PDFs can be opened on almost any device these days, but it was, first and foremost, an Adobe-developed standard, and Acrobat is still a tremendously powerful tool for viewing PDFs. Microsoft is now working with Adobe to improve PDF viewing and editing in the Edge web browser.
Microsoft announced a partnership with Adobe to integrate the Acrobat engine right into Edge’s built-in PDF reader. That means that if you’re opening a PDF with Microsoft’s browser, you’ll get the best experience possible with higher fidelity, stronger security, improved performance, and better text selection, among other things. The current PDF viewer integrated into Edge and other Chromium browsers like Google Chrome isn’t bad, but this should greatly improve the experience that currently exists.
More importantly, while Acrobat is usually paid software, Adobe is making its engine available for free through Edge. Obviously, you won’t have the same set of features that you have in Acrobat, but if all you want is to read PDF files in your browser, this is as good as it gets. Editing text and images, converting PDFs, and combining files will require an Adobe Acrobat subscription — or you can just use a different PDF app.
The new engine will be rolled out to Edge users in a phased manner. Microsoft is planning to remove the older engine from the browser by March 2024, so the new version will reach you within the next few months. The news comes after Microsoft announced a visual update and new Bing AI features coming to Edge.