Main menu

The main menu in Opera is made to be quite typical for the various operating systems; you will find that many of the options available in the menu are familiar. Be sure to keep in mind that the Tools menu is the main place to go to manage saved items and change Opera settings. Several extra menus appear when features are enabled, such as the Feeds menu, that only appears after at least one newsfeed has been added.

Main bar

The main bar is now disabled by default. This bar contains the basic buttons used to open files, save or print Web pages, and manage windows within the MDI.

Address bar

The address bar contains the basic buttons used to navigate within a document. Additionally, it contains the address field that allows you to enter a page address to navigate to, the search field for quick searching on the Web, and a button to toggle the view bar.

The address field also has some extra features. Clicking on the address field causes the start bar to appear, which offers home, top 10 visited sites, bookmarks, and search features. If the page contains any linked newsfeeds, a button will appear in the address field that allows you to quickly add the feed. If the page uses a secure connection, the security information field will appear that gives information about the security level the page is using.

View bar

The view bar can be shown by clicking the toggle button on the address bar. As well as inline search, it offers quick access to features that affect the display of the page, such as images, stylesheets, zoom, and fit to window width. If voice is available, the voice button on the view bar can be used to tell Opera to listen to a spoken command.

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Tabbed browsing and Multiple Document Interface (

Opera offers several ways to manage your browser window. As well as offering the traditional single page, single window interface, Opera also offers many useful alternatives, allowing you to manage your browser window the way that suits you.

You can have several Web pages open at the same time within a single Opera window. This is called tabbed browsing, and is the default setup that Opera offers. When several Web pages are open at the same time in Opera, these will be organized using tabs on the tab bar. There are several benefits to this, such as speed, easy access, low memory usage, and a less cluttered task bar. Click a tab to bring the page into view, or use the standard Windows function by pressing Ctrl+Tab. You can also drag tabs on the tab bar to reorganise them, and middle-click to close them. Right click on a tab to see more options.

You can configure how you want Opera's tabs to behave, using Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Tabs. The tab options allow you to tell Opera if you want it to use tabs, or you could even make it behave as a Multiple Document Interface (MDI).

True MDI is more than browsing with tabs. In Opera, you can resize pages and tile them next to each other on the same workspace to compare or work with several pages. For instance, you can have a chat page open and running next to a page for browsing or composing an e-mail message. To make the most of this feature, use Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Browsing > Show window menu to show the window menu. This allows you to manage the pages in the MDI.

If you want to have new pages open in an entirely new application window instead, like some other browsers do, go to Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Tabs and enable "Open windows instead of tabs"

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If you would like to say something for only one user to hear, start a private conversation. This is most easily done by clicking on the user's nickname in the list - or in the "Chat" panel.

You can also type "/msg nickname" in the chat page input field. If you know the nickname of a person that is neither in your contacts, nor in the same chat room as you, this is particularly useful.

The private conversation will be displayed in a separate page. Go to your account's properties and the "Outgoing" tab if you would like private conversation pages to pop up in front of the other pages to grab your attention, rather than open in the background.

Sending files to other users

Opera allows you to send files to other users on a chat network. The easiest way to send files is to right click on the user's nickname in the list, and selecting "Send file", or by clicking the "Send file" button in a private chat window.


A chat room's operators, commonly known simply as "ops", have extended permissions. "Control" in the right-clickmenu for nicknames in the user list is a sub-menu available only to operators.

Ops may kick other users from the chat room, select who gets to speak if the chat room is moderated that way (quite uncommon), and grant operator privileges to other users.

Which operations require operator privileges may vary from chat room to chat room. For instance, some rooms may let all users change the topic, whereas others require you to be a room operator. Click the "Properties" button on the chat page toolbar to see these settings for the room you are in.

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Posted by Jenny on Sunday, April 20, 2008

Setting Up a Chat Account

Go to Tools > Mail and chat accounts > Add > Chat to set up your first chat account.

  1. Type in your real name and e-mail address if you want your name to be visible to other users.
  2. Select a suitable nickname to use when chatting. If you log on to a network where your selected nickname is in use, you will be asked for an alternative nickname.
  3. Select an IRC network from the drop-down list, or type in the name of an IRC server.
  4. You should now be presented with a dialog containing a list of available rooms for you to join. Select from the list, or click "New" to type in the name of the room yourself. Entering a non-existant chat room creates a brand new room.

Tip: There are multiple chat rooms for you to join on the OperaNet network.

The Chat Panel

The "Chat" panel will display all rooms you have previously visited for quick and easy access. Rooms are grouped by server. Passwords for password-protected chat rooms are remembered after the first visit.

The chat client is integrated with the contacts manager. This panel will therefore also keep track of any on-line contacts that have a chat nickname added to their contact properties. The easiest way to add a nickname to an existing contact, is by using the right-click menu in a chat room user list.

In addition to displaying the nickname of on-line contacts, their status will also be displayed as a small icon if they have set it to anything other than "On line" (for example "Out to lunch" or "On the phone"). You change your own on-line status by using the Chat menu.


