Today, Microsoft published an update to its roadmap for the PDF reader in its Edge browser. Edge already does more for PDFs than most other browsers, offering a wide array of inking and editing capabilities, but there's more on the way. First, the company outlined the features that are most requested:
- Fill PDF forms
- Ink on PDF files with colors and stroke width of your choice
- Create highlights to [draw] attention to different parts of the file
- View PDFs in Dark mode
- Open Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) and Information Rights Management (IRM) protected PDF and view permissions
- Accessibility support including keyboard accessibility, screen reader support, and capability to view PDFs in high contrast mode
- Read Aloud (available in Canary)
Of course, with those being the top-requested features, that doesn't necessary mean that the team is working on them. One of the things that it's working on, and has been for a long time, is smooth scrolling. This is something that was available in Edge Legacy and was promised for Edge Chromium since the beginning.
The team is also working on supporting a table of contents, which can be used to view and navigate through a PDF. In the editing department, there's going to be a highlight mode that you can use by selecting text to highlight it, and you'll be able to add text notes to a PDF file. Support for digital signatures is on the way as well.
In the security department, there are improvements to protected PDFs with Microsoft Information Protection. You're going to be able to see sensitivity labels, and you'll be able to view protected files from other organizations. Finally, Microsoft is promising accessibility improvements, such as filling out forms using screen readers and navigating using caret mode.
Of course, this is a roadmap update, not a product announcement. These features should make their way into the product eventually, but there's no telling when. The team is still working on basic features like history sync.