Inking experience improvements in Edge



We are very happy to announce a bunch of experience improvements we are bringing to the inking experience inside Microsoft Edge. We have heard feedback about the writing experience in Edge especially on PDFs where writing feels a bit jittery. There were also complaints about Edge not being able to distinguish pen and finger to allow scrolling with touch while inking with pen. We have addressed these issues while continuing our commitment to provide the best inking experience on the web. Here are the details about the improvements that we are bringing in for the upcoming release:

Ink strokes quality improvements


Writing or drawing experience on PDF documents with ink is not very smooth today due to jittery ink strokes. We have fixed that problem now by adopting the latest of Microsoft inking library on web offering smoother strokes enhancing the digital writing experience. This new experience is now available in Canary and Dev channels to try out. We will continue working on the quality of inking experience by improving latency further. Do look forward to the changes in upcoming releases.


Disabling inking with touch


We recently added the ability to switch off inking with touch automatically if we detect a digital pen being used for inking. This allows users to scroll or pan pages with their finger while inking with pen. We are also adding a button in the UI called “Draw with touch” to manually enable or disable inking with touch. If the option is disabled, finger won’t ink. We will continue to intelligently switch off inking with touch if pen is detected but user can control that manually as well with this option. This option would be available on both PDFs and web captures.



Do try out this improved experience of inking on PDFs and web captures in Edge and let us know what you think! We love hearing your feedback. From within Microsoft Edge, you can go to “…” menu > Help and feedback > Send feedback, or simply use the shortcut (Shift+Alt+I) to open the feedback tool. If you have any suggestions about improving the overall annotations experience further, do write as well. We are listening!

8 Replies
thanks for the update, i got the chance to try out the new touch inking button few weeks ago, neat feature,
the two remaining problems are the latency and ink quality.
comparing to Edge legacy or native UWP apps, inking on Edge with pen or finger, has lots of delays, and also it's not smooth enough in comparison to those apps.

i also have a suggestion please add "Erase all" under "Erase" so we can quickly erase everything on a PDF or web capture file (inking, notes, highlights etc.)

by the way, the new bubbles for PDF is awesome, its still got rough edges but good to know it's being worked on :)


More much needed improvements:

To draw on a web page I need to tap 3 buttons - first the Web capture in the toolbar, then the "Full screen" option, then the "Draw" button. That's too many taps; the draw button shouldn't be necessary. 

The pen should just ink on PDFs and especially web captures, without needing to press a "draw" button first. Why do I need to tell Edge that I want to draw with my pen, when that's what a pen is for? I can use touch to pan.


Second, pinch to zoom doesn't work properly in web captures: it zooms into the upper left corner of the web capture rather than to where I spread my finders from. 


Third, I would like to be able to draw ink strokes across pages in PDFs.


Please also add pressure sensitivity.


Using Canary 90.784.0 would like to see the default INK Color remain the same as the last selection used.

Opening a new PDF and then always selecting black ink from the default blue ink is annoying. 



@vygadeka The smoothness is nice, but there is still no pressure sensitivity when inking with a pen. This to me is critical to having an acceptable inking experience. I hope it gets added soon.

@vygadeka Thank you for the progress. You are definitely on the right track. Inking is a lot better now. Love also that I can scroll with finger and write with pen without further action. If you can include pressure sensitivity and automatic pen detect at start, your will be my star :thumbs_up:

I'd have to say that the inking experience in New Edge is still extremely poor, compared to Edge Legacy. Pressure sensitivity is an absolute must-have, and it's very unacceptable that it wasn't re-implemented in New Edge. The highlighter tool in New Edge is also very unacceptable and should be re-implemented as it was in Edge Legacy, with the ability to highlight with inking. Right now, the highlight tool only snaps to text, restricting the ability to highlight PDFs without text or highlight a custom area in the PDF. I've blocked New Edge from replacing Edge Legacy on my Surface Book 2 because of this ridiculousness. Don't release a half-baked replacement and take the option away to use the better software. Missing inking features in New Edge, like Ink on the Web, are some of the things holding me back.

 I very much like to see back most of the inking which was available in legacy Edge. One thing which is still not working correctly is highlighting in PDF documents which are composed of tables. Each letter is highlighted separately and instead of one continues band you can see set of dots which is ugly and eye hurting to read. So, for the moment I use underlining. 

Another thing which is working badly in PDF documents composed of tables is selection of large chunks of text, like several sentences. I do that with my Surface Pen in Surface Pro X and the selection is slow (i.e. you see the selection sometimes in 2-5 seconds after making it), missing the correct location, and sometimes it does not even start. I have no problem on normal web pages with that, using side button of Surface Pen. This is PDF specific and especially in documents inside tables.