Unleash the Web with Opera

February 5, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome – they’re all great browsers that offer a tailored browsing experience, but there is plenty more that they could do.

For instance, a browser that natively lets you share your bookmarks with your mobile device is pretty useful, as is one that speeds up browsing for people on slow connections.

Unleash the web with Opera 11 mouse gestures

Enter Opera, the desktop version of the world’s most popular mobile browser. This form of the software is also popular and actually ships packaged into some interesting hardware, such as set-top boxes and the Nintendo Wii.

Opera 11 is the latest version and is a reliable and competent browser that brings some interesting new features to life online.

To get started with Opera, visit www.opera.com/download and download the PC version of the software. The 7.1 MB installer shouldn’t take long to download, and installation will occur pretty quickly; note that there is no advanced installation option so the browser will install to the default location on your C:\ drive.

Browsing with Opera 11

After installation, Opera will launch automatically. The Welcome to Opera tab will be displayed, with a list of the available options and features that the latest version of the browser brings. But of course, the first thing you want to do is start browsing!

Naturally this can be done by clicking into the Address Bar and typing a URL. One thing you might notice at this stage is that if you enter a URL that is already in your favourites, Opera will display it in a drop-down list; the browser has already copied your bookmarks folder from your current default browser.

Once the page opens, you can take advantage of the standard Back, Forward, Refresh and Home buttons, as well as the Fast-forward button which will take you to the most recently visited webpage in a single tab. The latest version of the browser also features Mouse Gestures, a means of getting around the web without moving your mouse up to the standard browsing buttons.

Opera 11 and Mouse Gestures

An important element of the new Opera is the use of Mouse Gestures for browsing web pages. Rather than moving your mouse up to the address bar (or using the backspace key on your keyboard) you can take advantage of the gestures to navigate between pages.

Mouse Gestures is activated by right-clicking and holding your mouse anywhere on the page. Here you will see four options – Stop, Forward, Open in new tab, Back – arranged as the four points on a compass.

Using the gestures means moving your mouse in the required direction while holding the right mouse button; for instance, rolling your mouse back slightly and choosing Open in new tab will take you to further choices such as Minimize, Open in background tab, and New tab.

The full set of choices are as follows:

  • Stop
    • Go to parent directory
    • Reload
    • Maximise
  • Forward
    • Fast forward
  • Open in new tab
    • Minimise
    • Open in background tab
    • New tab
  • Back
    • Rewind

These Mouse Gestures bring a whole new aspect to browsing the web – it may not be long before other browsers follow suit.

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