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Opera Desktop Team


Looking Sharp

, ,

Alongside the regular development of Kestrel we have had a separate project to modernize our look and feel. The new skin is in many ways a prelude to Peregrine, giving you a sneak peak into the future...

If one word should describe the new look, it would be Sharp. We wanted to create a skin with clean lines and clear icons, inspired by the intuitive symbols you can expect at an airport and in line with our Scandinavian heritage. This also better matches the look and feel we introduced on the Wii and refine in Opera 9.5 for Windows Mobile.

The color scheme of the user interface is designed to not steal focus away from your browsing, but being available when you need it and clearly indicate activity (stop button turning red) or security elements.

The quality and attention to detail in the browser itself should be reflected in the look and feel. That is why we have let ourselves be inspired by high-end and professional audio/video equipment for the backgrounds, buttons and tabs.

In the default setup we have chosen to include a button to open the panels, since they are far too useful to be hidden. Also, on the panel selector we have added a "+" button to easily add more panels or remove the ones you don't use. This makes Opera easy to use for a beginner while making it natural to grow with the product and discover more advanced features for the rest of us :cheers:

The New Tab button has been moved to the right of the last tab. IE7 users will be familiar with this, so the transition to Opera is natural (before you learn Ctrl+T or double-clicking the tab bar...). As you can see, the button has a sharp edge, mirrored by the closed tabs button, a hint of speed and performance.

We will of course offer the classic skin for download for those of us who need a bit of time to get used to the new :angel:

Nice Graphics ™ by Pål Syvertsen, Flott Altså

WARNING: These are development snapshots: they contain the latest changes, but they also have severe known issues, including crashes and data loss situations. In fact, they may not work at all.

We are using a new signing key for the online root store and for EV data - the previous keys were test keys. Due to the update, EV will not work when upgrading from an older builds supporting EV until you perform a manual check for updates and restart Opera (or wait until the automatic check for updates kicks in).

Known issues:
  • Dragonfly does not work when JavaScript is disabled.
  • All the search icons are Opera icons
  • Translate menu doesn't work
  • Panel dropdown selector doesn't work

  • Fixed links in the fraud protection dialog
  • Fixed crash when saving mhtml files
  • Fixed random crasher when going back in history
  • Fixed moving videos on youtube when hovering tabs
  • Made form submit work properly in widgets
  • Fixed bug where plugins would continue streaming after closing a tab
  • XHR - Fixed calling of calling abort() from readyState 2 or 3
  • More fixes to xpath
  • Fixed viewing of feeds with slow loading images
  • Fixed problem with duplication of bookmarks when using Opera Link
  • Fixed issue where the integrated Dragonfly window would be too tall
  • Added three default speed dial entries
  • Windows: Fixed the default Save and Open dialog folders
  • UNIX: Fixed import of mail on when using the QT filechooser
  • UNIX: Improved finding of icons for download dialog
  • UNIX: Fixed filename when saving URL's

Windows Classic

Polish, stability and other thingsMalware protection



By d4n3, # 5. June 2008, 19:42:05

thank, downloading and testing :smile:

By webtax, # 5. June 2008, 19:50:04

New default skin at last! Thats good, new users will like it!
Maybe you could make whole installer red?

By Whut, # 5. June 2008, 19:52:38

Overall the skin is nice and clean, but I find some issues:
- the icons are plain black, that bad for perception
- the tabs close button is too small
- the new "New tab" button is not removable from the tab bar
- the panels highlight on hover has low contrast against the panel title
- a selected panel's title is not visible because it's black on black
- selected items in panel are barely distinguishable from the other not selected items
- the reload button is too odd for the skin, it stands out too much, because it's a full green square. It should be only a icon of some sort.
- the back/forward buttons should be highlighted because those are the most used buttons
- etc...

By xErath, # 5. June 2008, 19:54:27

thx 8)

By Irontiger, # 5. June 2008, 19:54:28

It's sooooo big :wink:
(icon size - 40%)

I prefer micro !

By Mars21, # 5. June 2008, 19:59:26

what about opera 10, won't that need a new skin again so that people see that there is a new version?

By stoffix, # 5. June 2008, 19:59:58

:up: Cool new skins thanks developers. :coffee:

By intelimac20inch, # 5. June 2008, 20:00:10


Originally posted by xErath:

- a selected panel's title is not visible because it's black on black
er, were and how? by default, the panel selector buttons don't show text, so I'm not sure what you are looking at.

By Rijk, # 5. June 2008, 20:01:51

@xErath: Interesting: The Selected panels title is *white* on black in a correct installation...

