Microsoft Edge PDF reader gets a new built-in dictionary feature in the Canary Channel

Rabia Noureen

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Microsoft is adding a new dictionary option to the built-in PDF reader in Edge that will allow users to look up definitions while reading a PDF document. The feature was spotted and shared by a user on a Tech Community forum and appears to be available for some Insiders on Edge Canary version 90.0.806.0 and higher.

With the release of Chromium Edge at the beginning of last year, Microsoft removed some popular functionalities available in the legacy version of Edge. However, the company has been working hard to close the feature gap and bring back many PDF capabilities to its new Edge browser.

Essentially, this new word-lookup tool will work similarly to the legacy Edge’s implementation. It should make it easier to search definitions when reading a document without opening a new tab. This feature uses Bing to find the meaning of a specific word.

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The definitions will be displayed in a mini flyout menu with a brief word description to help users understand its meaning. If required, users will be able to view additional details by activating the sidebar in Edge. To use the dictionary tool, follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Head to the Settings menu, and click the Appearance option.
  2. From there, enable the two “Show smart actions when viewing PDFs” toggle buttons available under the Context menu section.
  3. Next, right-click the word and select the “Define” option in the context menu to see its definition appear above the selection.
  4. If you need additional information, click the “see more in sidebar” option in the definition box.

Keep in mind that the new PDF Reader experience is still a work in progress, and it may not display results for some or most of the words. In addition, this feature is currently limited to single words, which means that users cannot look up the definition for combinations or phrases. We hope that the Edge Insider team will address these issues before making it publicly available to everyone in the Stable channel.