Microsoft Edge: Adobe PDF integration silently postponed

Microsoft announced the migration of the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF reader to Adobe PDF technology last year. The change would allow Edge users to view PDF documents using Adobe's engine.

Microsoft and Adobe promised back then that this would improve things by providing "a unique experience" with "higher fidelity for more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance" and even stronger security and better accessibility.

All base PDF viewing and editing features would remain free under the new PDF engine. Edge users would however get the option to use an Acrobat subscription to unlock advanced functionality.

Microsoft's initial plan was to start the migration of consumer devices in March 2023 and complete it in early 2024. This plan has changed according to an update posted on the original post on Microsoft's Tech Community website.

There, Microsoft reveals the following information:

The date for commercial rollout for embedding the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine into the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF reader has been moved to Mid-Summer.

The date for the removal of the current engine for the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF reader will be delayed to no sooner than early 2025.

In other words: the migration to Adobe PDF technology in Edge for viewing PDF documents has moved to mid-Summer". While Microsoft does not specify the "Mid-Summer" year, it can only mean 2024.

The current Microsoft Edge PDF engine continues to be included in the web browser until at least "early 2025".

The PDF engine will be switched to Adobe PDF technology in Summer for home user devices only. Managed devices may be switched to the new PDF engine manually.

Microsoft offers no explanation for the postponing. Günter Born notes on his (German) blog that Adobe's engine fails to load PDF documents with embedded XFA forms. Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat do support XFA-based PDF forms though.

Switch to Adobe PDF technology in Edge right now

Microsoft Edge Adobe PDF Viewer

Adobe's PDF engine is already integrated in Microsoft Edge. It is disabled by default, but may be enabled in the following way:

  1. Load edge://flags/#edge-new-pdf-viewer in the Edge address bar.
  2. Set the status of the New PDF Viewer experiment to Enabled.
  3. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge loads PDF files using Adobe's PDF engine from that moment on. A small "powered by Adobe Acrobat" label indicates this in the lower right corner.

The new editing toolbar features an "edit with Acrobat" button, which is an advertisement for unlocking premium tools with an Acrobat subscription. This button cannot be removed from the editing toolbar.

Image Credit: Monticelllo/

© 1998-2024 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy.