Windows 10 Tip: Read with Microsoft Edge

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 16 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Read with Microsoft Edge

While Microsoft Edge is obviously a traditional web browser in many ways, it is evolving to become more of a general purpose reading app with the Creators Update as well.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Reading view

If you’re familiar with Microsoft Edge in previous Windows 10 versions, you know that this browser offers an elegant Reading view that displays web articles without any of the surrounding advertisements and other distractions. This is enabled in Windows 10 version 1703 as it was in previous versions: open a web article and then select the Reading view button in the address bar.

When you do, the article loads in the elegantly-themed Reading view.

Reading view also offers nice customization capabilities, where you can configure the view style and the font size. In previous Windows 10 versions, you accessed these options from Edge settings. But now you do so directly from Reading view: Click anywhere in the Edge window to display a toolbar at the top of Reading view. Then, select the Options button to see the available settings. (You can jump here quickly by typing CTRL + SHIFT + O.)

Here you can see the impact of the Dark view style and smaller fonts.

PDF files

In the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge can also display Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) files. In fact, Edge is the default app for such files, unless your PC maker changes it or you install a more full-featured third party application like Adobe Reader.

To read a PDF file, simply open one anywhere in your file system or on the web.

Edge doesn’t offer a Reading view for PDFs—they are structured so that they always appear as the author intended—but it does offer some viewing options. As with Reading view, just click anywhere in the Edge window to display various commands.

From left to right, these commands include:

Page number. Select this button to enter a new page number and jump directly to that point in the document.

Search. Use the magnifying glass button (or type CTRL + F) to find text within the PDF you’re viewing.

Fit to page/Fit to width. Use this button, or the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + A, to toggle the display of the document between full page and full-width views.

Zoom out and Zoom in. The handy minus and plus buttons can be used to zoom out and into the document. (You can also use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL + – (minus) and CTRL + + (plus), respectively.)

Print. You can use this button to print the PDF, obviously.

Save as. Especially handy when viewing a web-based document, this button will let you save the PDF to your PC.


New to the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge can now read e-books in the E-PUB format. This includes unprotected E-PUBs, such as those you might download from Microsoft, but also those from a new e-book store that is available from within the Windows Store app.

Because this is such a big topic, I’ll be writing about Edge’s support for the new e-book store separately in a different tip. But we can still look at the Edge e-book reading experience using an unprotected E-PUB file as an example.

Note: There are various sources for free E-PUBs online. Here’s one example from Microsoft. Microsoft’s Eric Ligman is also a great source.

When you click a link for an E-PUB file on a website in Microsoft Edge, you’ll be prompted to open or save it. These files will display in Edge by default.

Unlike web pages and PDF files, EPUB/e-book navigation is left-to-right (and not up-to-down). So you can click in the gutter to the right or left to navigate back and forth within the book. Or, just use the arrow keys on your keyboard, or the scrubber and position notation on the bottom. If you’ve used other e-book readers, this should be familiar

You can likewise click anywhere in the window to display a reading toolbar, with various commands.

The toolbar commands, from left to right, include:

Table of contents. This button displays the book’s table of contents in a pane on the left, allowing you to quickly see its structure and navigate to a specific chapter or section.

Bookmarks. This button displays all of your saved bookmarks for the current book, allowing you to return to a saved position.

Search. Use the magnifying glass button (or type CTRL + F) to find text within the book you’re viewing.

Options. As with Reading view for websites, Edge provides a number of handy options for books. In fact, there are more ways to customize the display of books than there are for other things you might read with this browser.

Read aloud. Similar to other e-book readers, Edge provides an option that will read the current book aloud to you, so you can follow along or simply enjoy a (slightly robotic) audiobook-like experience.

Add a bookmark. Click this button to add a bookmark at the currently-read location in the book.

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