We are planning to add a little bit more color in addition to the reload button so it will stand out less. Selected elements in the panel depend on the OS highlight color, we are aware of this concern.

By borg, # 5. June 2008, 20:02:41

I like the change but i dont like so much... i think you can make better!!!


By romanex, # 5. June 2008, 20:06:08

thanks for the new snapshot.

By lamarca, # 5. June 2008, 20:08:31

I cant see the difference between an active tab and an "off" tab. Ok, i can but its almost the same colors...

Ok bye!

By romanex, # 5. June 2008, 20:09:51

"Match our scandinavian heritage"

Bloody hell, it's a bit grim, isn't it? Reminds me of Aberdeen in winter - grey and gloomy. :frown:

I'll stick to Marina-3.0 for now, but there is some interesting thinking evident here.... :right:

PS:- I love what you've been doing with the side-panel. About time that got streamlined! :up:

By GrantTLC, # 5. June 2008, 20:14:37

Empty site (javascript redirection not interpreted), working in FF:


By sacharja, # 5. June 2008, 20:17:43

hehe not first :D
Thanks for this !

By Doliprane, # 5. June 2008, 20:22:19

There's something wrong with a color of the toolbar with menus (File, Edit, etc) - when I change the color theme, the color of this toolbar changes after the next change or doesn't change at all. Hard to say, but something strange it going on with it.
I have Mandriva Linux 2008.1 and opera-9.50-2021.gcc4-qt4.i386.rpm.

And why the whole window of opera is not black, only the part with tabs? It looks strange...

By hailie, # 5. June 2008, 20:22:26

Argh! Now I know why the panel icons were always small... A complete new design. Wow! :smile: But what shall I do now with my download status? I've never used the Transfer tab but looked at the status message below the large download icon of the panel. It's gone... gone... gone... rip

By AxxL, # 5. June 2008, 20:22:54

I too, like some of the thinking, but the address bar is really too dark. Makes the content area look much smaller and is harder to read.

By johnnysaucepn, # 5. June 2008, 20:23:31

Too much black...

By adas, # 5. June 2008, 20:23:55

I can see that it could use some work, especially the colour of selected tabs, but I really like it. Nice work.

I've been waiting for new button styles for ages, Opera was starting to look aged compared to FF3 and IE7. I always prefer the default theme to skins anyway.

I can't wait for the final now.:D

By ekhaatvensters, # 5. June 2008, 20:24:31

Personally, I don't like the Vista look that everyone is suddenly jumping on. Every time Microsoft comes out with a new look, everyone else has to jump on the bandwagon. The same thing happened when XP came out and then everyone had to have the XP look. Even KDE4 is doing this now with the Vista look. I do not like black looking skins and I hate having a big black bar across the top of my screen. I much preferred the old classic skin and I will probably revert to that as soon as I figure out how.

I do, however, like everything about the skin that is not black, like the grey metallic background looks slick and even the buttons don't look TOO bad, but they could use a bit more color. I really think that the < and << or > and >> buttons should be easily distinguishable from each other. They look way too much the same how they are now and many users will be prone to accidentally click on the other one. If I didn't use my mouse to go forward and backward, I may do that as well.

I'm not sure if I like the new tab button being on the far right either. Just because that's what IE7 users do, once again, doesn't mean that everyone has to mimic Microsoft. Opera is not IE and I don't want it to be IE. I ask for a little bit more originality instead of making Opera more Microsoft-like.

By mikerobinson, # 5. June 2008, 20:25:30

The new skin is a great addition.. but it's too black I think and way too big. Don't like the new icons on windows native, some of them are cool but in general they are kind of boring :frown:

Still, great to have a new snapshot :smile: Looking forward to the next release already^^

I can't get rid of the "add tab" icon... Bah ^^

By eisteh, # 5. June 2008, 20:26:53

Thanks, great build and new skin! But I agree that you should make bigger tab close buttons. There is also problem with new installer (polish translation) in one place text is too long:

Empty site (javascript redirection not recognised), working in FF

Works fine here, Win XP SP 3

By Morphdreamer, # 5. June 2008, 20:27:52

is it just me or has the mac native skin gone all weird? it used to match pretty well and I never really noticed that it's not using the same stuff as other osx apps, but now the tab bar is not only a lot bigger than before, it's gone all dark grey (black text on dark grey, yuck!) while the status bar and address bar are still light grey. now it stands out like a sore thumb :frown:

By nikkinikki, # 5. June 2008, 20:28:12

Sweeeet as candy!

By nu4a, # 5. June 2008, 20:31:56

I like the shininess, the new tab button and the add panels button...

