Opera had pioneered tabbed interface for browsing. However out of the box it provides tab experience that can be described as generic.
For users that tend to open multitude of tabs Opera offers quite a few customization opportunities to make most of them.
Give tabs more space
By default recent Opera versions have few non-tab elements in tab bar – buttons to open sidebar, add blank tab and access closed tabs. Such extra buttons can be removed by Right-click > Remove From Toolbar or moved elsewhere by Right-click > Customize > Drag and drop.
Now tabs have line completely to themselves, but sometimes even that is not enough. You can make tab bar extend to next line when needed – Right-click tab bar > Customize > Appearance… > Set Wrapping to Wrap to multiple lines.
Prevent unwanted close
I tend to click those Close tab crosses a lot when I have many tabs open. And they get even bigger when Windows Native theme is chosen. Close buttons can be removed by setting in Tools > Preferences (Alt+P) > Advanced > Tabs > Additional tab options > Show close button on each tab or same setting in <opera:config#Show Close Buttons>.
With those gone fast way to close tab is middle-click it or enable <opera:config#Doubleclick to Close Tab> option (handy for touchpads and such).
If you have some tabs open at all times you can protect them from any kind of close by Right-click tab name > Lock tab.
Change tab logic
By default new tabs are opened in the end of the list and when tab is closed focus goes to one before it. With many tabs open and working and gaming at the same time multitasking process can turn large amount of tabs in a complete mess.
Make new tabs open next to current tab Tools > Preferences (Alt+P) > Advanced > Tabs > Open new tab next to active.
Choose what tab gets focus when current tab is closed Tools > Preferences (Alt+P) > Advanced > Tabs > When closing a tab.
- Ctrl+T opens new tab;
- Ctrl+W closes current tab;
- Ctrl+Z restores last closed tab;
- Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab cycle through tabs, see post on enabling previews to make it more visual. Also can be used by holding right button and scrolling with mouse wheel - thanks to nimi for reminder in comments;
If single key shortcuts are enabled in Tools > Preferences (Alt+P) > Advanced > Shortcuts > Enable single-key shortcuts then:
- 1 and 2 move back and forth between tabs.
Show tabs in full screen mode
Full screen mode in Opera (F11) makes best use of screen space but at the same time can be scary with complete absence of interface.
To make Opera show tab bar in full screen mode you can edit F11 hotkey in Tools > Preferences (Alt+P) > Advanced > Shortcuts > Keyboard setup > Edit to Enter full screen & View page bar, 6 | Leave full screen or simply use one of pre-made Opera buttons for full screen mode listed at Opera Wiki.
While default Opera setup is certainly functional it is additional tweaks that can bring in to next level and make usage of many many tabs as easy as possible.
What is your favorite way to use tabs in Opera?