Once you have joined a chat room, you will normally see a page containing the room's conversation, and a list to the right containing the nicknames of users present in the channel.

Chatting in rooms

If someone has set a topic for the room, this will be displayed at the very top of the chat page.

Talking to others in the room is simple. Just type what you would like to say in the edit field at the bottom of the page, and hit Enter. To grab the attention of a particular user, enter that person's nickname at the beginning of your line. Typing the first few letters and pressing Tab will auto-complete the nickname. Starting with the nickname will make the line highlighted on the other user's screen in most IRC clients, including Opera's.

You may notice that some of the names in the list of users are bolded. These users are operators; users with special permissions regarding administration of the chat room and granting permissions to other users. If you have started your own chat room, you are automatically made the operator of that room.

Note: Creating a chat room on the fly is simple and also temporary. Unless there is a so-called bot present in a room (often visible in the user list simply as X), it does not exist when no users are present, no one will be able to guard the room as 'theirs'.

In addition to "just" talking, you may perform IRC actions. By typing "/me" followed by an action description, normally in the third person, your action will be displayed in purple in the chat room.

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The widgets panel allows you to group widgets into folders, as well as opening and deleting them. To access the full Widgets window, go to Widgets > Manage widgets.


The Windows panel lists the currently open pages. You can rearrange them, move the pages outside Opera, close them and much more. This panel is hidden by default and will appear only after you enable it using Tools > Appearance > Panels.


Speed up researching with the notes feature. Jot down a note in conjunction with a Web page, drag the note (or right-click and paste) to an e-mail message, Web form field, or chat conversation to share it with others, or simply store your notes for future reference. When notes get plentiful, you can arrange them in folders.


Opera comes with a selection of built-in searches. Access them in a single search field in the "Search" panel.

Adding Web pages as panels

To show a Web page in the panels, press Ctrl+D to bookmark it, and then select to show it as a panel. Some Web pages provide special links (rel="sidebar") to add Web pages as panels. Note that pressing the "View" button in the panel and selecting "Small-Screen Rendering" will force most Web pages into more panel-friendly formats.

Tip: Right-click the Web page area in the panel for multiple choices.

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This panel lists your contacts. This panel is hidden by default and will appear only after you have created at least one e-mail, news, or chat account. Type in the name of the contact in the "Quick find" field, and Opera will start matching your search entry as you type. Click on the name of a contact to to view all your e-mail correspondence with that contact. Right-click on the contact and select "Properties" to view or change details, such as name, e-mail address, chat nickname, home page, notes or even an image of that contact.


The History panel lists the Web pages you have visited lately. Forgot the URL to that page you saw yesterday? Just go here and look or search for it; the "Quick find" feature makes searches highly efficient. Click on any of the pages in the history to go to them. You can change how many pages (if any) you want Opera to remember, by going to Tools > Preferences > Advanced > History. If you want to delete addresses from the History list, just select them and press Delete.

Note that you can access the full History window, which has times and dates for the pages as well, by pressing Ctrl+Alt+H or by going to Tools > History.


When you download a file, it will appear in the Transfers panel. You can select the file you are downloading there, and choose to stop, resume or retransfer the download. At the bottom part of the panel, you can see information about the download speed, size of the file, and where you are downloading from.

To access the full Transfers page, press Ctrl+Alt+T or go to Tools > Transfers.

The Links panel displays all the links in your current page. To go to any of the links in that page, click on the links in the panel (or of course click on the link in the page itself). Use the "Quick find" feature to quickly locate particular links or linked file types from the document. If you click on the "Lock" button, the Links panel will keep the links currently in the panel even if you go to another page. Click "Lock" again to change this.

To access the links listing as a page, press Ctrl+Alt+L or go to Tools > Links.

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The panels, toggled by pressing F4, are available as buttons on the panel selector, by default placed on the left of Opera's screen space. You can add and remove panels of your own (see below), and choose which ones to present in the panel selector. Panel and panel selector placement can also be changed by right-clicking them.

Some of the panels are hidden by default, and will appear when you enable certain features. For example, the chat panel will only appear after you have created at least one chat account. Other panels may not be visible by default, but you can enable them using Tools > Appearance > Panels.


"Bookmarks" is a list of shortcuts to Web pages you wish to return to, and the bookmark panel is where you access, add, remove, edit, and sort your bookmarks in Opera. (Note: You can also go to the Bookmark menu and choose "Manage bookmarks" there, to get a larger view for editing.) Here are some of the things you can do:


You can also import your bookmarks or favorites from other browsers. To do this, go to the File menu and select Import and export, and then which program you want to import from. Note that it might be a good idea to create a folder in the Opera Bookmarks first, and put all your imported bookmarks into one folder.


This panel is hidden by default and will appear only after you have created at least one e-mail or news account.

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Posted by Jenny on Tuesday, April 1, 2008
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