Living on the (New) Edge: PDF

Posted on April 14, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 8 Comments

The new Edge delivers the basic PDF functionality most might expect, but missing features from classic Edge could be an issue in the short term. But Microsoft does intend for the new Edge to achieve parity on PDF functionality with classic Edge over time.

We’ll see how that evolves. For now, the PDF functionality in the new Edge will seem familiar, or slightly lacking, depending on what browser you were previously using. That’s especially true if you used any classic Edge-specific features.

Consider the options that are available when you view a PDF in classic Edge.

These are, from left to right, Page navigation, Search, Zoom out, Zoom in, Rotate right, Full screen, Fit to page/Fit to width, Page view, Read aloud, Add notes, Print, Save, and Save As. Some of these are truly unique to Edge, including Page view, which lets you choose between different layouts and whether to enable continuous scrolling; Read aloud, and Add notes.

Not surprisingly, then, those are the key features that are missing when you view a PDF in the new Edge.

Here, we see the following options: Page navigation, Zoom out, Zoom in, Rotate right, Fit to width/Fit to page, Print, and Save.

Aside from Page view, Read aloud, and Add notes, there are a few other missing options, though most are really just hidden. Search is still available via the CTRL + F keyboard shortcut, for example. And Full screen is likewise still available from its own keyboard shortcut, which is F11.

On a related note, Chromium includes a built-in PDF printing capability that classic Edge lacked because Print to PDF is part of Windows 10. It’s unclear if the new Edge will bring forward the Chromium-based PDF printing feature for non-Windows 10 platforms. But in the current pre-release builds, Microsoft Print to PDF—the Windows 10 feature—is the only option available.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Living on the (New) Edge: PDF”

  1. remc86007

    The current PDF reader and the freaking curved tabs are my biggest complaints with the new Edge so far.


    Also, the battery life/cpu usage make it impossible to use on my laptop on the go, but I'm hopeful they will fix that.

  2. pachi

    Have not tried the New Edge for PDF yet, but considering how bad the old one is in terms of rendering speed and NOT able to read comments, I can't see uch of a downgrade even being possible.



  3. Care

    Do you know if they're planning on having it render non-DRM EPUBs? Just wondering, with books gone from the store.

  4. IanYates82

    Paul, my Edgium has "Save to PDF" quite distinct from the "Microsoft Print to PDF" printer. This is the same as what I get in Chrome, Opera, etc.


    I'm on Edge version 74.1.96.24 (Official build) dev (64-bit) 

    That's the current "dev" build.


    I may have misunderstood your article, but it sounds like you thought the only way to get a PDF was via the "Microsoft Print to PDF" option...

  5. bishopcomp

    I liked the pen button since I'm using a surface and can mark up pdfs. don't see that in the new edge.

  6. jdmp10

    I've never cared for any browser's built-in PDF readers but classic Edge undoubtedly is the most feature rich or feature complete built-in reader out of all the major browsers out there. Chromium Edge's reader obviously just mimics Chromes right now save for the iconography being wholly Microsoft.

  7. hrlngrv

    Most the the PDFs I use at work include tables I need to copy and paste into other applications. In my experience, Foxit Reader does a much better job of than than Edge or Adobe's own Acrobat Reader.

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