Add a live Speed Dial extension
An extension in your Speed Dial can show live, animated content, such as news feeds, the weather, or even a collection of your favorite photos.
  1. Select the Speed Dial button, shown by a "+" symbol, and either select a suggested extension, or click View all Extensions to select one from the catalog.
  2. If you want to control the interaction of the extension with secure pages or private tabs, click Privacy and select the desired settings.
  3. Click Install to add the extension. It's added and shown as a dynamic thumbnail. For some extensions, you may be asked to set some preferences.
Edit Speed Dial
Right-click the thumbnail and select Edit. Select from the suggested websites, or enter a web address in the Address field. Enter a name in the Name field to help you identify it.
Delete a Speed Dial thumbnail
  • Select the cross in the lower-right corner.
  • Alternatively, right-click it and select Delete.
Change the layout or look of your Speed Dial
  • Drag-and-drop entries from one space to another.
  • Change the background, layout, and more by clicking the Configure button at the top-right. See the Customize Speed Dial topic.
Control the thumbnail size
  1. Select the Configure button at the top-right of the window.
  2. In the Zoom field, select Manual from the drop-down list.
  3. Use the Zoom Level slider to set the desired default level.
Reload a thumbnail
You can update thumbnails of static webpages in the following ways:
  • Reload a single entry by right-clicking it and selecting Reload.
  • Reload all entries by selecting the Reload button on the address bar.
  • Set automatic reload at a specified interval, for example, for a news site, by right-clicking the entry and selecting Reload every. Select the time interval from the list.
Search in Speed Dial
Search the web using the search field at the top of your Speed Dial. To change the default search site, see the Customize Speed Dial topic.
Use the same Speed Dial on all your computers and devices
You can use Opera Link to synchronize your Speed Dial across all your computers and devices running Opera, so that they are available wherever you go. For more information, see the Opera Link topic.

Beat slow connections with Opera Turbo

When you are on a slow connection, Opera Turbo can increase your bandwidth speed by compressing data and images on our proxy servers before it reaches the Opera browser on your computer. You can choose to enable Opera Turbo whenever you need it, or set it to automatically switch on when a slow connection is detected. To configure Opera Turbo to suit your browsing needs, follow the steps below or view the video:

  1. Select the Opera Turbo icon on the status bar.
  2. In the context menu, select Configure Opera Turbo to open the Opera Turbo Settings dialog.
  3. You can choose from the following settings:
    • Automatic — This enables Opera Turbo only if a slow network is detected.
    • On — This enables Opera Turbo and optimizes pages so they load faster on slow networks. Note that some image quality may be lost when data is compressed.
    • Off — This loads pages normally, without Opera Turbo.
    • Notify me about network speed — The displays a network speed indicator within the Opera Turbo icon on the status bar.

Once you have enabled Opera Turbo, you can switch between the modes by clicking the icon on the status bar.

A badge displays in the address field to indicate that Opera Turbo is running. After browsing for a while, click the badge to see how many KB Opera Turbo has saved you.

Save tab sessions for use next time

A session is a collection of tabs that you can save for different uses. You can choose the tabs that display each time you open the browser, but you can also save other sessions as well.

To set the tabs that display when you open the browser, go to Settings > Preferences > General and choose an option from the Startup drop-down. Select OK to confirm. The tabs that you specified will display automatically each time you start the browser.

To save a different session for a specific use, for example, if you are interested in skiing, save all the tabs with your favorite snow field and weather sites by using Tabs and Windows > Sessions and naming the session to identify it. The next time you want to view these tabs — for example, before you hit the slopes — you can just go to Tabs and Windows > Sessions and select the saved session from the list.

Save passwords and personal information with the password manager

You can use the password manager to automatically complete your log-in details so you can log in with just one click. You can also use it to auto-complete personal information in online forms. It remembers the usernames, passwords, and personal details you choose to save, so you don't have to type them over and over while browsing. To protect your privacy, your details are scrambled.

Use the password manager to log in to websites

The password manager is enabled by default. When you log in to a password-protected website, Opera will ask if you want to save the details. Select Save to confirm.

Password Manager toolbar

When you next log in to the site, the login fields are shown with a yellow border, indicating that you have saved login details. To log in automatically, select the Log in button on the address bar , or press Ctrl+Enter.

Synchronize passwords across computers

You can use Opera Link to synchronize your login details across all your computers running Opera, so that they are available wherever you go. For more information, see the Opera Link topic.

Delete saved passwords

To delete saved passwords, select Settings > Preferences > Forms > Password Manager. Delete the passwords from the list.

Auto-complete online forms

You can record personal information that you often use, such as your full name and address, to automatically complete fields in online forms. To record your details:

  1. Select Settings > Preferences > Forms.
  2. Complete the relevant fields with your personal information. Tip: Use the other fields for alternate addresses or any other personal information you often type into forms.
  3. Select OK. Your details are saved.

To auto-fill forms, you can either:

  • Select the Log in button on the address bar, if the field appears with a yellow border. This border shows that Opera recognizes it as a form field that has saved personal details.
  • Start typing in a field and select the relevant information from the resulting drop-down.
  • Right-click a form field and select Insert Personal and select the information from the resulting menu.

