Opera Font Rendering improves text in Opera and Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 4, 2014
Updated • Aug 21, 2018
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions, Opera

Depending on which web browser you use, which operating system you run, and which video card your computer uses, font rendering may either be totally awesome, quite ok, or not tolerable.

There are numerous fixes for font rendering issues, some work, some don't, and companies have released numerous patches and updates in order to improve the text quality of their products.

Microsoft did update core system fonts back in 2011 for example, and Mozilla updated Firefox some time ago to fix rendering issues in the browser.

While those may have improved the text quality for some users, others are still reporting that font rendering is broken in the browser they are using.

Update: Opera Font Rendering is no longer available. Alternatives are available and include Font Rendering Enhancer or Font Expander for Google Chrome. End

Opera Font Rendering

The Opera extension Opera Font Rendering by thunder13 aims to change that for the browser and for Google Chrome.

Since Opera moved to Chromium as its core, most extensions that work in the client do also work in Google Chrome, and vice verse.

The extension works automatic once installed. According to its developer, it brings darker and clearer text to almost every page that is loaded in the web browser.

From a technical point of view, it seems to apply anti-aliasing using CSS to the text that is displayed. Here are two screenshots that visualize how text is rendered in the Opera browser without and with the extension.

Default text rendering in Opera


Same rendering with extension installed


The text looks a bit sharper and crisper on the lower screenshot if you ask me. While I'm no font expert, it seems to have the desired effect.

If you want to install the extension in the Google Chrome browser, you need to do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Add to Opera button and select save link as to download the extension to the local system.
  2. Rename the .nex file extension to Chrome's .crx format.
  3. Open chrome://extensions in Google's browser and drag and drop the renamed extension file to it.
  4. Follow the installation instructions.

Note: If you are running Chrome Stable or Beta on Windows, you cannot install the extension this way as Google has blocked the option to do so in those versions for Windows.

One option that you have is to extract the extension on your local system using a program like 7-Zip, enable developer mode on the chrome://extensions page, and select the "load unpacked extensions" options to load the unpacked folder instead.

Here are the results in the Chrome browser.

Without extension installed


With the extension installed


Please note that results may and probably will vary on your system.

Still, if you thing Chrome's or Opera's font rendering could be crisper, try the extension and see if it improves the text quality in your web browser of choice.

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  1. Mike M said on May 18, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’m a big fan of Opera’s RSS reader, but I agree it could do with some work! Having the option to detach the Feeds list from the mail reader would be a great start.

    You can however change the update frequency by right clicking a feed in the panel and going to properties.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Mike you are right about the update frequency. It is not really reasonable for me with hundreds of feeds though. Is not there an option to change the frequency for all feeds at once?

  2. operaised said on May 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    For updating all the feeds at once the only option that comes to mind is
    editing the “index.ini” mail file when opera is not working (remember to do a backup before attempting this) )and doing a multiple replace on the “Update Frequency” line, you can find one feed with the update frequency you want (Update Frequency=10800 is three hours) and one with the old update frequency and multiple replace all those values.

    Filters are called “Labels” now since Opera 11 I think, you can again right click on them, select properties and set the settings you want.

    As for autohiding read messages you just depress the “Show read” button in the toolbar above the feed view, if its not there right click the toolbar and select Customize -> Appearance -> Buttons -> Mail view and drag that button on the toolbar.

    And a word of warning, Opera for some time now uses a single file per message (because antivirus programs sometimes block or delete the whole mbs file when finding a virus – the previous version did the weekly per account so you could theoretically lose the whole month of an account). It is however not very efficient and can cause you defrag program to take much longer to finish a defrag.To return to the old type mail store you can enter opera:config#UserPrefs|DefaultMailStoreType in the address bar and select 1 as the value. Do this before subscribing to any feeds because any old feeds already subscribing will retain the previous format.

  3. RP_Joe said on June 15, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I have hundreds of feeds in my Opera reader and I love it.
    If the mail is not configured (no email account) then there is a button on the read toolbar that says “Update all”. But when you config the email client, this button disappears and a spacer appears. I have not figured how to get it back. I do not see any “update all’ buttons anymore.

    Opera 11.11 ,Build 2109, XP, no plugins.

    PS This browser is so far ahead of any others. Amazing.

  4. Feedbro said on April 18, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Check out Feedbro: fast, easy & feature rich feed reader as #Chrome extension to replace Google Reader.
    Feedbro has an integrated Rule Engine for filtering and highlighting, tag support and many advanced other features.
    Feedbro can also automatically convert Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages into feeds and has super-easy feed autodiscovery builtin.

    Feedbro also has Opera RSS reader style 3-column view (+ Google Reader style views).


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