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Opera’s Quick Download Feature

By May 9, 2010 January 19th, 2014 Tips & Tricks

There’s a particular feature I’ve always liked in Opera. I’ve seen it implemented in slightly different ways within other browsers. Let’s say I wanted to download my blog’s sitemap.xml file, and I wanted to do this strictly from within the browser. When I visit the link:

http://mattrefghi.com/sitemap.xml

My browser doesn’t download the file, it merely displays it. This happens because browsers know how to display XML, and they figure it makes more sense to show you the content – rather than initiate a download. The behavior is different with “.zip” files, for example. Browsers usually initiate a download when they are pointed to a URL that ends in “.zip”. Downloading the physical XML is therefore slightly trickier. In Opera, I can just paste that exact URL into to the Quick Download box at the top of the Downloads page. When I press ENTER, it automatically downloads the physical XML file – rather than trying to display it.

Opera's quick download feature allows me to download files without first viewing them in the browser

I’ve used this countless times over the years. The same is possible in other browsers, but it usually isn’t as quick as Opera’s implementation. For example, in Google Chrome, I’d first have to view the page, click “Control The Current Page” button, and then “Save Page As”. I would then get a” File Save” dialog, which allows me to change the name, or simply press OK to save the file.

In Google Chrome, the Save Page As feature lets you save the physical file

Certainly not as quick as Opera… and what if the XML file was massive? I’d have to wait for the browser to first display it, then I’d be able to download the physical file.

One more reason to keep Opera installed on my computer.