Keyboard only navigation in Opera

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2008

A commenter on my recent article about a Firefox add-on that made it possible to open search results using the keyboard let me know that he would like to see a similar article about Opera. It sometimes takes a while but I always try to help my readers by finding solutions for them. During that research I stumbled upon Opera's keyboard shortcuts which are way more advanced than the ones for Firefox. If you compare both keyboard shortcut lists you will notice that Opera's is probably three times the size as the Firefox list.

But back to the topic. The following keyboard shortcuts are all that is needed to use Opera without the mouse in most situations including the aforementioned way to open search results in Opera without having to use the mouse. This way is unfortunately not as precise but it is speedy enough to use it instead of the mouse.

It is possible to flip through links in Opera using the Shift + Arrow Keys shortcut. The up and down arrow keys switch to the first link in the previous or next line while the left and right keys jump to the previous or next link no matter where it is located. The first result of a Google search can be selected by using the Shift Arrow Key Down shortcut three times. The link can then be loaded with the Enter key which would open the link in the same tab, the Shift Enter combination which would load it in a new tab or the CTRL Shift Enter combination that opens the link in a background tab.

Here are the important shortcuts for keyboard only navigation in Opera:

  • Shift + Arrow Key UP - Jumps to the next line above the current cursor position that contains a link selecting the first link in that line
  • Shift + Arrow Key DOWN - Jumps to the next line below the current cursor position that contains a link selecting the first link in that line
  • Shift + Arrow Key LEFT - Jumps to the first link before the current cursor position.
  • Shift + Arrow Key Right - Jumps to the first link after the current cursor position.
  • Enter - Load the selected link in the same tab.
  • Shift + Enter - Load the selected link in a new tab.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter - Load the selected link in a background tab.
  • Ctrl + Shift + S - Save the selected Link Target.
  • F2 - Enter a URL
  • Ctrl + Tab - Cycle to next tab.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab - Cycle to previous tab.

Maybe Tobey our Opera geek can comment on other options or a faster way to open the search results in Opera just with the keyboard.


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  1. Tobey said on May 31, 2008 at 9:16 am

    What a pity I wasn’t able to read this article earlier. Both you Martin and Xyborg (as well as Rarst) provided a decent list of shortcuts and supposedly of the most used ones. I might just add a few at the end, like

    Alt + Arrows: move back/forward in history
    Numerical keys: change zoom ratio
    *: reset zoom
    Ctrl + E: compose a new e-mail
    Ctrl + K: check mailbox manually
    F2: bring up address bar
    Ctrl + W: close currently opened tab
    Ctrl + Z: re-open last closed tab or undelete an e-mail / newsfeed item
    Shift + P: print preview
    Ctrl + F3: edit source code
    1,2: switch to the next/previous tab
    .: quick search within the website

    For an extended list of shortcuts check out:

    Opera FTW :)

  2. Xyborg said on May 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Yes, thats true, you can edit/add you own template file for yout shortcuts too :)

  3. Rarst said on May 30, 2008 at 4:21 am

    I want to note that Opera shortcuts are also not hardcoded, as with other things in Opera you can construct any shortcut with any avaible action.

    One of the most used shortcuts for me is
    Ctrl + B – paste and go

    It combines two actions paste (Ctrl+V) and Enter, but it is positioned really smart next to most used Ctrl+ keys.

    I also use customized search engines a lot (for those who don’t know, brief version – right click search fields, “create custom search” or something like that) so it gets me following sequence:

    1. Ctrl+C – copy whatever I want to search to clipboard
    2. Ctrl+T – open new tab
    3. Type shortcut for search engine (g is pre-coded for google for example)
    4. Ctrl+B – paste whatever we have from clipboard from 1 and immediately search it

    Repeat 2-4 with another search engine if needed.

    It seems like lots of keys to press at first, but it only requires left hand and keys are so nicely and tightly positioned that soon it becomes lightning fast.

  4. Xyborg said on May 30, 2008 at 2:27 am

    You have these useful shortcuts too:

    – Ctrl+T : open new tab
    – (point) key: open a mini dialog box at the bottom of the page where you can enter some words to perfom a search on the actual page.

    Shortcuts on Opera 9.25 and lower are differents than the ones on 9.5.

    Opera 9.2x

    Ctrl + B : open the url on the pastebin in a new/current tab
    Ctrl + Shift + B : open the url on the pastebin in a backgound tab

    Opera 9.5

    Ctrl + Shift + V : open the url on the pastebin

    – F4: show you the panels bars
    – F8: focuses the cursor at the address bar
    – F12: show you a contextual menu with some options for the current page
    – Ctrl+F12: open the Opera advanced options
    – Shift+F12: open the Opera style/skin options
    – Alt+Enter: show you information such as certificare and the anti-fraud/phishing result of the current page
    – Alt+F5: reload the selected page or frame/iframe and empty the cache for that page, so if you are doing some changes to your website you can reload your web and generate a new cache version of it.

    And thats is all i can remember right now, i use all these shorcurts on my day by day work, and with the mouse gestures help me a lot saving time while i’m working, without needing extra plugins, addons and bad-programmed extensions.

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