Controlling content

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

There are many ways to control the content on a webpage, from controlling what content is actually displayed, to controlling how the content is presented. Below are a few of the main ways to control web content.

The topics in this section are listed below. Select the arrow to view a topic, or select the Expand All button to view all topics at once.


Pop-ups are new windows that open to display other information, advertisements, or capture email addresses. These can sometimes be distracting. Opera blocks pages from opening pop-ups by default and displays a notification instead. If you want to view the pop-up, click the notification, or select the Closed Tabs icon on the far right of the tab bar to retrieve it.

You can, however, choose how you want to handle pop-ups from Settings > Quick Preferences > Pop-ups. You can choose to open them all, to display them in a background tab or window, to display only those you request, or not to display any.

Content blocking

Some webpages contain additional content that you may find distracting, such as advertisements. You can control what is displayed by selectively blocking undesirable images or plug-in content. To do this:

  1. Right-click the webpage, and select “Block Content”.
  2. In content blocking mode, all content that you are able to block is highlighted. Content on a website is either contained in a folder for the page or displayed as a specific file. You can block either the whole folder, so that anything that is loaded into that folder is automatically blocked, or the specific file.
    • To block the folder content, select the content that you want to block, then click “Done".
    • To block a specific file, hold Shift while you select the content to block.
  3. To check what you have blocked, select “Details” while in content-blocking mode. A list of folders or specific files that you have blocked displays.


JavaScript functions can alter the way a webpage displays, for example, they can:

  • Resize your windows
  • Move your windows around
  • Raise or move a window to the foreground
  • Lower or move a window to the background
  • Change the text on the status field
  • Intercept the right mouse button
  • Hide your address bar

These JavaScript functions are usually intended to enhance your browsing experience by the webpage designer. If you do not want to allow these functions, you can prevent them by selecting Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Content and uncheck “JavaScript Options”.

If a JavaScript error is found on a page, or a page using JavaScript does not work correctly in Opera, you can open Opera's error console to find out why. To open the error console, go to Page > Developer Tools > Error Console. The console shows information about what went wrong and the line number of the source code where the problem occurs. The console also shows you details of other errors, such as in HTML or CSS. For more information about how to use the error console, see the How to debug JavaScript problems with Opera tutorial in DevOpera.

For more advanced debugging functionality using Opera Dragonfly, select Page > Developer Tools > Opera Dragonfly. For more information, see the Introduction to Opera Dragonfly in Dev Opera.

For even more control over what you allow scripts on a webpage to do, you can run your own User JavaScript on pages that you visit. For more details, see the User JavaScript tutorial.

Animated images or sounds

Some websites use animated images or sounds but you can easily switch them off if you find them distracting. To switch these off, go to Settings > Quick Preferences and uncheck “Enable Animated Images” and/or “Enable Sound in webpages”. Animations in GIF and SVG format will display as ordinary graphics. Note: Enabling or disabling sound will not affect operating system sounds or event sounds.


Plug-ins are third-party software applications that enable you to play videos, music, or movies. For each of these types of multimedia content, you need to download and install plug-in software. For some commonly used plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash, Opera may display a simple installation wizard to help you.

Disable plug-ins

If you do not want to display plug-in content in webpages, you can disable plug-ins by selecting Settings > Quick Preferences and unchecking “Enable plug-ins”.

Plug-ins on demand

You can also have plug-ins, such as Flash content, load only when clicked. This is especially helpful to speed up browsing on computers that have difficulty handling lots of plug-in content. To set this, from the menu, select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Content and check the box for “Enable plug-ins only on demand”.

Install plug-ins

For some commonly used plug-ins, Opera provides a simple installation wizard. For tips on installing plug-ins, refer to the relevant link below:

Site-specific preferences

Not all webpages are the same. Sometimes, you may want to apply a preference setting to most sites, but apply a different preference to a specific site. For example, you may want to block unrequested pop-ups by default, but enable them for a specific site that relies on using them. To solve this dilemma, you can set permanent preferences for individual sites, which override global settings. To do this, right-click the webpage and select “Edit Site Preferences”.

To manage or remove site preferences, select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Content > Manage site preferences.

Presentation modes for webpages

There are two main modes for viewing webpages in Opera. The default is Author mode, which displays webpages as the author intended. The other main mode is User mode, which allows you to view pages in your own style. To use modes, refer to the following tips.

  • To change modes, select Page > Style and select a mode.
  • To set which mode to use by default, select Page > Style > Manage Modes... and select a mode in the default mode section.
  • To choose what is applied for a modes, select Page > Style > Manage Modes... and edit the display settings. Note that “My fonts and colors” and “My link style” refer to the settings defined in Settings > Preferences > webpages. See Fonts and colors for unstyled webpages below. For more information on User mode, see the User CSS tutorial.

For more information on style options, go to Opera Help - Menus and view the Style topic.

Fonts and colors for unstyled webpages

Sometimes, webpages do not have a specified style for fonts, background color, or link colors. We have selected some default fonts and colors for you, but you may prefer to choose your own. To do this, select Settings > Preferences > webpages and select your preferred fonts, background color, or colors for normal and visited links. You can also enable or disable an underline for links.

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