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Accessibility in Opera

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The Opera browser is claimed to be the most accessible browser on the market today.

Visual impairments - Low vision

Visual impairments - Blind

Mobility impairments


Zoom the contents of a document (text and images)

  • from 20%-1000% either from the drop-down zoom box at the top of the browser or by simply pressing + to zoom in or - to zoom out.

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To change the colour of text and links:

  • Go to File > Preferences > Fonts and colours.
  • Change the fonts and colours of the text and links, background colour, and minimum text size to a style that better suits you.

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Disable animations and video display

  • Press G to toggle images on/off on a page. This allows you to only view text and the page will load much faster.
  • To disable GIF animations go to File > Preferences > Multimedia and uncheck the "Enable GIF animation" box in the images section.
  • To disable video displays, Java, and plug-ins go to File > Preferences > Multimedia, then to the "Media types" section, and uncheck the actions you want to disable.

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Implement your own style sheet

  • In File > Preferences > Page style, you can select that Opera displays the pages with the colours, fonts, and link style that you choose.
  • Select "My style sheet", "My fonts", etc., and insert the file of the style sheet you have authored and/or customized.
  • You can switch between the "User mode" or "Author mode" style sheet by pressing Ctrl+G, or by clicking the User mode/author mode icon you find on each page.
  • The "User mode" style sheet lets you customize the colour of the font and the background, as well as the text size. For example, if black text on a white background strains your eyesight, you can change the background to black with a green font for easier reading.
  • The "Author mode" displays the Web pages as the Web designer or author intends it to be seen.

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Sound alerts

Opera lets users implement sounds for several actions performed while surfing. Any sound can be installed for various movements, such as Opera start-up and exit, page loaded, transfer done, failure, instant message received, and follow link.

  • Go to File > Preferences > Sounds and choose a sound file for each event.

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Popular keyboard shortcuts

    Keyboard shortcuts
    Command Keys
    move forward in history Press Z
    move backward in history Press X
    give focus to the address field Press F8
    access the most frequently changed preferences Press F12
    see the full list of keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+B

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Mouse gestures

Mouse gestures let the user perform all the relevant and useful actions the keyboard shortcuts do without having to move the hand from the mouse. Actions such as going backward and forward in history, reloading a page, closing a page, and opening a new window can easily be done with a simple slide of the mouse.

If you are unable to constantly move your hand from the mouse to the keyboard, or move the mouse around the entire displayed page to perform an action, mouse gestures provide the perfect solution.

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Using a magnifying glass

Mouse gestures are extremely useful if you use a magnifying utility from the operating system. Magnifying utilities only let users see a limited part of the active program or window at a time. Therefore, certain actions may require you to make substantial movements around the screen with the "magnifying glass" in order to reload or close a page. Opera's mouse gestures makes it much easier to perform browser functions and manage windows without having to move the mouse around the screen.

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Activate mouse gestures

This feature is activated by pressing, and holding, your secondary mouse button (right by default, unless your computer is set up for a left-handed person) and moving the mouse pointer in a particular direction or pattern.

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Some useful mouse gestures

Mouse Gestures
Command Action
Previous document in history Slide left
Next document in history Slide right
Reload Slide up then down
Open new document Slide down (if done over a link, opens link document in new window)
Close document Slide right-left-right OR down, then right

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Auto-completion

In the preferences menu, you can enter your personal information such as name, address, e-mail address, etc., which is commonly used to fill out forms on the Web. This information is only stored in your computer, and no one can access this confidential information. If you have a difficult time using the keyboard and typing, simply right-click in the individual form fields and select "Insert" to access your personal information.

  • Go to File > Preferences > Personal information and fill in your information

This auto-completion feature is also useful in the URL field. The auto-completion drop-down option in the URL field suggests previously visited pages so you don't have to retype the entire address. This accessibility feature lets you navigate the Web without depending too much on keyboard functionality. You can activate this by enabling it in the Preferences menu:

  1. Go to File > Preferences > Accessibility.
  2. In the Keyboard section, check the box that reads "Enable auto-completion drop-down".


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A very special thanks to Hull Local Studies Library for their help with our research projects.