Browsing with Opera

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

In this section, we will look at how to use the basic features of Opera to browse the web. If you are already familiar with the basic features, skip to Increasing your browsing speed.

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

Use address bar buttons

Each of the default buttons on the address bar are listed below with instructions on how to use them:

Back button Back
Select this to go back to the previous page you viewed. The page address displays when you mouse over the button. Hold the cursor down on this button to view the history list.
Forward button Forward
Select this to go forward to the next page you viewed, if you have gone back in your history. The page address displays when you mouse over the button. Hold the cursor down on this button to view the history list.
Reload button Reload
Select this to update the page you are currently viewing. Sometimes an interruption occurs and part of a page is lost. Reloading will try to display the page again correctly. This button is also useful for updating pages with content that changes rapidly, such as news sites.
Stop button: When the page is reloading, this automatically becomes a Stop button Stop button. If the page is taking too long to load, which may happen if it is heavily loaded with images, you can stop the loading process by selecting the Stop button.
Password Manager button Log in
Select the Log In button to automatically complete your login, password and personal information on different sites. For more details, see the Save passwords and personal information with our password manager topic.

Searching with Opera is quick and easy; there's a range of search options to choose from.

Search in the address field
Just type a query into the address field and press Enter — simple. Opera distinguishes between web addresses and search queries.
Keywords: To use a specific search engine directly from the address field, you can use search keywords. You just type the keyword then the query. For example, just type “w” — the keyword for Wikipedia — then the term you want to search. The dropdown under the address field shows you the search engine you are using. To see this in action, see the video. For the full list of default keywords, display the drop-down menu from the search field and select Manage Search Engines. To add a new search site with its own keyword, see: Add your own search site.
Search suggestions: When you search using selected websites, such as Wikipedia, suggestions display to help you find results more easily.
Search previously-visited websites from the address field
As you type a search term in the address field, a drop-down displays listing matching results in your history, bookmarks, and the content on webpages you have visited. This is useful if you cannot remember the name of the site, but you know what you were looking for. You can also delete any item from the drop-down by selecting the close button at the far right.
Search history in detail
When matching entries display from the address field as you type, you can search your history in even more detail by selecting the Search History link at the top, right. This displays a full history page, where you can open or delete any webpages, and view the list in order of the time visited and site name, site name only, or just the time you visited them. A search field allows you to refine your search using previously used search terms, and you can also clear the list of search terms.
Use the search field
The dedicated search field is to the right of the address field in the address bar. It has a set of default search engines ready for you to use. To select a search engine, click the arrow at the left of the field to display the drop-down menu. Type the term you want to search in the field and press Enter.
Try different searches: You can also type the search term in the field first, then select the search engine you want to use. This allows you to easily complete new searches, to help you find what you need.
Search history: As you type, previous searches that match your search criteria display in a drop-down menu. To use a previous search, select it from the menu. If you want to add, edit or delete a search engine, select Manage Search Engines.
Search suggestions: When searching with selected search engines, such as Wikipedia, suggestions display, similar to the address field.
Search in Speed Dial
You can use the search field in the Speed Dial to search using the specified default search engine. For more information, see the Access favorite sites quickly with Speed Dial topic.
View search results
If you want to view an item in your search results without losing the search results page, right-click the result link and select Open in Background Tab. The webpage displays on a new tab while you are still viewing the search results page.
Search text within a page
You can also search for a term in the page you are viewing. The methods below display the Find in page bar at the top of the window. Matching results are highlighted on the page.
  • Press period (.) and type your search term. To search for a link on the page, press comma (,) instead.
  • From the menu, go to Page > Find and type your search.
  • Press Ctrl+F and type your search.
  • Type the keyword “f” in the address field, then the term you want to search, and press Enter.
Fine-tune your search with options on the Find in page bar to match the sentence case, or match the whole word only.
To cycle through highlighted matches, use the arrows on the Find in page bar, or press F3 to cycle forwards and Shift+F3 to cycle back.
Search from a webpage
When viewing a webpage, you can start a search using a word or phrase in the text. Just highlight and right-click the word or phrase, select a search engine, dictionary, or encyclopedia from the context menu, and complete the search.

View multiple webpages with tabs

Rather than opening an entirely new window for every webpage, you can open a tab. This is called “tabbed browsing” and is set by default for Opera.

The list below provides tips for using tabs for efficient browsing.

Open a new tab
Select the New Tab icon to the right of the last open tab. Alternatively, select Tabs and Windows > New Tab.
Open a private tab
To browse without leaving any record of the websites you visit, from the menu, select Tabs and Windows > New Private Tab. This is especially useful if you're using someone else's computer and don't want to leave a trace of your browsing.
Close a tab
Select the Close tab icon at the right of the tab. Tip: You can also just press Shift and select the tab.
Display visual tabs to show a thumbnail of the website
You can expand the tabs to display them as larger thumbnails by either middle or double-clicking the tab bar, or dragging with your mouse to make them the size of your choice. Middle or double-click again to collapse them back into plain tabs.

