Opera equivalents to Firefox extensions II

In January, I wrote about some “Opera equivalents to Firefox extensions”:http://virtuelvis.com/archives/2005/01/opera-and-firefox-extensions. This is an updated version, covering many more common Firefox extensions and their equivalent features in Opera.
This document has been translated to a number of languages.


h3. Greasemonkey
Firefox has the “Greasemonkey”:http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/ extensions that allows users to use JavaScript
Opera has “User Javascript”:http://userjs.org/ built right in.
h3. SessionSaver
The “SessionSaver”:https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=436 extension in Firefox has two built-in equivalents in Opera
# During runtime, Opera keeps a live session of what you do, so that if your browser crashes, Opera will let you restart from where you were.
# If you need to save or restore custom sessions, the File → Sessions menu allows you to both save and restore sessions. You can also, optionally open these custom sessions when you start the browser
h3. Single Window
Firefox has a “Single Window extension”:https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&category=Tabbed%20Browsing&id=50 that prevents pop-ups and similar from spawning in new Windows instead of tabs. This behaviour is built right into Opera by default, and you don’t need to change anything.
h3. Quicknote
Firefox has a “Quicknote”:http://quicknote.mozdev.org/ extension for making notes similar to Post-It(TM). In Opera this is built right in as a web panel available from the panel selector.
If you press select text in Opera, and press Ctrl-Shift-C, your selected text is automatically copied into a note, and the note is linked to the document you pasted it from. If you then double-click your note, Opera will take you to the web page where the note exists.
h3. RiteOfTounge
The “RiteOfTounge”:https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=485 extension for Firefox provides a spelling checker for Firefox.
Opera integrates with the “GNU Aspell spelling checker”:http://aspell.sourceforge.net/ (You can also check out the “Windows version of GNU Aspell”:http://aspell.net/win32/. “Read the tutorial”:http://www.opera.com/support/tutorials/opera/spellcheck/ on how to install and use it. The added benefit of Opera’s integration with GNU Aspell is that you also get spell-checking when composing e-mail and Usenet messages.
Opera for MacIntosh integrates with the system-default spelling checker and does not require any installation.
h3. NextPlease
The “NextPlease”:http://nextplease.mozdev.org/ extension for Firefox allows users to assign keyboard shortcuts to jump to next and previous links on search results pages.
Again: This is a built-in feature in Opera, named “FastForward”:http://www.opera.com/features/fforward/. If a page has a link where the text reads “Next”, or similar, the forward mouse-gesture in Opera will take you to the next page of results. It also works with other means of navigating forward in history; keyboard shortcuts and buttons.
The behavior of the fast forward functionality can be customized by editing the fastforward.ini file in the Opera profile folder.
h3. Download Manager Tweak
The “Download Manager Tweak”:http://dmextension.mozdev.org/ extension for Firefox offers a few more options of controlling the Download manager window.
Opera’s Download Manager has all this extension offers by default, and more:
* You can have the Download manager as a panel, as a tab, or you can drag it out of Opera to run it in a separate window.
* You can stop, resume or restart downloads at your own will.
h3. Linkification
The “linkification”:http://www.beggarchooser.com/firefox/ extension for Firefox makes plain-text URLs clickable.
In Opera, you can, without further ado, right-click any URL and select Go to URL. In addition, the “Linkify”:http://userjs.org/scripts/browser/enhancements/linkify-text-files User JavaScript highlights URLs in text/plain (or text/plain-like) documents.
In addition to linkifying text files, the Linkify User JavaScript provides an option to turn line-numbering on and off in these files.
h3. Gmail Notifier
The Gmail Notifier provides an icon where you are notified about incoming mail in Opera. Opera already has a very good e-mail client named M2 that can be “used with GMail”:http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=290792&st=60&p=585556935&#entry585556935
In addition, you can subscribe to the “Gmail Atom feed”:https://gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom in Opera.
h3. Duplicate tab
The “Duplicate tab”:http://twanno.mozdev.org/duplicatetab.html extension in Firefox allows you to duplicate tabs.
This is, again, a built-in feature of Opera: Right-click a tab and select Duplicate. If you are a keyboard user, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-N to duplicate the current tab.
h3. undoclosetab
The “undoclosetab”:https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=58 extension in Firefox allows you to undo the closing of the tab.
In Opera, this feature is provided by default: If you accidentally close a tab, press Ctrl-Alt-Z to restore the window. If you are a mouse user, there is a trashcan icon on the Page bar that allows you to reopen a previously closed page. The same Trash can also allows access to previously blocked pop-up windows.
h3. Flashblock
The “Flashblock”:http://flashblock.mozdev.org/ Firefox extension prevents loading of flash movies, and creates a placeholder link for reopening blocked flash content.
Opera’s User JavaScript feature provides the same possibility. There are two scripts that offer different opportunities for blocking Macromedia Flash content.
* “Hide objects until double click”:http://userjs.org/scripts/general/enhancements/hide-objects works the same way as Flashblock and creates a placeholder link to restore the flash movies
* “Transparent Flash Removal”:http://userjs.org/scripts/general/enhancements/remove-transparent-flash removes certain kinds of Flash movies often used for advertising.
In addition to these options, Opera can turn plug-in support on and off on-the-fly by pressing F12 and unchecking/checking the “Enable plug-ins” option.
*Update:* “Opera 9”:http://www.opera.com/products/desktop/ also offers selective blocking of content. Right-click on a page, and select “Block content”.
h3(#translations). Translations
* French: Fonctionnalités d’Opera équivalentes aux extensions Firefox II
* Brazilian Portuguese: Funcionalidades do Opera equivalentes às extensões do Firefox – 2a. parte

