What are the features that define Opera?

I've been using Opera for more than a decade, and I've definitely come to rely on it to a degree that even doing basic browsing with other browsers feels like trying to run a marathon with a ball and chain around each ankle.

But what exactly is it that makes Opera the best browser for me personally? I decided to find out, so I started writing down things I rely on when browsing with Opera. I started out slowly, and then gradually added them as I thought of them. It has been a few months since I started this list, and I have gradually added to it as I remembered things that I normally take for granted and don't think about.

Not all of these are necessarily exclusive to Opera, but the combination of features and functionality and the fact that they may not work the same way in other browsers means that I could not possibly replace Opera with another browser just like that.

Does anyone else have a list of features that define Opera to them? …

The list, in no particular order:

  1. Opera can handle my 100-200 open tabs with ease (blog post)
  2. Single-key shortcuts (especially 1/2 to cycle tabs, and z/x for back and forward) (blog post)
  3. Mouse gestures (blog post)
  4. Flip forward/back (AKA Rocker Gestures?) with the mouse (hold one mouse button down while pressing the other, e.g., hold right/click left to navigate back)
  5. Ctrl+Alt+click to save images
  6. Using the Windows panel to manage tabs, and real-time searching/filtering
  7. Links tab/panel to show all links on the current page – with real-time filtering
  8. Bookmark/bookmark folder nicknames
  9. Ctrl+Z to undo all sorts of things, including reopening closed tabs (blog post)
  10. Instant back navigation (which preserves form data; does not always work)
  11. Ctrl+Backspace to move up one level without having to focus the address bar
  12. Customizable shortcuts (Ctrl+N should open a new tab, thank you very much)
  13. Tab stacking
  14. Content blocker
  15. Only load plugins on demand (blog post)
  16. Site-specific settings (being able to disable on demand plugins for specific sites, for example)
  17. Speed Dial (obviously)
  18. Ctrl+# or typing # in the address field to open that Speed Dial
  19. "Reload Every…" (for both Speed Dial and pages)
  20. Wand: Being able to store and use multiple usernames/passwords for web sites (blog post)
  21. Fast Forward in directory listings of images, and to log in using the Wand
  22. Starts downloading a file right away; does not wait for save location to be chosen
  23. Right-click link, then "Open" overrides "target=blank"
  24. Popups open inside the program rather than outside
  25. E-mail client which handles my nearly 800 000 messages (mails+feeds) with ease, and also magically sorts my mail for me (blog post)
  26. E-mail client allows me to handle links in e-mails properly (open instantly, and can either view them right away or open them in the background)
  27. Newsfeed (RSS) reader with folders where opening parent folders in a tab also shows messages from all child folders (blog post)
  28. Ctrl+Shift+Enter in a form submits it to a new tab rather than in the current tab
  29. Shift+Click closes a tab (blog post)
  30. Installer: Self-contained (portable/USB) installation (blog post)
  31. Full text indexing of the cache, making it possible to search for page contents
  32. Confirm exit
  33. Sessions
  34. Paste and Go
  35. Creating custom searches from search fields
  36. Being able to assign keywords for searches ("g Google This", etc.)
  37. Fit to Width
  38. Unread tab indicator (folded corner)
  39. "Right-click > Frame > Open in background"
  40. Popularity score in history viewer
  41. Opens the last active tab instead of moving to the left/right (optional)
  42. Open private tab or window
  43. "Apply changes" in the source viewer, or "Reload from cache" when using an external editor
  44. opera:cache with filtering of domain, file size, and file type
  45. opera:config
  46. User CSS
  47. Open all bookmarks in a folder

Update, July 5, 2013: After the release of Opera 15 I have started keeping track of what can already be done in the new Opera version(s). Look up the "12Transition" tag on my blog. I will also cross out items on the list above, and link to the relevant blog post.


110 thoughts on “What are the features that define Opera?

  1. Opera 12 and previous versions start the file download before you even click save to choose the folder, you're way too late to whine about this.

  2. Originally posted by haavard:

    Perhaps they also do not understand that Opera 12 won't disappear from the face of the earth. They can keep using it if they want to.

    the problem that Presto is very slow to load sites, moreover, the own softare was slow, with the Chromium, the things to do on Opera became quicker.

  3. Very sad to read this now :'(Me too I had a long list of exclusive favorite features, including almost all what you mentioned but even more.

  4. Originally posted by serious:

    After Opera 15 this list is just sarcastic. Just read through your own "this makes Opera Opera" to know why I will not switch.

    Opera 15 is the first version after starting fresh. You can't expect it to be feature complete right away. Opera 15 is a browser that most regular people can use for their daily browsing, while more demanding users like myself will obviously have to stick with Opera 12 as a primary browser for a while.

  5. Apart from properly working mouse gestures, search from context menu(brought up by double click on a word) is my most import accelerator in Opera. This is how I do translations as well in the dictionary I like and can configure.I never saw much point in paste and go for the address bar, but it would be SOOOOOOOOOOO amazing to have that for forms!I won't talk about other actual functionality, I want it all, especially m2 and link (and I mean a pimped up link where I can truly synchronize everything I can configure in Opera!) I hope you can push a little for everything you've got on your list already 😉

  6. Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Opera 12 and previous versions start the file download before you even click save to choose the folder, you're way too late to whine about this.

    It's never too late to ask for multiple options for something.

  7. Originally posted by serious:

    mod edit

    I'm on Linux so I only briefly tested the Opera 15, but the Stash is a great feature. Replacement for Website Monitor and auto-refreshed Speed Dial items for me.But I agree with the rest. I don't like too the new direction.

  8. Feature of the year: The li'l garbage can arrow thing! (It eventually got changed to an arrow at the end of the tab bar, but it used to be a garbage can which was more recognizable.) All tabs or windows you've closed are listed in there in closed-order, so that you can reopen them again easily. You can reopen entire windows of tabs in a second. I freaking need that because I always close stuff by mistake.And don't anyone dare tell me to just use the browser history. You try using the history to reopen one or more windows with 20+ tabs all placed in meaningful order. It's 100x faster than trying to search through history.

  9. And don't anyone dare tell me to justuse the browser

    Actually, there is "Reopen closed tabs" item in the Opera meny. You can also right click in the area where the arrow used to be.However I prefered the actual button in top right corner much more than the current solutions.

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