Enabling tab preview in Opera

Opera Upcoming Firefox 3.1 starts to get its usual share of hype press. Martin of gHacks made a post on it today starting with new tab preview feature (following chain his source was mozillalinks.org).

Not trying to be mean - it does look cool… but “dramatic update” (as mozillalinks put it) are bit too colorful words for it. :)

Anyway it’s the point when Opera users could make bored face and say “we had this like ages ago” but unfortunately Opera leads in tech but follows in marketing. Tab preview in Opera is disabled by default. I hadn’t seen a single Opera installation with it enabled - users mostly don’t know about it and don’t bother with exploring settings.

How to turn it on?

Opera got ability to generate previews around early 9.x versions. It is enabled for tab tool tip by default and looks like this:


But cycling tabs (triggered by Ctrl+Tab or Right Mouse Button+Scroll) despite being perfectly capable of using this feature had it disabled by default and retained its boring look:


Time for some settings magic!

Main menu > Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Tabs (Alt+P hotkey to skip some steps)


Check “Show thumbnails in tab cycle” and cycling becomes much more informative:


While we are at it you can also try another cycling order. Default makes a list in order you hopped between tabs, but there is also chronological order. It makes easier to see what came first if you are following chain of links. “Cycle without showing list” will prevent both list and tab preview from showing.

Maybe not as flashy as upcoming Firefox analogue… But we had this like ages ago. :)

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  • akuma #

    That "users mostly don’t know about it and don’t bother with exploring settings." statement was totally meant for me xD So, thanks for posting this, I love the cycling preview thingy! :)
  • Rarst #

    @akuma Hehe, that's what bloggers are for. :) I am very fond of customizing Opera and always glad to share good tweaks.
  • Tweak Opera for large amount of tabs | Rarst.net #

    [...] and Ctrl+Shift+Tab cycle through tabs, see post on enabling previews to make it more [...]
  • The DataRat #

    . "Opera leads in tech but follows in marketing" Internet Explorer will always obtain ready press because it has 65% to 68% browser marketshare. Safari easily gets press because a substantial portion of tech writers on PC forums/ news/blogs are Mac zealots who basically dislike Windows. Chrome gets press because anything Google does gets press. And, Firefox is the darling of the media because there's a large open source clique within the tech media community. It isn't so much that Opera is bad at marketing, but that Opera has no built-in fan club within the tech media (like Firefox and Apple/Safari). Then -with only a little over 2% marketshare- there's nothing compelling about Opera's popularity to lead to much press coverage. Facts are: Opera Software Inc. could run naked through Oslo, and the media wouldn't pick-up on it ! Whereas, Chrome has a smaller marketshare than Opera (1.7% vs. 2.1%) and ~still~ gets ten times the media coverage. "Life isn't fair" ...and THAT goes double for Opera ! . The DataRat .
  • Rarst #

    @DataRat Well, I'd say there is considerable amount of Opera fans. But both Firefox and Google advanced via massive and expensive marketing campaigns (Safari advanced on typical Apple lies :). Opera couldn't or didn't bother to compete with that. Fact is in some countries where browsers are not actively advertised Opera share is massive (Russia and Ukraine are mentioned most often). When marketing is excluded, leaving personal choice and word of mouth Opera wins.
  • The DataRat #

    . "Opera share is massive (Russia and Ukraine are mentioned most often)" . Right. Opera is ~very~ popular in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Two regions which are blind spots to the English-speaking media as a whole ! Opera has negligible popularity in the U.K. and U.S. ...so it's ignored. . "I’d say there is considerable amount of Opera fans" Don't confuse hardcore and enthusiastic supporters with ~numerous~ supporters. Opera has the former, but NOT the latter ! As a devoted Opera user myself, I have to admit that I hardly meet anyone here in the U.S. who runs Opera. It has an avid following in America, yet a ~tiny~ following. Places where Opera is very popular aren't exactly the center of the Computing Universe. . The DataRat .