Finding your way around the Opera browser

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

This section provides an overview of the layout of the Opera web browser and briefly describes each part.

The Opera browser layout

The layout of the Opera browser — what you are looking at and interacting with — is the user interface (UI). When you first install and open the Opera browser, it looks something like this:

The browser layout consists of, starting from the top, left: The main menu and the tab bar. Below that is the address bar, then the display window. A status bar runs along the bottom of the browser. Panels display at the left, when toggled.

  1. Address field on the address bar
  2. Search field on the address bar
  3. Tab bar
  4. Main menu
  5. Closed Tabs on the tab bar
  6. Display window
  7. Zoom slider and view controls
  1. Opera Turbo icon on the status bar
  2. Opera Link icon on the status bar
  3. Panel
  4. Panel selectors
  5. Panels button (to toggle panels)

Components of the browser

The main components of the standard Opera browser are listed and briefly described below. Select the arrow to view each topic below, or select the Expand All button to view all topics at once.

Address bar

The address bar is what you'll use often to browse the web. It contains an address field, a search field, and buttons, which are described below.

Address field
You're probably already familiar with using an address field to enter a web address, such as http:// In the Opera browser, you can use the address field to do much more than that.
Search directly: When you type in the address field, auto-completion displays matching results from your history, bookmarks and pages you viewed. You can also choose a different search engine by using search keywords. See the video. Suggestions make finding information easier with selected search engines. For more details, see Search with Opera.
Star Menu: When viewing a webpage, a star appears to the right of the address field. To quickly save the page to either your bookmarks or your Speed Dial, just click it and choose an option.
View security information: The address field also contains a badge indicating the security status of the webpage. Click the badge to see security information. For more details, see the video or Opera Help — Fraud and Malware Protection.
Camera and geolocation information: If you visit a website that wants to connect to your web camera, or wants your location information, a dialog shows from the badge on the address field allowing you to control this access. Learn more: Opera Help — Camera support and Opera Help — Geolocation
See the important part of the address: To make it easier for you to see exactly where you are, the most important part of the address is highlighted. To see the full address, click the address field. You can disable this feature and display the full URL for all webpages. From the menu, select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Browsing and select Show full URL in address field.
Search field
The search field allows you to search the web using a variety of search engines. Select the arrow to display the full list of options. For more details, see Search with Opera.
Address bar buttons
The default buttons on the address bar allow you to move backwards or forwards between pages you have visited, update webpages you are viewing, return to your Home page, and manage your passwords. For more details, see Using address bar buttons.

Tab bar

In Opera, you can have several webpages open at the same time within a single browser window. Each page has its own tab, so this is called “tabbed browsing”. The tab bar acts like a taskbar, showing tabs for all the webpages you currently have open. All you need to do is click the tab to view each webpage.

When you first open Opera, you will only see one tab. To open a new tab, click the new tab icon on the tab bar, to the right of the last open tab. For more information about tabs, see Using tabs.

Closed Tabs

The Closed Tabs button Closed Tabs button at the far right of the tab bar is used to recover closed tabs, blocked pop-ups, and discarded mail messages.

To recover a closed tab, deleted message, or blocked pop-up:

  1. Select the Closed Tabs button. A list of recently closed items displays.
  2. For a closed tab or message, select from the list to recover it.
  3. For a blocked pop-up, select Blocked Pop-ups From and select the relevant site from the list.

To clear the list in Closed Tabs, select Clear List of Closed Tabs.

Status bar

The status bar at the bottom of the browser window contains items on the right and left of the bar. These options include the following, starting from the left:

Panels button
Use this to toggle the panel or the panel selectors at the left of the browser. For more details, see Panels below.
Opera Link icon
The Opera Link icon is used to enable Opera Link, which synchronizes your data, such as bookmarks, Speed Dial, and notes, between browsers in your mobile phone, computer or devices. The icon becomes green when Opera Link is enabled and synchronization first occurs. Thereafter, Opera Link continuously and automatically registers any changes you make and displays notification on the status bar. To enable Opera Link synchronization, select Synchronize Opera from the menu. See the video.
Opera Turbo icon
Opera Turbo increases your Internet bandwidth speed on slow connections by compressing data and images on our servers before it reaches the Opera browser on your computer. To configure Opera Turbo to suit your browsing needs, see the video or follow the steps below.
  1. Select the Opera Turbo icon on the status bar.
  2. From the context menu, select Configure Opera Turbo to open the Opera Turbo Settings dialog.
  3. Choose from the following settings:
    • Automatic — This enables Opera Turbo only when a slow network is detected.
    • On — This enables Opera Turbo and optimizes pages so they load faster on slow networks.
    • 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.
Status update
The status update displays next to the above icons and provides different information depending on what you are doing in the browser. For example, when you hover over a link on a webpage, it shows the full link address. When you use Opera Mail, it shows when the server is being checked for new messages.

Zoom (100%) button

The zoom slider and view options on the right of the status bar helps you change the appearance of a webpage as described below.

Zoom slider
This slider control allows you to either zoom in, to enlarge text or images on webpages, or zoom out for an overview. The default is set at 100%. Select the required zoom level and the display is adjusted immediately for all pages that you view. See this in action in the video.
Fit to Width
For pages that use too much space and produce a horizontal scrollbar, select this control to adjust the page to fit the width of your screen and remove the horizontal scrollbar.
Show Images
Click the field to cycle through the options, which are:
  • Show Images (default) — This shows all images on webpages you visit.
  • No Images — This disables all images, which increases your browsing speed.
  • Cached Images — This shows only the images you have been loaded before that are stored in your cache. This avoids the need to fetch them again, improving browsing speed.
100% (reset)
If you change the page zoom level, this allows you to easily return to 100%.


As an alternative way to access many of the menu options, such as bookmarks, messages, contacts, and browsing history, you can use panels. To start using panels, view the video or follow the steps below.

  • Select the Panels button on the left of the status bar to display the panel or the panel selectors on the left of the window. Alternatively, press F4.
  • Select a panel from the selector. To view the name of each panel selector, hover your mouse over each one.

Each panel contains a Quick find search field and some menu options. There is also a context menu for each panel; right-click within the panel to select from the context menu options.

Some panels are optional and only display once the function is enabled, for example, Mail or Feeds.

For more details about panels, see Opera Help—Panels.

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