Opera 30 modifies Opera's tab switching behavior
Most web browsers ship with keyboard shortcuts that you can use to cycle through tabs or access specific tabs that are open in the browser right away.
On Windows, the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Tab is used by the majority of browsers to cycle through tabs from left to right. If you add Shift to the shortcut, tabs are cycled in reverse instead.
Opera, the new version, supported that feature as well up until now.
The most recent Developer version of the browser, version 30, ships with a modification that Opera Software calls a "real tab cycler".
Several changes went into the new functionality. First, if you hit Ctrl-Tab now a preview thumbnail image of each tab that you cycle through is now displayed to you.
This can be useful if multiple pages of the same site are open that you cannot distinguish by title.
The order in which tabs are cycled through as been modified by Opera Software as well. Instead of cycling through tabs from left to right, or in reverse, tabs are now cycled by recency instead.
While the actual tab order in Opera's tab bar does not change, the order of tabs in the tab menu and when using the shortcut does.
This can be highly confusing as you get different results when you are cycling through tabs depending on which tabs were active most recently.
Opera Software recognized this and added new shortcuts to the browser that let you cycle through tabs in order. On Windows and Linux, you use Ctrl-1 and Ctrl-2 to cycle tabs while Mac users need to use Command+Shift-Left or Command-Shift-Right instead for that.
Ctrl-1 and Ctrl-2 are not reserved shortcuts. If you have used other browsers before you know that these shortcuts open the first and second tab in the browser's tab bar by default. Opera never supported this feature though so that at least is not an issue.
Good news is that it is possible to disable the new order of cycling through tabs in Opera.
- Load opera://settings/ in the browser's address bar.
- Scroll down until you find the user interface group there.
- Remove the checkmark from "Cycle tabs in most recently used order".
The tab menu itself displays recently closed tabs as well now, something which it did not before. A click on a recently closed tab opens it again in the web browser.
If you don't want previews to show up in the browser at all when you cycle through tabs, do the following:
- Load opera://settings/configureCommands in the address bar.
- Locate "Switch left through tabs" and "Switch right through tabs" on the page.
- Remap the shortcuts to Ctrl-Shift-Tab and Ctrl-Tab to get the old behavior back. This invalidates the Ctrl-1 and Ctrl-2 shortcuts though.
The Opera Developer blog offers additional information about the new functionality. Download links are provided on the linked page as well.Advertisement