Opera 8.5 ” Fit To Window

If you haven’t tried Opera yet, there is one more reason to do so. Opera 8.5, just released, is now ad-free — no more registration required. While this browser is famous for is “Zoom” feature, I’ve found something I think is worth mentioning: the Fit to window width mode, in View menu.

This may not be new, but I found it today. Fit to window width special mode will compromise the design of a web page to make it fit the current window width. This is a combinaison of three effects:

Font-size reduction

As you shrink the window, the text becomes smaller. But it does seem to respect a minimum size so it stay readable.

Box resizing

As you shrink the window, CSS boxes shrink too, a little like if they had a max-width: 100% rule. This is enforced whatever the style sheet says.

This also include images: if an image is to take larger than its container, it will shrink.

Small-screen rendering

Opera has a special “small screen” mode — used in their mobile and handheld products — which has been available for quite some time by selecting Small Screen from the View menu.

When in small screen mode, Opera first check for a style sheet with the handheld media type. If no style exist for that media, the content is linearized, some styles like color are preserved, and text font and size are made all the same to fit the screen.

When you shrink the window below a certain threshold, small-screen mode is used to display the page. If you shrink the window even more, unless you have made a handheld style sheet, small-screen mode remove all the remaining style (color, margins, borders) and show you linearized unstyled content.

Final Results

While I never expected anything great with most websites, I’m still impressed by the result which is fine most of the time. I won’t go deep with screenshots and analysis however, so feel free to experiment by yourself.

If you do experiment, you could try to look at my site for an example of a handheld-aware style sheet. Beside Opera’s own website, they are pretty hard to find.


  • © 2003–2017 Michel Fortin.