Microsoft Edge extends tools for the PDF reader


The integrated PDF reader in the legacy Microsoft Edge browser is deeply loved by many of you and we have been getting feedback about the availability of those features in the new version of Microsoft Edge. We are working on adding your favorite annotations tools to the PDF reader in Microsoft Edge right now and wanted to provide you an update on our work.


Inking on PDF files

Today you can use built-in inking tools when you open PDF files in the new Microsoft Edge. This allows you to take notes, fill out and sign PDF forms.  Click on the Draw button from the toolbar to start writing; you can use a digital pen, touch or a mouse.  You can use the Erase button to start erasing the strokes. If you are using a digital pen with a back-button, you can use that to erase while in draw mode. 

write on PDFswrite on PDFs


We have also added the ability to change the color and width of the lines you are drawing.  To open the new customization panel, just click or tap the "down arrow icon.png“ button attached to the Draw tool. This new color and stroke width selector are already available in the Canary and Dev channels and will make their way to the Stable channel in Microsoft Edge version 83.

highlighter selection panelhighlighter selection panel


Text highlight support 

Highlighting important text while reading PDFs is a very common activity especially for students reading books or research papers in PDF format. We have added the ability to highlight text in PDF files. You can access this feature today in the Canary, Dev and Beta channels via the context menu. Just select any piece of text on a PDF document that you want to highlight, right click to invoke the context menu and you will find the option to highlight the text. You can even choose from four different colors for the highlighters.

highlighter in context menuhighlighter in context menu

We will continue to improve the highlighting experience in PDF by making it accessible directly from the PDF toolbar. Click or tap Highlight in the toolbar to get started. Then use your digital pen or mouse over the text you want to highlight.  You can also change the color of the highlight by clicking the "down arrow icon.png“ button attached to the Highlight tool. This will open color panel where you can select the color of your choice. The highlight tool is available in the PDF toolbar in Canary and Dev channels. You can expect to see it roll out to more channels in upcoming releases.

multi color highlightsmulti color highlights


What’s next 

We know that many of you love the PDF reader in Microsoft Edge and we’ve heard a lot of feedback and requests for annotations supportWe will be working on improving the ability to do light editing on PDF files which would make you productive right within the browser. As part of this effortthe team will be working on these scenarios: 

  1. Improving the experience of reading text notes already present in a PDF. 
  2. Ability to add text notes on a PDF.   


Let us know in what scenarios you use annotations on PDFs and what kind of toolset you would want to see in Microsoft Edge PDF reader. This would help us expand the range of tools we have for PDFs with what is most important for you 

78 Replies
Edge stable version 83 looks good :3
Looks good means please explain ...

I really like the new pdf editor experience, thank you for your work, but it would also be cool to be able to fill forms by adding a text field or sth like that.


@HossainShahriar wrote:
Looks good means please explain ...

just look at the original post

Super excited about these features , it would be nice if there is underline feature like we could select text and underline it. We could do it using pen and Draw but line is not straight line using hand and pen. So ability to select and chose underline and also draw rectangle over text (as alternative to highlight) would be nice.

@Elliot Kirk  The ability to select bookmarks in PDFs like in Chrome browser:



This is a feature that was requested by our internal users very early in testing.


I am on edge dev and I would like to see the following improvement for PDF reader. 

1. Fix smooth scroll as in


2. Fix selection. Selecting one line should not break into several segment of different height. 

Chromium edge

Annotation 2020-04-15 181431.png

Old edge

Annotation 2020-04-15 181459.png


3. Fix comment display. There shouldn't be inconsistent spacing within each word.

Annotation 2020-04-15 182250.png


4. Add support for textbox. Currently both legacy and chromium edge doesn't display such thing in PDF. This is important for reading annotation if the PDF was annotated by some other tools.

Annotation 2020-04-15 181146.png


5. Add support for pen pressure sensitivity and annotate by pen only.


6. Ink looks distorted (lots of pixel!) before pen is released. 

Annotation 2020-04-15 181837.png

And looks much better after pen is released.

Annotation 2020-04-15 182118.png


For longer (book sized) PDFs, you also need to bring back the bookmarks.
Also, it would be fantastic if Edge had the option to remember the last page of a large book you were reading, and resume from there.
PDF versions of manuals are what come to mind for students and the rest of us.

@Elliot Kirk 


we need a "attach to email" button. 

many of our users need that , and used it in Internet Explorer with Adobe Reader Plug-In.

the windows "share to" button is useless, because our mail client is Outlook 2016 (Win32 app).

thank you


This sounds like a great feedback for the feedback hub app because I think Outlook 2016 or Outlook 365 must be added as an option in the Windows 10 share which Edge also uses.

I hope they get all the previous functions back soon, especially the appearance of instant option as soon the text gets highlighted (ability to highlight text with various colors, instant translation, etc but I think those are enough. Or at least please create a PDF dedicated Microsoft app integrated with Ms Office. It's always bugged me when Microsoft didn't release PDF oriented apps since they integrated the last PDF app with Microsoft Edge, such a huge waste potential to see users like me using a non-Microsoft app which not always seamless as if it was made by Microsoft. The Increasing demand for reading articles getting higher these days, and there wasn't good Stable free PDF reader/editor.   @Elliot Kirk 

I'm very excited for text boxes and notes. I have a Dell XPS laptop from 2017, so while I have a touch screen, it isn't good enough for precision styluses and it can't fold all the way around the screen. The keyboard is my most precise input method... Most PDF readers are workable when studying, but are not up to the challenge of taking notes in a lecture. A 2-in-1 laptop has already solved this problem, but perhaps more forgiving software would also allow me to reach that goal. For example:


Some kind of "smart text box" (where the text automatically resizes based on the size of the text box) would make taking notes during class a lot easier. The ability to select a bunch of ink in order to move or resize it would also be useful.


A smart "select" or "edit" tool, which would be able to do both of the above, might be very useful.


@Elliot Kirk 

2 page layout or at least option for continuous vs not scrolling. Trying to swipe down to next page in piano sheet music makes page turns in paper books more appealing. In old Edge it was a dream.

@Elliot Kirk It's great to see more flexibility for inking experiences in Edge! Going forward I would really would like to see chapter/bookmark navigation. For long documents it makes a huge difference - I'm currently having to switch back to legacy edge for reading some ebooks that I use for research work.

I really need support for Office 365 Message Encryption for encrypted PDF files in Edge. 

Sending an encrypted PDF using Outlook is great, but reading it is not straightforward. Edge should do that.


In a perfect word, the recipient would sign (annotate) the document on screen, and send it back encrypted using OME. 


@Elliot Kirk 



Yes exactly like it was in Edge before.


@Bad_Pig wrote:


English: In fact, when the page continuously scrolls, sometimes you can have a more comfortable browsing experience. This should be optional.


you're referring to the infinite scrolling pages? and lack of smooth scrolling in the new Edge?

@Elliot Kirk 

  1. I have observed that for many PDF files bookmark sidebar is not shown. 
  2. Also, it would be lovely if highlighting options came without right click. Like just when I select certain text, a highlight mini tool bar should come near that text(without right click). It would make my student life much more productive and enjoyable. 

Thanks :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: