Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

New Version of Opera Browser

The newest version of my preferred web browser, Opera, has just been released. In the spirit of sharing cool things with others, here's why I use Opera, and why other people might want to try it.

I've been using Opera for years, since 3.x or so. I started using it because it was fast, much faster than IE, and because it had a lot of keyboard shortcuts—I find computer work much faster if I take my hands off the keyboard as little as possible. I quickly found that I really liked being able to toggle images, turn off a web page's colors and fonts, or zoom in and out, all from the keyboard ("Aaaah! A web page with flashing animated .gifs, red text on a fuschia background, and 6 point font!"). Since then, Opera's been early to adopt a lot of now-standard things—tabbed browsing, blocking unwanted popups, mouse gestures, things like that. And it's still very fast (fastest for Windows, actually).

The new version has simplified the interface considerably, in response to comments that its many features were presented confusingly. It's got voice recognition, small-screen rendering, and a bunch of other larger features. Personally, the new things I'm most excited about are two small keyboard shortcuts: (1) paste-and-go via ctrl-D (if I've copied a URL from a text e-mail, for instance, I can just tab over to Opera, hit ctrl-D, and voilà, the page starts loading), and (2) undo closed pages, either by ctrl-alt-z, for the last page closed, or from clicking a little trash can that lists the most recently closed pages. Little things, but they have turned out to be indispensible to my daily browsing. ("Fit to window width", which gets rid of horizontal scrolling, is pretty darn neat too.)

(Yes, I've tried Firefox, back when GMail wouldn't work with Opera (it does now, fully). Yes, Firefox is a perfectly good browser. I prefer not to have to download a bunch of extensions to get my browser to work the way I want to. This is a personal preference and browser holy wars in comments will be frowned upon.)

It's free with ads or $39 without (there are student discounts). Why not take a look at its features and give it a try? Feel free to bug me questions or let me know what you think.

Tags: recommendations, tech

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