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I've used all the main browsers in Windows. I then moved to Linux & found that the browsers there(Iceweasel & Firefox) were ok but couldn't let me see pages in my history when offline. Konqueror which is also a file manager could. It works well as a browser. There's a google search box & you can open tabs. In the extra toolbar is a button to turn pictures on/ff. I then tried Opera 9. It's the best, yet few people know about it! It's available for windows & mac too. It has various versions for linux: I'm using the one for mandriva 2006/7. It's free & is 5.3Mb in size.
I can see my pages offline in the history panel. Pop-up's can be blocked.
Toolbars can be customized:
The view toolbar has a Find box, so you can find words on a page. The great thing is that it highlights all the found words on the page in a different colour, which the other browsers can't. On the right is the 'find next' button - (OBDHT)other browsers don't have this. Next is a button which can turn images on/off (OBDHT). If you want them off, I'd recommend selecting 'cached images', which shows a rectangle where the picture would have been, so it shows the page correctly. If you need to see any pictures right-click it & select reload. Next is the button 'fit to width' which adjusts pages that are too wide so they fit in the page width! (OBDHT) You can have this on by default in the 'preferences' menu. The next button is the zoom button, which quickly re-sizes all the text in the page up or down, something the other browsers can't do as they only re-size a certain section of the text, & only in 1 increment at a time. Opera shows you a huge list, from 20% up to 200% in 10% increments!
It can import firefox, internet & konqueror favourites. You can create notes too. These can be kept in conjunction with a Web site you want to refer to again later. There is a text box for search engines like google. When you want to type in a website address, you have to double-click the text box to highlight all of it.
Pages can be opened in new tabs. If you have lots of tabs open. hovering the cursor on a tab shows a small picture of the page. In the 'preferences' menu you can opt to have a close button on each tab, so you don't have to right-click a tab to close it. You can duplicate the current page in a new tab by right-clicking a tab. Right-clicking also lets you close all tabs, or all but that tab.
On the left hand side you can have a panel open to show the history of websites visited, any notes you make etc. This takes 25% of the width. If you close it, it gets replaced by a tall thin vertical line which you can click to bring it back again. You can toggle this line on/off in the 'preferences' menu.
In other browsers, there is a row at the bottom showing you how much of the page has loaded - called the status bar. In opera, you can turn it off. This information temporarily replaces the website address box as a page loads. This way you see more of the page. (OBDHT)
Another reviewer said that it protects against viruses & spyware & is faster at loading pages(just what the makers claim). You can use it by speaking to it & it can read pages. You can use 'mouse gestures': right-click the mouse left/right to go back/forward to the next page!
Installing it was easy: I downloaded the .rpm file, double-clicked it & it was installed with its own entry in the Start menu. If you get any problems later you could try uninstalling it then re-installing it.
Of the browser users, 10% use Firefox, IE most of the rest. Opera is currently 9.1. There is 9.2b which is a beta test version, so I'd avoid it.
Although I like opera, & it could see all the websites I viewed, it didn't do a very good job of displaying some of the websites I created. If you build websites & you only use IE you might want to use opera to get an idea of what other users see when they look at your page.
The only bad thing is that the back button has no list & there's no go menu – konqueror has. I've left out other small advantages. I do like Opera! It goes well with my free linux mandriva 2007 which I got at the same time(the only cost is a few dollars/pounds for the cd/dvd & its postage). In linux there's no spyware & far fewer viruses to worry about (unlike using internet explorer) & it's more stable/secure than windows. I had to use another OS to get a browser that could turn pictures on/off at the touch of a button.
They even have a forum for windows, mac & linux users http://my.opera.com/community/forums/
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