35 Comments

  1. Haven’t you missed a few out like:
    IRC
    RSS Reader
    and the
    Contact List

  2. Great article Arve. I learned a few things even though I’m an opera user myself (I actually bought a licence).
    I wrote an article in French intitled 10 reasons to choose Opera (http://www.sebastienguillon.com/journal/2005/07/10-raisons-de-choisir-opera).
    I’d like to translate your article in French if you don’t mind. It could be hosted on your site, mine or both, at your liking.
    Let me know if we can work this out.

  3. Sébastien: *Great!* Go ahead.
    Feel free to translate both this and the previous article to French and host them on your own site. I’ll create pointers from both this and the previous article

  4. Doesn’t Firefox in someway seem like an Opera copycat? All these features of Opera were put into Firefox after Opera makes them.

  5. Sébastien:
    Your article is likewise a good read. Unfortunately my French is rather rusty (curse you, English Canada!) and my knowledge of French computing terms was never good to start with, but that’s okay: my familiarity with Opera pulled me through. 🙂
    I’m surprised that you found rearranging tabs to be such an important feature for you; I thought I was the only one who can’t stand conventional tabbed interfaces.

  6. J. King:
    Thank you for making the effort. Arve asked me to translate my article in English. I think it’s not as informative as his article but I will translate it anyway.
    As for this article, the French translation is ready :
    http://www.sebastienguillon.com/journal/2005/09/fonctionnalites-d-opera-equivalentes-aux-extensions-firefox-ii
    I’ll translate part I some time next week.

  7. Seems right. But including “Gmail Notifier” and the following text makes me feel that you missed comparing Opera with Thunderbird, The Bat! or even Outlook.
    bq. The Gmail Notifier provides an icon where you are notified about incoming mail in Opera. Opera already has a very good e-mail client named M2 that can be used with GMail
    Yes. Opera does contain a e-mail client. But so does Mozilla suite. It seems a bit “of route” comparing software that isn’t ment to be “the same”.
    I however don’t use any of the “features” of Opera. I use an _almost_ clean Firefox. Ok. Opera works for me to. But Opera is not free, and the asked price is _to high_ for software i still consider as “late beta”. Unfinished software _is_ unfinished software.
    Yes. You can say that “Opera is free”. But adware realy isn’t in my eyes.
    I’m sure that Opera is a fine software-package. But it’s not enough for me. I started Opera for writing this however. Worked great _after_ i disabled everything i don’t need or want.

  8. But Opera is not free, and the asked price is to high for software i still consider as “late beta”.

    Opera is remarkably good value. Compare it to the cost of Photoshop, or Windows XP.

    Unfinished software is unfinished software.

