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Opera 8.5

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In our earlier Web browsers roundup, we stated that Opera 8.0.2 was not worth spending $39 to remove the annoying ads that came with the free version. But Opera Software has changed its tune: There is no longer a paid and a free version. At the low, low cost of zilch, Opera is a very good browser.

Opera does still have some interface quirks. For example, all the other browsers we looked at let you press command-T to open a new tab, while the same set of keystrokes in Opera opens a bookmark window. And in Opera 8.0.2, there were pop-up windows that told you the browser had blocked a pop-up window. (The coincidence is not lost on us.) Those annoying notices are now gone. As we stated in our comparative review, Opera includes several customizable search tools and shortcuts to help make Web browsing easier.

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Interface quirks aside, Opera’s customizable search tools and shortcuts make it a worthy browser, especially now that it’s ad-free and premium-free.

[ Jeffery Battersby is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]

Now both ad- and fee-free, Opera is a very good Web browser choice.
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