Opera is my default web browser and has been for a while now. This is partially due to the amazing tab management feature, Workspaces, but also because it’s fast and reliable. Although Opera does have a lot of features that might seem like bloat on another browser, Opera still manages to come off as lean and capable.
One of the features you might not know about is called mouse gestures. This feature is especially handy if you like to work as efficiently as possible.
Consider this: How often do you have to move your mouse to the upper left corner of the Opera window, just to click the back button? Or what about actions like:
- Go forward one page
- Open a new tab
- Reload the page
- Close the current tab
- Open a link in a new tab
- Open a link in a background tab
- Open a link in a new window
If you’re using a trackpad, those things are second nature. For example, on my MacBook Pro, I can two-finger swipe left to go back one page on a website. I always make use of such gestures because it’s faster than moving the cursor and clicking on a button.
And I’m all about speed. That’s why I use Opera’s mouse gesture feature.
Here’s what this cool feature enables you to do: Right-click on any empty space on a page and move the mouse in a specific path for a certain action. For example, right-click on an empty space, hold the mouse button down, and drag the mouse to the left and you’ll go back one page. Do the same thing, only drag the mouse to the right, and you’ll go forward one page.
There’s even a thing called rocker gestures, which allows you to navigate backward and forward through pages by rocking your fingers between the left and right mouse buttons. For example: Click and hold the right button and then click and release the left button to go back. Click and hold the left button and then click and release the right button to go forward.
Once you get used to these gestures, you’ll wonder how you worked without them.
Here’s the complete list of mouse gestures:
- Go back one page – click and move left.
- Go forward one page – click and move right.
- Open a new tab – click and move down.
- Reload the current page – click and move up and then down.
- Close the current page – click, move down, then right.
- Open a link in a background tab – click a link and then move up and down.
- Open a link in a new tab – click a link and move down.
- Open a link in a new window – hold the shift key, click a link, and move down.
Now that you understand how mouse gestures work, you must first enable them so they’ll work for you.
How to enable mouse gestures in Opera
What you’ll need: The only thing you’ll need is an updated installation of Opera on your desktop. It doesn’t matter what operating system you’re working but the feature doesn’t work on the mobile version.
It might take you a while to get the hang of using these gestures but once you do, you’ll be navigating pages faster than ever.