    Browsers are all unfinished! Do you really think Opera is any different? New standards are constantly emerging that need to be catered for. Bugs and new features are constantly being looked at too, and that counts for Firefox and IE6 as well. Take a look through Bugzilla at all the thousands of Firefox bugs one day and tell me that software shouldn’t also be classed as “beta” according to your argument.

  9. I didn’t write that Firefox is “out of beta”. Where do you find this in the comment? Firefox is however free of charge as unfinished software _should_ be. I know that this also apply to MSIE, Photoshop (etc.) and that’s one of many reasons that i don’t (any more) use “that software”.
    If i should write a list over all software i consider “beta” or unfinished i’m sure that this page would be long. The listing of _finished_ software (including OS’es and drivers) would however be extremely short.

  10. The thing is that in Firefox, you have the ability to install only what you want, instead of having it all there. Not everyone wants all of these plugins, and for those users Opera becomes pretty much bloat.

  11. Not in the mood

     /  2005-09-06

    I really find that “bloat” argument tedious.
    # users often do not initially know what they want. They just come across the features, and think “cool” or whatever. Without having to wade through the extra garbage of the unfinished extensions, without the hassle that the next version _still_ disables them (deer park disabled all my extensions and fails to find new versions – that sucks), and without having to restart 100 times and then find they only wanted one or two of those.
    # how could it possiby be bloat when it is smaller than the basic browsers of competitors? that is just misconception. promoted by people who use the larger browsers.
    # the fact that there are extensions for these things shows that users _do_ want the features.
    # Opera’s neat way of hiding the extra stuff until you need them does _not_ feel bloated. it feels crisp and clean. I am still waiting for the others to follow suit and copy the idea. it will happen.

  12. Hello Arve,

    I’ve provided a brazilian portuguese translation for both, this and the previous article and they are hosted at:
    http://www.maujor.com/tutorial/o-ff-extensions-a.php
    http://www.maujor.com/tutorial/o-ff-extensions-b.php
    Regards,
    Mauricio Samy Silva

  13. dxOne

     /  2005-09-12

    it’s not that way. if u don’t want use the “fetures” u just don’t. Opera don’t bother u with “Do u wanna use that or that or that?”. There are posibilities and if u don’t like ’em u won’t notice. Many users of Opera don’t know they have some features(or using other soft ie. mail clients). It’s all like “You want this feture? We have it.” not “You want that? go find it yourself”
    Someone said he use “clean” FF, but many users after installing FF downloads few exts. It’s one of pros for IE users to swich – exts. And Opera saves your time.
    The other thing is that after update, Opera’s fetures are still working what we can’t say about FF’s exts.
    BUT, in the end everything is better than IE 🙂

  14. I think the “bloat” argument is one of those things that’s just left over from first impressions. *Current* versions of Opera keep all the extra features out of the way until they’re needed. But in the old days, especially Opera 4 and 5, it did have a tendency to display everything up front so users would find it. Like Netscape 6, there was an “everything including the kitchen sink” feel to it. (Mozilla was slightly leaner from this perspective, as someone filed a joke bug to *add* the kitchen sink. After a few zillion comments and patches, it was eventually removed from Bugzilla.)
    And yes, something can be UI or feature bloat without being code bloat. Download/install size is not the only measurement.
    First impressions last, and things get stuck in people’s heads that they just can’t (or, sometimes, won’t) get rid of. People still deride Linux on the basis of “you have to compile your software from source!” and “you have to use the command line for everything!” even though those statements haven’t been true of the major distributions (Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, etc.) for years.

  15. By (somewhat) popular request, I translated my article intitled “10 reasons to choose Opera”:
    http://www.sebastienguillon.com/journal/2005/09/10-reasons-to-choose-opera

  16. goodgurl

     /  2005-09-18

    I’ve recently converted to Opera from Firefox after a few months of active testing and comparison. I do like that a lot of the features that I use are built into Opera. And once I got familiar with shortcuts, I was able to customize Firefox functionality to replace 90% of my desired usability.
    The 3 features I miss from FF that Opera cannot provide “fully” : complete web page archival system (SCRAPBOOK); an easy to implement integrated Winamp player (FOXYTUNES); using a single touchpad tap (not a combo SHIFT-tap or middleclick tap) of absolutely any and every link and open that link in a new tab (TAB MIX PLUS, TMP).
    At this point, I’ve decided to live without these features and stick with Opera. And besides, FF has no clue on how to startup with no pages and even with TMP, the handling of quote BLANK unquote or untitled tabs is poorly designed and unappealing.

