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

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.


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 

@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. 

@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?



@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. 

@Reza_Ameri-Archived these are pretty cool suggestions. Any reason why you would prefer drawing rectangles over drawing a highlight? 

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

@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)?

@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. 

@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? 

@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. 

@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. 

@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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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


Program/Product Manager - Microsoft Edge

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