Fall Creators Update Feature Focus: Microsoft Edge

Posted on August 4, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 30 Comments

Fall Creators Update Feature Focus: Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge gets a sweeping series of improvements in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Here’s what you expect.

Edge migration improvements. The original version of Microsoft Edge supported importing bookmarks from Chrome and Firefox. And then a later version added the ability to import browsing history, passwords, and form data. Now, with the Fall Creators Update, you can also import cookies and settings from Chrome to Edge.

Website pins. Partially answering a long-time criticism of mine, you can now pin frequently-accessed websites to your taskbar, as you used to be able to do in IE. Sadly, this functionality is not particularly sophisticated: When you open sites from the taskbar, they open in a new tab in the existing Edge window. And they don’t appear to be selected/activated in the taskbar when open.

These taskbar shortcuts are all website pins.

Full-screen mode. Technically Microsoft Edge already offered a full-screen mode, but no one could find it because it required a secret keyboard shortcut (SHIFT + WINKEY + ENTER). But now, you can toggle full-screen mode in Microsoft Edge by typing F11. Just like you can in any other web browser. There’s also a UI for the full-screen toggle right in the Settings and more (“…”) menu.

Tab improvements. With its ability to set aside tabs, pin tabs, and lush tab previews, Edge has long had unique features related to tabs. But in the Fall Creators Update, things get even better. Now, you can close even those tabs that are displaying a dialog. (You can likewise close the Edge browser window too.)

Favorites improvements. Edge’s Add to Favorites functionality has always been a bit lackluster. But now you can view your favorites as a directory tree like you can in the Favorites pane and more easily choose the right location for the page you’re saving. And when you do save a Favorite, you’ll see a new animation that helps you understand where to find it later. You can also right-click any Favorite—in the Favorites Bar, if displayed, or in the Favorites pane—and choose “Edit URL” to do edit the URL.

Reading improvements. Edge’s various reading experiences—Reading view for web pages, plus PDF and EPUB e-book viewing—get a couple of nice updates in the new version. You can now annotate EPUB e-books, including ink-based notes, and you can access “Ask Cortana” when you select some text, just as you could before on the web. PDF files likewise gain annotation capabilities and “Ask Cortana”, plus PDF form fill functionality, new highlight colors, a great new Table of Contents view, and simpler navigation. Plus, websites, PDF files, and e-books all support read aloud functionality with word and line highlighting now.

UX refresh. While the basic Edge user interface is not changing in the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has applied some (very) subtle Acrylic Material translucency effects to the app in keeping with its move to the more modern Fluent Design System. The only obvious place to see this is in the tab bar when you display tab previews.


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