  17. Opera is now free

    Opera is now free!
    From opera.com:
    Opera has removed the banners, found within our browser, and the licensing fee. Opera’s growth, due to tremendous worldwide customer support, has made today’s milestone an achievable goal
    Premium support is still

  18. evariste

     /  2005-09-21

    goodgurl-if you have a synaptics touchpad, you can configure one of the corner tap zones to be middle click, that’s how I get what you wanted.

  19. Limo

     /  2005-09-21

    what about :
    * RIP (Remove it Permanently)
    * FoxTrick (extension for online game Hattrick)
    * Wikipedia extensions
    * BBCode extensions
    * IE view
    * adding other search engines (imdb, m-w.com, wikipedia, allmusic, etc… to single search field)
    ?? Until I have those, FF is much more usefull than Opera (and certainly than IE)

  20. JP

     /  2005-09-22

    I switched from FF to Opera and I have found it quite good, but FF’s extension system is one thing I miss. Granted, Opera has many features build-in, but there are many extension and you can easily make your own.
    FF’s adblock is the number one reason why I want to switch back.
    Opera’s URL filtering is harder to use.

  21. what about:
    accessibar ? [can’t do without !]
    image zoomer?
    deskcut ?
    gmail delete button ?

  22. * Accessibar looks interesting, and it can — mostly — be solved by User CSS, but it is not included by default.
    * “Zoom Image”:http://userjs.org/scripts/browser/enhancements/zoom-image is an Opera User JavaScript that does the same as Image Zoom.
    * I’m not sure exactly how Deskcut works, but given a third-party executable exists, adding this to the right-click menu in Opera is trivial.
    * As for the GMail delete button: User Scripting access in Opera is disabled for https pages for the time being, so that’s a no-go for now.

  23. Dawn

     /  2005-10-05

    I downloaded Opera a long time ago when it was add supported. Hated it, slow, always crashed and didn’t render some sites (mainly my company’s site) correctly. But I just downloaded Opera 8 after using FF on my computer for awhile. I love it. It’s fast, clean and hasn’t crashed yet. I’m loving the wand feature so I don’t have to hassle with RoboForm (although I really like RoboForm). The only disappointment is that I love FoxyTunes (so much so I donated to Mr. Alex. It’s a great piece of software). Is there an Opera equivalent. If so, I would gladly switch. Although I love the various FF extensions, one of their security features no longer lets me copy, paste and use spellbound or ieSpell on forms and that is just not acceptable. I tried their fix about 50 times and still no joy. Besides the fact that FF kept crashing, was buggy and when I switched to the beta version I had to reload a lot of my extensions, I was just not impressed as I was when the choice was only between IE and FF. I like that Opera is a great alternative. Thanks.

  24. Brynjard

     /  2005-11-03

    Many FF lovers seem to think that it’s not possible to extend Opera beyond the standard features that come with Opera (which include way more John Average Doe and his dog will ever be able to use). There seem to be some kind of fascism that _everything_ should be customizable/open source, and plugins should be able to extend the browser to do anything.
    Isn’t it enough with the incredible amount of settings you have in the .ini files (which by the way is a childs play editing with Opera 9)? That you can have User Scripts (which incidentally was part of Opera long before GreaseMonkey was “invented”, and is far more powerfull) which can be used for adblocking, compability fixes, anti “targed=_blank” functionality etc etc? That you can extend Opera (and also any other browser) with bookmarklets to do just about anything with buttons and meny choices that you can put anywhere you like?
    The extension system for Mozilla really makes it messy, even the most basic functionality is left for extensions that have to be updated (withindependent versions, names, authors, quality, overlapping functionality that don’t work well together etc etc). Configuration is spread across many different windows, in yey different styles and have incomprehensible GUI functionalities, and some just plain fail to be configurable at all. Most of the extensions have completly useless functions (like: why not have a winamp player control inside FF, so when it crash or I accidentally press the wrong key combination everything screws up?!) while most others play catchup with Opera.
    Basicly, to have the same functionality in FF as you have in Opera you have to spend lots of efforts, and still you’ll have to spend continously effort to keep updated, configure obscure extensions with cryptic and difficult to find settings etc.
    *puh*
    I really have much on my heart against buggy Open Source SW 🙂

