What’s This Button?
Firefox wasn’t the first browser to use the button. In fact, Opera replaced its menu bar with the “O” button in 2010. This button removes the entire menu button from the top of your screen to conserve space. Tabs and the bookmark toolbar, if you have it open, move closed to the top of your screen and more space is allotted toward the websites that you are actually browsing.
All of the options that you would find in the “File” menu, for example, still exist when you click the menu button. They’re just rearranged. If you’re not a fan of the menu button, simply click it and select “Show Menu Bar.” Similarly, the option to disable the menu bar exists when you open the “File” menu.
Thinking in Panels
The status bar in Opera has a few more icons than you may be used to see. A small arrow allows you to open panels on the left side of your screen. Opera’s panels are similar to sidebars in Firefox but operate a little differently. The default panels include bookmarks, which you can access by clicking the star icon, notes, downloads, and history among other panels. When you click the tab for your panel, a larger panel will open to the side of your screen so that you can browse the content of that panel without opening an entirely new tab.
Opera allows you to customize your panels by right-clicking anywhere on the panel toolbar. You can move the panel to the right of your screen, enabling floating or completely disable the panel. If you find that you don’t use the notes feature, you can remove this tab from the toolbar. When you add mail or chat accounts, you can view them as panels too. In fact, you can add any website as a panel to keep up-to-date with news and posts!
One “O” to Bind Them
Even if you don’t install any add-ons to your browser, Opera allows you to add e-mail and chat accounts and manage your contacts. You might find that your browser quickly replaces other programs on your computer. However, widget add to this already-extraordinary browser. For example, you can add a widget so that you can remain connected to Twitter, even without opening the website in your browser and without installing an entirely new program. Widgets remain open as separate windows and you can even close the main Opera window and keep your widgets open.