Monday, February 8, 2010

Opera 10

0pera has long been the most innovative of the big web browsers. The latest release introduces yet more new features and the software's rendering engine has been optimized to make it much faster at loading JavaScript-heavy sites such as Google Mail and Facebook. It's also had a stylish makeover from British designer Jon Hicks (creator of the Firefox logo). There are two versions of Opera available: the standard one and a Labs release which contains Unite, an add-on designed to transform Opera into a web server. This experimental edition is available to download from http://unite.opera com but for now we'll concentrate on the main browser.

Often overlooked, Opera is actually one of the top browsers for speed and features. Here are some highlights

It's now a standard feature in most browsers but Speed Dial made its debut in Opera. It displays your most frequently accessed sites as thumbnails on any new tab. Click a blank square to add a site. 1 The Configure Speed Dial 2 link lets you add a background and change the number of sites on display.

One of the most noticeable changes in Opera 10 is the addition of a resizable tab bar. Click and drag the handle 1 downwards and thumbnails of the open sites will appear above their respective tabs. Hovering your mouse over a tab will display a larger thumbnail of the site.

Opera supports widgets. To add some, go to Widgets, 1 Add Widgets and browse the selection. When you find one you like, click Launch. You'll be asked if you want to keep it or not. Widgets float above all windows, not just your browser, and can be toggled on and off (individually) from the Taskbar.

Opera Mail is a combined email client/newsreader. To use it, go to Tools, 1 'Mail and Chat Accounts'. Choose the type of account you want 2 and follow the set-up instructions. When you've finished, a Mail menu 3 and Mail panel 4 will appear. Opera 10 also offers separate integrated support for webmail.

You can download BitTorrent files directly in the browser using the program of your choice - Opera is the default. 1 Click the preferences button 2 to adjust the upload/download speeds and change the listen port. 4 Use the search box to search for BitTorrent files. Click the link to download a file.

Opera lets you subscribe to feeds using any feed reader. Click the RSS button in the address bar and the feed will be laid out across a page. Select a feed reader from the drop down menu. The default is Opera Mail but other options include Bloglines and Google Reader. Click the button to subscribe.

Opera is very standards-compliant but, if a website won't display properly, you can pretend you're using IE or Firefox. Go to Tools, Quick Preferences, Edit Site Preferences. Click the Network tab. 1 In the identification box, choose a browser to identify 2 or masquerade as. Click OK and then reload the page.

The Opera Turbo feature uses compression technology to speed up page loading on a slow connection. To activate it, click the Turbo button 1 at the bottom of the screen. However, it's not designed to run on a speedy broadband connection and may reduce the quality of web pages noticeably.

Source of Information : Ultimate PC and Web Workshops Winter 2009

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