Microsoft Edge extends tools for the PDF reader

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Microsoft

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 

47 Replies
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Edge stable version 83 looks good :3
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@HotCakeX
Looks good means please explain ...
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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.

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@HossainShahriar 


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

just look at the original post

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

stesch79_0-1586936892654.png

 

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

 

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

1. Fix smooth scroll as in https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/discussions/4k-smooth-support-pdfs/m-p/1189931

 

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

 

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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.
Thanks!
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@Elliot Kirk 

Hi,

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

 

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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.
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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 

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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 

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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.
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@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.

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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 

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实际上,页面在连续滚动时,有时可以有更舒适的浏览体验。这应该是可以选择的@esteerixx 

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@Bad_Pig 

Yes exactly like it was in Edge before.

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@Bad_Pig 


@Bad_Pig wrote:

实际上,页面在连续滚动时,有时可以有更舒适的浏览体验。这应该是可以选择的


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?

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@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:

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I mean the latter. When a sentence appears on the last line of the page and the first line of the next page, continuous and smooth scrolling will make the sentence read seamlessly. This experience is better than turning the page repeatedly.

@HotCakeX 

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I really miss the old MS PDF reader. As a student who has a lot of PDFs to go through, I enjoyed the accessibility and ease by which I could highlight and annotate. If I needed to write using my Surface Pen on the PDF, it was a quick and easy process. This update pretty made all those things less convenient. The highlighting tool is now in the context menu (3 step process) whereas the previous version, I could just hover over the highlighted text and click to highlight/add notes. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring this back. Additionally, the drawing tool is not as crisp/clean. The only color I can use is blue. I had more options in the older version. I loved Microsoft Edge because of its unique PDF reader and heavily relied on it too, but I am disheartened with the update and find myself regretting updating my browser at all. Do you know when the next update will be released that includes a better MS PDF reader? @Elliot Kirk 

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@Elliot Kirk 

 

Adding shapes (arrows, circles, rectangles) for PDF mark -up would be extremely beneficial to my current workflow.  We need to mark-up the designs and plans of others and send out to our field team daily. Enabling this functionality as implemented in Mac Preview would allow for a full transition back to Windows. 

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@Elliot Kirk For the last couple of Canary versions (I've just updated to  84.0.495.0 ) I have a problem with PDFs. I can open and write on them fine, but if I highlight something and then click on or select the highlighted text to either change or remove the highlighting, the browser crashes every time.

 

In terms of my 'wish list', I refer to Xodo which I have used for several years as my go-to PDF editor. For me it is the complete PDF toolset for working with PDFs (and it's free). In my opinion, if all of the tools offered by Xodo could be available in Edge, then I would be more than happy to keep my workflow in Edge rather than have to open the separate app/webpage of Xodo. Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

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@ph_007 this is a very good suggestion and we certainly have it in the backlog. We understand that it would power a key scenario of filling PDF forms which are not authored as forms. 

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@Reza Ameri these are pretty cool suggestions. Any reason why you would prefer drawing rectangles over drawing a highlight? 

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@stesch79 yes we have noted that feedback and this one is also in the works. We will update on that pretty soon. 

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@ZZYSonny for #4, if you are asking for ability to add text boxes, this is definitely in our roadmap for PDF annotations support. For #6 about blurred inking, what type of device you are observing this on? What are the display settings (resolution, scaling)?

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@esteerixx great to hear that you loved this feature for PDFs. We are also tracking this feedback to build this feature back in the new version as well. 

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@Geoffrey McNaughton it would be great to understand this requirement in a bit more detail. We already support opening of PDF files protected using Microsoft Information Protection in the new version of the browser. Is that what you are referring to? If yes, this is already supported. Can you please give it a try? 

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@papapick this is interesting. BTW, you can do all of that using the draw tool. Even better if you have touch or Pen. But we understand that drawing perfect shapes is important sometimes and free hand does not help. Noted. 

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@Pete_FFC yes it is encouraging to know that you would be willing to switch given the functionality. We are building the PDF functionality with the features mentioned in this post and beyond. Please stay tuned. 

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@vygadeka I collect these feedbacks from community and they need both, while highlight is preferred and recommended but sometimes people want to differentiate and they draw rectangle too. This is another way to highlight a text without covering it with color. This is one of behavior that people are using when reading books or note, they highlight it, draw underline or draw rectangle over it.

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Spot on @ZZYSonny, especially points 5 and 6!  They are the reasons why I'm keeping Edge classic for PDF reading and notes taking (for web pages too).  This functionality works great (and more intuitive) in Edge classic.

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I am using Surface Book 1.
3000x2000 resolution and 200% scaling

 

This is happening with surface pen on surface book

and mouse drawing on external 4K 200% display.

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Hi @vygadeka,

 

I observed the same as @ZZYSonny on my Surface Pro 4 with a scaling of 200% and resolution of 2736 x 1824.  Both are the recommended settings for my device.

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@Jude Wong thanks for the information. We will be working on investigating and fixing this soon. 

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@Pete_FFC does this still repro on latest build? If yes, I can put you in touch with engineering to investigate this issue. 

 

Vyankatesh 
Program/Product Manager - Microsoft Edge

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@vygadeka ,no the last two or three versions have been fine, thanks. 👍🏻

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@Elliot Kirk  Love the new feature of Drawing on PDF file. However, I really need the Tables of Content for PDF and now it disappears on the new version. 

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@Elliot Kirk 

 

So far read aloud is working great!  I've had no problems at all reading anything from schematics, installation guides and so on.  Love that you can stop and start wherever you want... Great Job Team!

Annotation 2020-05-18 140119.jpg

 

Dennis5mile

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Its mentioned "The highlight tool is available in the PDF toolbar in Canary and Dev channels." but I don't see any such tool in the PDF toolbar in my Canary version not even a flag to do so.
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I totally agree with you, the selection, comment and drawing is very poor in edge. They are just working to bring features without even taking care of performance. The PDF although with so many options looks appealing but takes very long time just to start loading a pdf when you click on one. It takes around 3 seconds to load pdf which is very annoying. It should be instant. Also the online reader in edge doesn't show loaded pages untill all pages are loaded which it should.
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@ZZYSonny I support the voice to put more effort in proper text selection. It looks very messy.

 

The ink looks like it does not profit from Windows Inking that was introduced in Windows 10. I see no point in going backwards. You can support it on the Windows devices and for the other you can keep current inking as it seems to not bother anyone using other platforms. In my opinion the software should profit from technologies available on each platform not to reinvent the wheel that will be bad and "universal".

 

I will leave you with simple though, there is no universal tapspigot or faucet which suites all users and all needs.

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It would be fantastic if one could access highlighted text and notes from a tab, please look into this @Elliot Kirk 

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@Elliot Kirk 

With regard to editing of PDF documents, the inking is not smooth. The inking corrects to ones with sharp, ugly borders rather that picking up the input as it is and therefore make the input extremely unappealing & distorted with numerous pixels. The numerical value of thickness of the pen, which was available on Edge Classic is definitely missed since it helped maintain the consistency of the thickness of the written text.

Scrolling the pages of the document results in scribbles on it due to the touch-input which make it very cumbersome to use Edge as a tool to view & edit documents with ease.

Also, post-update, the previous edits & additions to the text in writing have changed.

And attempting to save the file results in creation of a new file which is definitely a turn off.

Kindly look into this. The classic Edge featured were more favorable and easy to use for the editing of a file with a wide array of easy-to-maneuver options without any interference & with greater smoothness.

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Please add Table of contents feature also. @Elliot Kirk