But the problems are:
- every icon is black... I understand the reasoning behind it and this works well for the icons in the address bar but it looks badly for the icons in menus or in the panels. Everything's black and monochromatic so it looks kinda morbid, especially in notes panel and bookmarks. I kinda get the feeling of using Win 3.1 on a black and white monitor :smile:

Also, the icons in the side panels and the tools menu are now harder to differentiate between each other, since i cant rely on color recognition... I think a splash of color in these icons would not hurt...

The address bar, on the other hand, is very nice visually.

- the close buttons are waay too small. They don't serve their function very well since hitting a 20x15 pixel target is a problem even for experienced users, much less for regular users and/or problematic input devices (trackpads, ball mice etc.). I know there are other ways to close a tab, but this is neither obvious nor intuitive to the regular user. So the close buttons should definitely be bigger...

Also, since everything else in the tab bar (icons, page titles, new page button) is middle-aligned, the close button looks a bit out of place visually...

- The dark black tab bar is too contrasted with everything else so it does steal focus... There should be a maybe less extreme color theme, but of the ones that are already in appearance (blue, indigo, gold, etc.), all of them suffer from being too saturated. A nice pale blue or silver theme would do nicely, anything with low saturation and contrast.

- the text on an inactive tab has too little contrast with the black background.

- the height of the address bar and tab bar could be smaller... About 10px in each are now used only for padding... While this may make sense visually, it has no functional purpose (esp. since the close button is so small). So maybe if you could trim it down a little bit or just offer an alternative skin?

- I don't think you should disable the panel toggle (panel selector) by default. It's a great way to open panels and probably easier than clicking on a button. By disabling it by default, less regular users will find this great feature...

- there should be a way to remove the new tab button

By d4n3, # 5. June 2008, 20:36:34

I'm not too fond of the new mac skin - the older one blended in with the system, this one kinda stands out.

Nice to finally see some visual changes, though! :yes:

By zyph, # 5. June 2008, 20:37:00

opera_9.50-2021.gcc4-qt4_i386.deb on Debian lenny
sometimes hangs after a flashvideo on youtube for example finished playing and then no mouse gestures work (keyboard-shortcuts work) and no other sites load for usually ~30-60 seconds at which point all actions done during that time are executed rapidly.

Also, as said before, the tabs are too dark, the close-buttons too small and the icons in the panels could use a bit of colour.

By maaae25, # 5. June 2008, 20:37:25

I hope this is not being pushed on all platforms? I do not think it will work well on all operating systems as each one has a distinct look and feel of their own. I hope there will be variations in the skin to fit more naively with the different operating systems’ styles.

This Sharp-thingy will probably work well on Windows Vista, but I do not see it working on KDE under Linux.

By Aleksandersen, # 5. June 2008, 20:38:13

The ability to toggle panels when clicking on the "hidden" bar on the left has been removed? (you know, when you stick the mouse the edge of the screen)

edit: weird, seems broken again; was working with latest (1997.gcc4-shared-qt3_i386)

By Hypezor, # 5. June 2008, 20:41:22

I mean no offense, here. I am not a UI designer nor do I know anything about UI development on the Mac (or any other platform) but I do know what a good one *looks like*. The Mac version is looking a little ... um ... unfinished? It is very similar to previous version (which I thought was an improvement over 9.25's look, btw) with the new buttons stuck in. It's very flat looking and not very, well, finished looking. Is there more to come for the Mac? Maybe take a cue from Adobe's CS3 interface? More shading? Crisper? With Core Graphics and the abilities of a Mac in general there should be enough ways to add those little details that make all the difference. I'm not saying you need to go 'over the top' with it, but like most things on a Mac, God is on the details.

Just my initial impressions and my 2¢. I mean no offense to the Opera UI guys. I love Opera itself, and this UI version is much better than previous versions of Opera, it's just, well...ya know... as long as you're at it... :whistle:

By MrFrodo, # 5. June 2008, 20:44:07

@ Aleksandersen
Why wouldn't it work under KDE?
Once the close-buttons are bigger and there's more contrast in the tabbar, it should be a very nice skin.

By maaae25, # 5. June 2008, 20:44:12

@Hypezor: panel toggle wasn't removed, but it was turned off by default. I think this is a mistake, since it is a great feature. You can still turn it back on in customize toolbars, but this will probably not be noticed by regular users.

By d4n3, # 5. June 2008, 20:46:05

@ Hypezor
The pannel toggle is disabled by default now, for whatever reason.
In Appearance ->Panels you can enable it.

