Microsoft Provides a Roadmap for PDF in the New Edge

Posted on June 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 13 Comments

While the new Microsoft Edge is a dramatically better browser than its legacy Edge predecessor, it falls short in one key area: PDF support. But that’s going to change, according to a newly-released roadmap for PDF features in the new Edge.

“Over the course of last year, we worked hard on building a powerful PDF reader that fulfills the needs of compatibility, reliability[,] and security for you and your organization,” Microsoft’s Aditi Gangwar writes. “The feedback we received from you with the Edge Insider builds has been really encouraging.”

Um, I doubt that. But Gangwar does provide a long list of PDF features that Microsoft is currently working on. Which, when you think about it, neatly highlights how bare-boned this functionality is right now.

Smoother scroll experience: Microsoft is bringing the smooth scroll of legacy Edge to the modern browser.

Table of Contents: You will soon be able to view the contents of PDF files and navigate through the file with the same.

Highlight mode: In this mode, you will be able to create highlights directly by selecting text, and without the need of clicking on a highlight button.

Text notes: With this, you will be able to add your own notes to text in PDF files. These notes will travel with the PDF.

Protected PDF files: Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) adds a layer of security to your documents. It ensures that only the users who have certain permissions as view, copy, annotate can take those actions on the file. Hence, no matter where the document goes, the data of your organization remains secure.

Viewing labels of protected files: You will soon be able to view the sensitivity labels

Viewing MIP files protected in other tenants: This will enable you to view the files protected in other organizations, or in other tenants in the organization.

Digital signatures: View and validate certificate based Digital signatures on signed files.

Accessibility improvements: With this, you will be able to fill PDF forms using screen readers and navigate through PDF documents using caret mode.

Additionally, Microsoft is considering adding the following features based on user feedback: Fill PDF forms, use Ink on PDF files with colors and stroke width of your choice, create highlights to attention to different parts of the file, view PDFs in Dark mode, open MIP and Information Rights Management (IRM) protected PDF and view permissions, add accessibility support including keyboard accessibility, screen reader support, and capability to view PDFs in high contrast mode, and Read Aloud (which is actually already available in Canary).

If you’d like to vote on any of those features, you can do so at the original post or by typing ALT + SHIFT + I while using the new Edge.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Microsoft Provides a Roadmap for PDF in the New Edge”

  1. kevinbouwman

    I don't understand having integrated PDF reader functionality in browsers. I always turn it off and make Adobe Reader the default. I prefer the consistency of reading/marking up PDFs in Adobe Reader no matter the browser I am using. I also much prefer Adobe's PDF search functionality and page layout flexibility.

  2. kcarson97404

    The PDF reader in the original Edge was so good that I pretty much stopped using Adobe Reader, and just used Edge as my default reader. However the Credge version is missing almost all of that functionality. I wish they would just replicate the feature set from the original Edge.

  3. jdawgnoonan

    I don't like Adobe Reader and do not install it on any computer unless I have no choice. I wish Microsoft would just bite the bullet and make Adobe Reader as irrelevant on Windows as it is on other operating systems.

  4. BigM72

    I already have Ink on PDF files with colors and stroke width of my choice on the new Chredge.


    I'm hoping those MIP upgrades mean the Azure Information Viewer can be dispensed with - that's a terrible application.

  5. hrlngrv

    READING PDFs may be OK in old Edge, maybe someday in new Edge. However, for copying from a PDF to paste into Excel I'll still take Foxit Reader.

  6. prifici

    Great, sounds good to me. I use Chredge as my default PDF reader but then again my PDF reading needs are very minimal. More improvements are always welcome.

  7. reefer

    Still very rudimentary support for PDF in Edge Chromium. My PDF X app is gonna be with me a little while longer.

  8. lezmaka

    Anyone know if there's any chance we'll get the ability to do control-tab to access tabs in most recently used order?

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