|Opera - the fastest browser on earth!|
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One step at a time...
What is Opera? | Downloading and installing | Open Opera | Overview | Going somewhere | Preferences | Explore | Viewing modes | Search | Instant messaging | Email | News | Customization | Skins | Bookmarks, history | Keyboard navigation | Mouse Gestures | Accessibility | Privacy and Security | Troubleshooting | More information
1) What is Opera? And why use it?
Opera is a browser. A browser is a program that resides on your computer that allows you to load and view documents and other content such as images and graphics. This content can be either on your own computer or it can be what you access via the internet or other network. There are many other browsers, including Internet Explorer and Netscape, and you may already be using one of these when you access the internet with your computer or internet device.
Opera is a full-featured internet browser that installs quickly and easily and will not interfere with other programs on your computer, including other browsers. Opera is known for its speed in rendering of webpages, its adherance to web standards, and its customizable user interface. Opera is a secure browser in a small, powerful package. Read more, or see for yourself...
2) Downloading and installing
If you haven't already downloaded Opera, do so now. To find the appropriate version for your operating system, and your choice of language, if available, go to the Opera download page. Instructions for downloading are available there.
Once you have gotten the Opera file onto your local machine, it is ready to install. It is generally wise to close any open programs before installing new programs. Once you've done that, you simply click on the Opera file to activate the installation process. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen. Opera will install and let you know when the process is finished. You can then start using the program right away.
3) Open Opera
Open Opera using the desktop icon (graphic to the right) , or use the shortcut in the system programs menu. Opera can be customized to suit you, if you wish, either just a little, or extensively, depending on your tastes. But first, let's have a look at the Opera program and its functions...
4) Overview: First looks
The main Opera program interface consists of several major parts, including; document windows, the main menu, context menus, the button bar, the progress bar, the window bar, and the Hotlist pane. Click here to see images showing the parts of Opera and their names.
5) Going somewhere
The first thing that you might notice about the Opera browser is the ability to
view multiple document windows. Opera is very efficient at displaying multiple
documents. You can view one web page while loading others in the background at the
same time! To open a new window(s) click on the toolbar, or press the key combination
Let's start with one window, and go somewhere on the internet.
We have three choices
Opera 5 has a brand new search function. It works several ways.
Open a bookmark
Click on something interesting in the bookmark section of the Hotlist.
This is a picture of the Hotlist. You can toggle the
Hotlist off and on by using the
If you have trouble accessing the internet, see the Troubleshooting section below.
6) Preferences: basic to advanced customization
We at Opera Software like to give you as many options as possible. In order to get the most from your Opera experience you will need to visit the Opera Preferences menu. Here you will learn how to tweak Opera into being your favorite software application!
To learn what does what (in the shortest amount of time!), visit the Preferences page in the Opera Help.
In addition, you can customize nearly every feature in and around the Opera browser. To get a glimpse of the possibilities, see the section Mastering Opera on the Support pages.
7) Explore Opera features and functions
Elsewhere on Opera.com:
Opera has both a normal viewing mode, and a Full screen mode, the latter which
is also known as
Applying "Skins" is a way of changing the look of a program. There are several ways you can change Opera's appearance:
Leaving yourself a trail - Bookmarks and history
Opera has some very powerful features that can help you organize both where you want to go and where you have been.
Opera has great bookmarking features. Go ahead and test them out! You can access
your bookmarks either from the main menu, or from the Hotlist (Toggle the
Opera has two major history features: Document window history, and Global history.
Directly above is an image of Opera's document window history. Each document window
has its own drop-down list of visited webpages. You can view this list by pressing
The Global history shows a listing of all the pages that you have visited with Opera,
arranged by date and time visited. You can view the global history window by selecting
See also: History and cache preferences in the Help.
Opera now includes an Instant Messaging client, which is integrated with the Opera contact manager and email client. Opera's Instant messaging allows you to conveniently use your ICQ account when browsing with Opera. You can quickly send instant messages to those in your Opera contact list. And you can opt to go online automatically with your instant messaging account when starting Opera.
Try it! Or see this Instant Messaging Help page to get started.
As always, you have choices...
The internet is more than just
Privacy and security
The Opera browser offers you excellent features for the protection of your privacy and security. The Opera Help explains how to use these features in detail.
For information about the ad banners in Opera, see Privacy, security, and advertising in Opera 5.
Opera allows you to work entirely with the keyboard. A list of
keyboard shortcuts is always available to you when
using Opera -- press the key combination
Mouse gestures speed up surfing with a mouse. This new feature is most often activated by pressing, and holding, your secondary mouse button (right by default, unless your computer is set up for a left-handed person) and moving the mouse pointer in a particular direction or pattern.
These commonly used functions are assigned mouse gestures to speed up your browsing:
This document in the Opera Help explains Opera's excellent Accessibility features.
If you have trouble getting started with Opera, first make sure that your
Internet connection is established. Troubleshooting info can be found in the program
Help files. Press
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Last modified: Wednesday, 11-Jul-2001 11:52:04 UTC
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