Opera 45: user interface and ad-blocking improvements

Though it’s not mentioned until close to the end of the page, a recent announcement on the Opera blog entitled ‘Opera is Reborn‘ is actually about a specific new version of the browser: 45.

Opera 45 includes numerous changes to the user interface, mostly related to aesthetics: colours, backgrounds, icons, and animation. The integrated ad-blocker now reloads pages automatically when ad blocking is switched on and off. Social messaging software (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram) is now integrated into the sidebar. Video performance is improved slightly on some hardware. And you’ll now see warnings below password and credit card fields on web sites that don’t support encryption.

Many of Opera 45’s changes come from the experimental browser Neon, which Opera released a few months ago to test some ideas and elicit user feedback.

You can peruse the full change log for more information. That log includes changes to development and pre-release versions as well.

Don’t use Edge to print or create PDF files

A bizarre bug in Microsoft’s Edge web browser is baffling users. Depending on the selected printer and other factors, attempting to print a PDF file, or use Edge’s ‘Print to PDF’ function, will cause random changes in the output. The changes are difficult to detect: we’re not talking about the usual kind of printer garbage. For example, users are reporting shifted cell numbers, added words and symbols, and substitution of words and characters.

If you’re printing invitations to a neighbourhood barbecue, this issue is unlikely to cause any serious problems, but what if you’re printing legal, medical, or architectural documents?

Microsoft hasn’t said much about this yet, but according to at least one bug report, they are at least aware of the problem. Which is good, because Microsoft just announced that Windows 10 is running on 500 million devices; Edge is the default browser on all those devices, and Print to PDF is the default printer on many.

My advice? If you use Windows 10, don’t use Edge at all if you can avoid it: try Firefox or Chrome. If you must use Edge, use a different PDF reader to view and print PDF files. Adobe’s Reader is free and actually works as expected.