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From the editor: What's new in the new

Welcome to version 4.0. It looks different from the old The home page has a new, visual design built around big stories, hot topics and the latest news and entertainment.

For some of you, the changes will be a relief. It has been more than four years since the last redesign of The digital world has changed a lot since then. Mobile, social and video have all become a bigger part of our digital lives. needed a refresh.

For others, the changes may be jarring – and may take a while to get used to. Hang in there. We packed the new site with features that, as they become familiar, will make browsing easier.

Know It Now. Most of the time when you go to on your phone, the first thing you see will be Know It Now. (And most of the time it will one of the top items on the tablet and laptop-desktop versions of Know It Now is aimed at those moments when you are standing in line or riding an elevator or (we won't tell) peeking at your phone while waiting for a meeting to end. If a story is important or urgent or trending or just interesting, we will put it in Know It Now. Check back often. Know It Now will be updated constantly from early morning into the evening.

Story packages. We wanted to make it easy to find related stories. New story packages for big stories and hot topics put all the angles and context in one place. Want more? Click on the red topic label for a list of related stories.

How to find everything. Can’t find what you want on the home page – or looking for a particular category? Click the three bars in the upper left-hand corner of every page to get links to anything from death notices to the latest local news to dining reviews. News sites from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Politico to CNN have all switched to the three bars for navigation. (Among web designers, the three bars are affectionately called the hamburger.) The three bars make navigation the same on all devices. You don't have to learn two or three different ways to find what you want.

News alerts. When big news breaks, a red bar will appear at the top of the screen with a quick headline and, as soon as possible, a link to everything we know as the story develops.

Adjusts to your screen. We built the new using responsive web design, so it works on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops – the same experience on all. If you are on a laptop or desktop computer, you can play with the responsive feature. Grab one side of your browser and drag it toward the other edge so the browser window narrows. You can watch the site shrink first to tablet size and then to phone size.

More to come. The Buffalo News iPhone and iPad apps aren't changing – yet. We are building a new iPhone app that will adopt the new design and add functionality beyond what we can do with a mobile site. It should be available later this fall.

We also are planning big changes to articles pages (they get only a small improvement in this version) and photo galleries. Stay tuned for more details.

Spend time prowling around the new site. If you are a new user – or haven't visited for a while – sample the new without limits during our relaunch. Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below or email

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