By maaae25, # 5. June 2008, 20:46:55

Please make a small verion of this theme the size of the tabs ar HUGE they eat alot of space and space is precios if u run at 1024 x 768 41.93% of peoples use this resolution if we look at the marketshare. Please let us be able to put boomkarks at right side of the menu (after the "help" menu) wich is EMPTY, lost of space.

And also if u try to drag and drop a tab at that empty space another instance of opera will open in the background with the the tab u just drag on bar in it and the old window of opera remain emty with no tab open.

By liviuf, # 5. June 2008, 20:48:25

The ability to toggle panels when clicking on the "hidden" bar on the left has been removed? (you know, when you stick the mouse the edge of the screen)

You have to re-enable it.

By SiMcarD, # 5. June 2008, 20:48:44


Originally posted by hailie:

And why the whole window of opera is not black, only the part with tabs? It looks strange...

Totally agree. It looks like as if two different skins have been combined.

Originally posted by d4n3:

but it looks badly for the icons in menus or in the panels. Everything's black and monochromatic so it looks kinda morbid, especially in notes panel and bookmarks.


Nevertheless it's nice to see a new and more modern skin. I can see a lot of potential in it, it just needs more work and more colors.

By MetalRaise, # 5. June 2008, 20:50:30

Thanks ! I was looking in Preferences, not Appearance P:

By Hypezor, # 5. June 2008, 20:50:38

By the way, I dislike the movement to the right when I'm clicking a bookmark in my Personal Bar.

By MetalRaise, # 5. June 2008, 20:53:51

I agree with xErath on his comments.

I like the vast majority of the changes in the new skin. There are lots of really streamlined changes that gives the whole theme a slick look.

The tab bar though stands out. I find it harder to spot the selected tab. I don't agree with the change to make the tabs fatter and the close button so small it's tough to hit in a hurry.

Changes that makes less of the tab title visible must also be considered a no-no. Especially with a bunch of open tabs this can really make a difference.

In general I also have a hard time with black or really dark skins. Something brighter along the lines of the classic skin, or something just plain silvery would be a huge relief to my eyes at least.

Apart from the issues with the new tab button being hard to remove and causing issues when you actually do remove it, I overall think it's a nice step in the right direction.

Good work :smile:

By Hypnotoad, # 5. June 2008, 20:54:12

hey, this is not usable!

people must always refind new tab button! and what i must to do if i will open 16- 20 tabs?


close button.. is it so necessary when we all use middle button for close tab...
browser can count "how often i close by middle button of mouse"/"how often i close by close button" and hide this button when comes time

By gr1b0k, # 5. June 2008, 20:55:10

A beautiful skin - an artistic work. Thank you Pål Syvertsen, Flott Altså :smile:

Does it make sence to make my own? I afraid, it does not. :D

'< auuuuuuuuuuu

By zoquete, # 5. June 2008, 20:55:36

Awesome new skin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scrollbar is too light for me. :hat:

By Cyro, # 5. June 2008, 20:57:30

Greate UI!!! Thanks!!!!!

By consalt, # 5. June 2008, 20:58:17

I find the tabs very large. Please make a "compact" version of the skin for those of us who like to keep the chrome to an absolute minimum? Thanks :smile: Otherwise, I like the clean look.

By GreyWyvern, # 5. June 2008, 20:59:24

I'll stick with Tango, thank you very much.

By mrmass, # 5. June 2008, 21:01:40

The skin is nice, but too dark and the tab bar should be smaller.
BTW I was just waiting for a new look :smile:

Originally posted by d4n3:

there should be a way to remove the new tab button


By babox, # 5. June 2008, 21:02:34

Mac version is absolutely ugly :cry: Theme is dark and depressing. Blue text on dark tabs is hard to read.

You've thrown usability out of the window by banning icon color of icons.

...except reload icon which incredibly stands out like a most important button ever and screems "please recycle!" :confused: Is it some kind of Earth Day and April fools joke in one?

Icon that is symbol for "Customize" in OS X in Opera is used for opening Panels!

Status bar at the bottom looks like windows' chin (if you wanted to repllicate Finder's bottom bar, you've got gradient wrong and haven't applied white 'shadow' for recessed font effect).

The color scheme of the user interface is designed to not steal focus away from your browsing

Majority of pages I visit (and I don't visit MySpace) are on white background. With white content, the graveyard color theme does stand out very much and does steal focus from the page, much more than previous skin version.

I'm absolutely disappointed. Previous skin was quite decent and this is huge step backward.


By porneL, # 5. June 2008, 21:02:35

Quite nice skin :smile: But still I'm unable to find option to prevent showing this new address-sugestion bar [with bookmarks], while typing address. How to do this?

By manwe_, # 5. June 2008, 21:02:52

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