  25. Opera equivalents to Firefox extensions: Spread the word!

    I like to keep updated on what the word is on Opera outside of the community, so I read quite a few forums and sites where people discuss software and browsers. One thing that pops up a lot is how some people prefer Firefox b …

  26. Opera equivalents to Firefox extensions

    Opera equivalents to Firefox extensions, Opera equivalents…

  27. TvF

     /  2006-01-12

    I would like to shamelessly link to my own page with a DOM-Inspector, JS-Inspector, (rudimentary) Debugger “as a UserJS”:http://www.miurasoft.de/opera/docInspector/blog/index.php and an AdBlocker as another UserJS:

  28. Is there an equivalent for Colorzilla? What about right click “Blog This” functionality? Those two extensions are must haves for me. Please let me know, thanks!

  29. “Blog This” can be done by modifying menu.ini. It requires a bit of work, but is doable.
    Same goes for colorpicker: It should be doable with a User Javascript. I just guess that noone’s gotten around to writing one yet.

  30. Please tell me if there is a way to keep my bookmarks synchronised between a PC and a Mac. I have let firefox rule my life, and I really do like it, but I have just tried Opera and I REALLY love the speed. There is a bookmark thing I’ve looked at, but it’s a windows only thing, and if I can’t sync between home and work, I just can’t switch.

  31. Josh: Personally, I use “del.icio.us”:http://del.icio.us/ for bookmarks I need synced.
    As for native synchronization: The best advice I can offer right now, is by using the Export and Import options in the File menu; export your bookmarks from one instance, and re-import them in another.
    (Or: If you are really hardcore, the bookmarks file is named opera6.adr and is located in your installation’s profile folder: Just bring that file on a thumbdrive whereever you go.)

  32. Kali

     /  2006-02-20

    “Blog This” is also easily doable without modifying menu.ini. Quite a few blog services offer a bookmark that when clicked on will instantly take you to a new post with the website address and title of whatever page you’re wanting to blog about. All you have to do is add the bookmark to your personal bar *or anywhere, for that matter… you can even add it as a button on your address bar, as I have done*.
    _(Note: Broken bookmark edited out)_

  33. Hey now Opera has its own real adblock. It’s in the latest beta and it’s called Block Content.
    Same principle, it has a urlfilter.ini list of blocked url (wildcards “*” allowed).

  34. PS

     /  2006-04-02

    As someone who moved this week from Opera 8.5 to Firefox 1.5, and is quite prepared to move back if unhappy, I think I might have some observations on this…..
    Opera is probably faster, and has more built in, and still has the edge on smoothness and feature integration over Firefox.
    Unfortunately Opera have never dealt with some serious bugs and issues that I have had too much of now. The “Waiting for connection” bug has been around for several opera versions now. And open enough tabs Opera can seriously destabilize the WinXP system. It won’t affect most people but it does affect some heavy tab users, of which I’m one. Firefox just did a rather nice stress test for me of that, handling some 300 tabs simultaneously. Opera crashed at half that – taking Windows Explorer and my OS’s integrity with it somehow – god know how. I have a funny feeling that although both are relatively stable and well featured, stability is taken slightly more seriously at Firefox (like most open source) and features at Opera (like most proprietary).
    I think it’s unfair to say “Firefox has extension X, opera has it built right in”. The methodologies are different. One is presenting it as “everything built in”, the other as “only download the functions you need”, one gives you many features with one way, the other gives you multiple ways. Windows and Linux all over again. Both have strengths. Note it, but I don’t think the “its only available as an extension” line cuts any ice here. It’s designed that way.
    I didn’t get Firefox at an early adopter. But at v1.5 I think it’s coming close to opera is quality, and developing a lot faster. If they hit their roadmap, this summer’s Firefox in August/Sept may well be the point I feel it’s passed Opera for good. Things that encourage that view are the emphasis on shielding users from bad or malicious extensions, and on core stability and security.
    As for the guy who said “Opera has IRC”. Great. Can I have a browser that browses with more focus and stability, and leave IRC to XChat?