To disable the password manager, select Settings >Preferences > Forms and uncheck Enable Password Manager.

Check as you type with the spell checker

When you type in any multiple-line input text field, for example, when filling in forms, composing an Opera Mail message, typing notes, or chatting, your spelling is checked automatically by a spell checker. Spelling errors are shown by a dotted red line under the word as you type.

For single line text fields, spell checking is not automatic, but you can enable it by right-clicking the field and checking Check spelling in the context menu.

Fixing spelling errors

To view suggestions for correct spelling, right-click any underlined words to select from alternative spelling suggestions. You can also add the word to your default dictionary if it is correct, ignore all instances of the word, or remove the word from the dictionary.

Adding a language dictionary

Opera uses the Hunspell dictionary format, and includes a US English dictionary by default. To add a different language dictionary for spell checking, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click any input field to display the context menu.
  2. Select Dictionaries > Add/Remove Dictionaries.
  3. In the Spell Checker Dictionaries dialog, select a language. Tip: You can use the search field at the top of the list.
  4. Check the language you want to use and select Next.
  5. If any licensing is applicable, accept and select Next.
  6. Select Finish. The dictionary will be loaded.

Navigate easily with mouse gestures

Opera's unique mouse gestures can speed up your browsing. Move back and forth, open and close new windows, or perform other routine operations efficiently using one quick movement of your mouse. To see this in action, view the video.

For example, if you want to open a link a new tab:

  1. Point your mouse to the link.
  2. Select and hold the right mouse button.
  3. Move the mouse down (while still holding the mouse button).
  4. Release the right mouse button. The link opens in a new tab.

To enable mouse gestures, go to Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Shortcuts and check Enable mouse gestures.

Once enabled, hold the right mouse button and move the mouse to see an interface that guides you through the available gestures. This makes it easier to learn and use them. Then, move the pointer in any direction and the interface changes to reflect the actions that can be performed with subsequent movements. When you complete an action, a notification briefly shows what action you performed. Once you learn your favorite mouse gestures and perform them quickly, the interface will not display.

For a list of available mouse gestures, go to Opera Help — Using the Mouse.

Navigate quickly with keyboard shortcuts

Some people may find surfing with a mouse difficult, and standard mouse navigation can also be a bit slow. But there are better ways to navigate.

With Opera, you can navigate without a mouse, using only the keyboard. This is often referred to as “spatial navigation”. When you open menus, you will see that a keyboard shortcut is almost always suggested for every function. You can complete nearly every operation in Opera using a keyboard shortcut. This includes navigating backward and forward in your browsing history, opening and closing pages, and much more.

For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts for your operating system, see the following:

Add a bookmarks bar

Besides the Speed Dial, you can also save your favorite bookmarks to a useful bar.

To display the bookmarks bar, from the menu, select Settings > Toolbars and check Bookmarks bar.

Tips for using the bookmarks bar:

  • When you have a tab open with a site you want to save, just drag the tab into the bar to save it.
  • Drag saved bookmarks from the Bookmarks panel into the bar to add them.
  • Drag folders of bookmarks from the Bookmarks panel into the bar to add them.
  • Add common searches, such as Google, Bing and Wikipedia, by Right-clicking the bar and selecting Show searches and choosing from the selection.
  • Remove items from the bar by selecting them, Right-clicking and selecting Remove From Toolbar.
  • Change the appearance and properties of the bar by Right-clicking the bar and selecting Appearance or Style.

Keep notes while surfing

With the Opera notes feature, you can write your own notes, save selected text from webpages, save email message templates, or create “to do” lists. This is especially useful if you are using the Web to research a topic.

For tips on how to use notes, refer to the list below.

Start a note in a new tab
From the menu, select Notes > Add and start writing your note. This is useful when you need to make lengthy notes, as it opens a note in a new tab, and all of the browser window space is available for note taking. If you want to also view web content in another tab at the same time, right-click a tab and select Arrange > Tile Vertically or Tile horizontally, which splits the tabs across the browser window.
Start a note in the Notes panel
Display the Notes panel, select Add, and start writing your note. Using the Notes panel is useful if your notes are short and you want to display a webpage in the browser window.
Create a note from text in a webpage
Highlight the text in the webpage, right-click, and select Copy to note.
Copy and paste a note
right-click the edit field and select Insert note to paste into an email message, web form field, or chat conversation. In this way, you can use notes to store strings of text that you use repeatedly, such as standard email messages, templates, and signatures.
Arrange notes in folders
To add a new folder, display notes and select Add > New folder. Folders display in alphabetical order and cannot be reordered. You can drag-and-drop notes into folders, where they display in alphabetical order.
Delete a note
To delete a note, highlight it and press Delete, which sends it to the trash. To retrieve a note from the trash, select the trash icon and drag the note to the note list. To empty the trash, right-click and select Empty Trash.
Access your notes on all your computers and devices
You can use Opera Link to synchronize your notes on all your computers and devices, so that they are available wherever you go. See more information in the Opera Link topic.

Page 4 of 5

Next page: Make Opera your own — customize it