- Microsoft Edge to replace legacy PDF reader with Adobe Acrobat.
- The PDF experience will start rolling out in March 2023.
- The Adobe PDF reader experience will include free and paid features.
- You will need an Adobe subscription to unlock all the advanced features.
Microsoft will replace Edge’s default PDF reader capabilities with the one from Adobe Acrobat. According to the company announcement, the upcoming update for Microsoft Edge will include the Adobe PDF reader that will provide advanced features (if you’re willing to pay a subscription).
The software giant says that the decision to remove the legacy PDF feature from Microsoft Edge in favor of the one from Adobe will offer a better experience with better performance, more accurate colors and graphics, and stronger security while working with PDF documents.
The new integration will offer the same features available in the legacy tool at no extra cost. However, you will notice “an unobtrusive Adobe brand mark,” and you will be offered to purchase the premium version of Adobe PDF reader to unlock features like file editing, conversion, and the ability to combine files. (This won’t be a one-time purchase either. You will have to sign up for an Adobe Acrobat subscription.)
It’s unclear how this integration will work for those who don’t want to purchase the subscription, but this is clearly something that will not feel like a welcome addition to the browser.
Personally, I usually only use Microsoft Edge for PDF documents since the installation and features available in Adobe Acrobat are unnecessary. After the rollout, I’ll probably use Google Chrome again or the Sumatra PDF Reader software (which is free). When I have to protect a PDF document with a password, I will use the PDFEncrypt app, and to convert Word documents to PDFs, I’ll use Microsoft Word.
The rollout of the Adobe PDF experience on Microsoft Edge is expected to occur in March 2023 “with an opt-in option for organizations with managed devices,” and it will be available for Windows 11 and 10 users. Once the browser switches the PDF engine to Adobe, users won’t be able to revert back to the legacy feature.