Switch between tabs
Simply select the tab you want to view.
Stack tabs into a group
Drag one tab over another to create a group. Click the stack to open it; all tabs in the group display with a highlight around the group. Hover your mouse over a stack to see what tabs it contains. When you open a new tab within the group, the new tab is automatically added to the group. View the video.
More options in the tab context menu
Right-click a tab for the more options:
  • Open a new tab
  • Clone the selected tab, to make a copy of the current tab, retaining its history
  • Create a follower tab, which opens a background tab. Any link you select in the current tab opens in this follower tab
  • Open a new, private tab, which does not keep any record of the websites you visit.
  • Pin a tab, which protects the tab from being closed. This is especially useful for chat sessions. When you pin a tab, it is minimized and moved to the left of all open tabs. To unpin a tab, display the context menu again and uncheck this option.
  • Close a selected tab, all tabs, all tabs except the current, active one, or all private tabs.
  • Choose where the tab bar is placed in the browser with Tab Bar Placement
  • Arrange tabs to suit you. You can minimize, maximize, display tabs in a cascade from left to right, or tile across the browser window. Tiling is especially useful if you want to view more than one webpage at once.
  • Customize the appearance of tabs
Cycle through open tabs using keyboard shortcuts
Press Ctrl and then press Tab. A list of all open tabs displays. Press tab to cycle through the list and when the tab you want is highlighted, take your finger off Ctrl/Option to display it.
Rearrange tabs
Select the tab you want to move and drag it to the new postion.
Recover closed tabs
Select the Closed Tabs button at the right of the tab bar and select the previously closed tab from the list. See this in action in the video.
Disable tabs and open pages in new windows
Select Preferences > Advanced > Tabs and check Open windows instead of tabs. To open a new window, select Tabs and Windows > New Window or New Private Window.

Save favorite sites with bookmarks

Bookmarks are saved links to webpages you wish to return to again.

To quickly save the page, click the star that appears to the right of the address field and select Add to Bookmarks. If you want to view the page on your phone with Opera Mini, click the drop-down arrow and select Opera; this folder is used by Opera Mini to save bookmarks.

To save the page and choose other options, such as using a different folder or assigning a nickname, follow these steps:

  1. Display the page in the active tab, and from the menu, select Bookmarks > Bookmark page. The bookmark dialog displays.
  2. If you want to save the bookmark in a folder, select one. If you want to save the bookmark in a new folder, select New Folder to create one.
  3. Assign a nickname for the bookmark, if you want one. Using a nickname is a quick way to load the page; just type the nickname in the address field. To assign a nickname, select the Details button. Type a short nickname that is easy for you to remember and select OK.
  4. Select OK.

You can also import your bookmarks (saved favorite sites) from other browsers. For more details, see the Import bookmarks and other data topic.

View a webpage

Apart from reading the text and viewing graphics, images, or videos on a page, there are a few other features you can use to improve your browsing experience. The following topics explain some of these features.

Links on a page usually show as underlined text in a different color to the text on the rest of the page. When you select a link, by either clicking with your mouse or selecting with your keyboard, another webpage displays. In Opera, there are a few other options provided in a context menu.

  • Open a link in a new tab and display that tab — Right-click the link and select Open in New Tab.
  • Open a link in a new tab but keep displaying the page you are viewing — Right-click the link and select Open in Background Tab.
  • Save a bookmark of the link address — Right-click the link and select Bookmark link.
  • Keep the current list of links in the Links panel when you display another page — Select the Lock button. Select this button again to remove the lock.

Select text and options

You can select text to copy and paste into a document or notes, or complete a search. To select text:

  • Highlight the text using your mouse or keyboard
  • Double-click with your mouse to select a word
  • Triple-click to select a full sentence
  • Click four times to select an entire paragraph

Options for selected text

When you right-click any selected text, the text context menu displays, providing the following options:

  • Copy — This copies the selected text.
  • Copy to Note — This copies the text directly into a note.
  • Search — This searches for the word or phrase in the web using the default search engine.
  • Search with — This searches for the word or phrase with a chosen search engine.
  • Dictionary — This searches for the word or phrase in the Mirriam-Webster dictionary.
  • Encyclopedia — This searches for the word or phrase in Wikipedia.
  • Translate — This translates the word or phrase (limited selection of translations available).
  • Send by Mail — This automatically composeses an email message using the text.

When you right-click a part of a webpage where there are no links, images, or forms, the page context menu displays, which includes the following options:

  • Reload Every — This allows you to set an automatic reload frequency, which is very useful for sites with constantly changing content, such as news sites.
  • Copy address — This copies the website address so that you can paste it into a document or note.
  • Send Link by Mail — This automatically composes an email message with the address of the current page.

For more information about options for viewing webpages, see the View button section of the status bar topic.

Support for web cameras

When you visit a website that offers web services for video cameras, such as photo applications and face tracking, the site will need to connect to the webcam on your computer. Opera displays a dialog connected to the address bar badge, and asks to you to allow or deny access to your webcam. See more in Opera Help — Camera Settings

Geolocation with Opera

To help you find your way around a new area, or find services where you are, some websites may ask if they can identify your location. For example, you may want to see where you are on a map, or find a nearby restaurant. This is called geolocation technology and Opera's geolocation feature works with the help of Google Location Services (GLS). To ensure your privacy, you have full control over when this feature is used.

The first time you go to a website that requests geolocation information, GLS' terms and conditions display. If you agree to them, the service is activated and your location information is sent. Then, every time a website requests geolocation information, Opera will display a prompt and you can decide if you want to send your location data, or not send it.

For more details, see Opera Help — Geolocation.

Print from the web

If your system is correctly configured and connected to a printer and you want to print a webpage, right-click the page and select Print, or from the menu, go to Print > Print. To see how a webpage will appear when printed, select Print > Print preview.

Page 3 of 5

Next page: Increasing your browsing speed