Vivaldi 1.7: screenshots and usability improvements
Vivaldi 1.7 Stable has just been released by the makers of the web browser for the supported operating systems Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
The new version of the Vivaldi browser introduces several new features and usability improvements to the browser.
The big new feature of the release is native support for creating screenshots. Other features improve the browser's usability, for instance by letting you change the visibility of extension icons in the browser, improving sound control for tabs, or by introducing a history panel.
Vivaldi 1.7 is the first stable release of the web browser in 2017.
Vivaldi 1.7 ships with a capture page icon in the browser's status bar that you can click on to take a screenshot.
You may capture full page screenshots or screenshots based on your selection. The screenshot height cap was raised to 30,000 from 20,000 in the release version.
Full page screenshots work exactly as you'd expect them to. Select to save the screenshot as a png or jpg file, or copy it to the clipboard, and hit capture page afterwards.
Vivaldi captures the entire page up to the height limit. This means that it scrolls automatically so that all of the page within the limit is captured.
The selection based screenshot offers the same options, but will capture the contents of a rectangle that you draw in the browser UI instead.
Vivaldi users who prefer to use the keyboard can map the capture actions to keyboard shortcuts so that they can be invoked using these instead. Load vivaldi://settings/keyboard/ to make these changes in the browser's preferences.
It feels a bit strange that you find the two capture area options under window, and the two capture page options under page. While I can see what Vivaldi did there, it would make more sense to bundle all four together.
There is also a new option to take an area screenshot when you jot down notes in the Vivaldi browser (as opposed to taking full page screenshots only before).
Vivaldi 1.7 Usability Improvements
The new version of the web browser ships with several usability improvements. These are all smaller changes that may have a huge impact depending on how you use the browser.
The first change improves the visibility of extension icons in the browser's main toolbar.
Vivaldi is based on Chromium, and a quick check shows that Google offers no options in Chrome to hide extension icons fully. The only option you get is to hide it in the menu so that the icon is no longer visible in the main toolbar.
You can right-click on any extension icon in the Vivaldi browser to hide it from the main toolbar (and menu). This is especially useful for extension icons that do not offer any functionality.
Vivaldi 1.7 ships with a new option. You need to enable it on vivaldi://settings/addressbar/ first by checking "show extensions visibility toggle". This adds a toggle button to the toolbar that you can activate to hide or show all extension icons displayed in the toolbar.
Another improvement comes to the browser's handling of audio. Vivaldi 1.7 gives you better control over muting some or all tabs in the browser.
You may toggle audio using quick commands, keyboard shortcuts, or using mouse gestures. I explained how you can set up each of the options here.
For instance, to use quick commands you would simply hit F2 in Vivaldi, and type mute to see all mute related commands the browser supports. Pick the one you want, and hit enter to execute the action.
Vivaldi, like Chrome and Firefox, flags sites that attempt to send passwords over HTTP. Look for the "not secure" notice next to the web address that indicates this.
Vivaldi wanted to launch a new history panel in Vivaldi 1.7, but decided against it. Expect it to launch with a future version of the web browser.
Last but not least, Startpage Search is a new search engine that ships with Vivaldi by default.
Vivaldi 1.7 is a lighter update to the browser when it comes to features. Part of the browser's user base will certainly find these features useful, and they are.
Still, 2017 is the year that Vivaldi has to demonstrate that the company can make the next step. Plans are underway to ship the first mobile version of Vivaldi, and also to ship the long awaited mail client.
These two, if done correctly, will certainly boost the appeal of the browser.