Divya Manian

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What You don't know about Opera

It was a lazy week day in 2003 when I was at the usual hangout waiting for my soul to answer the eternal question of attending a class or not, when there sprung a debate on browsers (naturally I ended up not going). While all of us geeks at the table were about to discuss good extensions for Firefox a lone dissenter Naveen waxed eloquence about Opera. I decided to investigate and that was the beginning of my love affair with Opera.

Not everyone is blessed to meet Naveen. So here are some of the must-see features of Opera that will even get Paris Hilton hooked onto it.

Tabbed Browsing

This is how Opera kills firefox. Open 20 tabs in Firefox and 20 in Opera and see the difference in performance (Opera is better, duh!).

Speed Dial

(available in version 9) Suffering from an iGoogle overdose? Here is ur minimalist replacement. Get 9 websites to show their latest home pages as soon as you open Opera. This is how I track latest deals in budget airlines websites which do not provide RSS feeds

Opera Mail

Did you know Opera is almost the only browser that provides mail within browser (no, thunderbird is a separate app)? And it is not bad at all. It has the same set of filters and rules that you can apply to gmail. And you can use imap or pop mail servers too. It is a good way to have an offline version of your gmails. Read more about setting up IMAP enabled Gmail in Opera


Panels are sidebars. You can load the default set of panels (History, Notes, Bookmarks, Mail, Transfers, Contacts, Links) or get web panels from the Opera web panels repository.


Links is a panel. It is a list of links found in a webpage. Very useful if you often find a page full of links to images you want to save, so you can just select all the links in the panel and save them all at one go. Am I the only one who does that?


Very useful if you like scribbling like me. This post started as a note there. Just remember, the first line is used to identify a note, so put in the title of your note there.


Opera 9 has widgets like the mac dashboard - except it works for Windows too. You can even play 3-D tetris if you are bored! Here are some of the widgets I like:

  • dotoo - a to-do list manager
  • tinyUrl - convert any url to a tinyURL
  • Twitter - the full-fledged client interface for your twitter messages.
  • Images Search - search for images in all search engines (useful if you are looking for references as an illustrator)
  • Ruler - measuring the pixel height and width of a webpage
  • easyGRID! - gridlines for the webpage
  • Torrent PowerSearch - Look for torrents in major torrent sites.


If you are an IRC addict, Opera has a built-in chat client that is as good as any IRC client gets.

Feed Reader

Opera has a decent feed reader for a casual feed reading person (< 100 feeds). When you click on any XML feed, it will automatically ask you if it should add the feed to the Opera feed reader.

That’s all folks! If you liked what you have seen so far download Opera and enjoy your Opera nirvana. Granted it might not actually make Paris Hilton switch from Internet Explorer, but you guys can switch from Firefox!