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How Opera’s search pop-up can save you time and clicks


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Easier isn’t always better but anything you can do to make your life or work a bit more efficient certainly is. That’s why any time I can cut off even a few seconds from tasks I repeat regularly, I do it.

Such is the case with Opera, which I consider to be one of the most efficient browsers on the market. The tab management feature alone makes it incredibly effective at helping me better manage my tabs and cut down on confusion and clutter (which can improve efficiency). 

Also: How to use Opera’s built-in AI chatbot (and why you should)

Opera has another feature, the search pop-up, that does an outstanding job of helping me work faster.

Ask yourself this question: How many times do you search for things online? As a follow-up, how many times are those searches inspired by something you read online? Consider this: I might make an aside to Band-Maid in an article. You might not know what that is, so you open another tab, type band-maid into the address bar, and wait for your default search engine to display the results.

You might do that a number of times throughout your day. 

The Opera browser cuts this process down by a couple of steps. With this feature enabled, you can simply highlight text from a webpage and, from the search pop-up, click to run a search on the selected text. No more having to open a new tab and typing out what you’d like to search.

Also: How to add a custom problematic site block list in Opera

It might not cut hours off your day but every time you search you will cut seconds off and that time adds up.

One thing to keep in mind: The search pop-up doesn’t work for every single page. For example, it does not work in Google Docs. You should find, however, that Opera’s search pop-up does work for most sites you visit.

Let’s see how the feature is used.

How to enable the Opera search pop-up

What you’ll need: The only thing you’ll need is Opera installed on your desktop or laptop. Make sure that you are running the latest version of the browser (to ensure you have the latest security patches).

The first thing you must do is make sure the Search pop-up is enabled. To do that, open Opera and then type opera:settings in the address bar.

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and click Advance. In the Advanced section, scroll down until you see the search pop-up section. In that section, make sure the On/Off slider for Enable the search pop-up when selecting text is enabled. 

Once you’ve taken care of that, close the Settings tab.

The Opera Search pop-up section in Settings.

You can also choose what currency to convert to when you’ve highlighted a price.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: Firefox vs Opera: Which web browser is best for you?

Using the search pop-up

Using the search pop-up is quite simple. Let’s say you’re reading an article on ZDNET and you come across a word or phrase you don’t understand. Highlight that text and the search pop-up will appear, where you can either search, copy, or snapshot (screenshot) the highlighted passage. You can also access the built-in Aria AI tool as well.

The Opera Search pop-up in action.

The pop-up will dismiss after you’ve clicked any option.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Click search and Opera will open a new tab with the search results based on the highlighted text. 

Also: The best VPN services: Expert tested and reviewed

It really is that simple. And the seconds you’ll save throughout the day can add up to an extra coffee or stretch break, which can help with your well-being.

Enjoy those extra seconds.

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