A built-in dictionary to your MS Edge browser pdf reader!

Microsoft Edge's PDF reader now lets you look up dictionary definitions. Here's how!

A built-in dictionary to your MS Edge browser pdf reader!

Microsoft Edge has a new PDF reader dictionary that lets you scan window definitions. Now, almost every web browser that exists will open the common file format, the days of using a dedicated pdf reader are over. It makes perfect sense, with so many PDFs found online, but only recently can browser-based readers start to catch up on features.

Microsoft is actively working to boost the overall PDF skills of the browser following the evolution of its Chrome-based version of Edge. One of the most recent features to be introduced allows you to browse a document in order to look for word definitions.

The inclusion in Edge's PDF reader of the dictionary look-up option reduces the friction of finding a word you don't know what it means. The new feature does not include highlighting and copying a word, putting it in a new browser tab, then searching for a description. All is done using the PDF itself.

If this sounds familiar, the explanation is that the legacy version of Edge has had a very similar choice. However, Microsoft first removed some features, and functions from a PDF reader while switching to Chromium-based Edge, as the experience started to be mostly reconstructed from scratch. Now the company is slowly bringing back options, and the dictionary is one of the newest appearances in browser previews.

“The dictionary look-up tool can be found in the Canary build of Edge. You can download this version of the browser here, or update your current build to at least version 90.0.806.0. The definition feature relies on Bing, but it's not enabled by default. Assuming you have the latest version of Edge Canary installed, use the following steps to enable the dictionary definition option:

  1. Click the three-dot button to the upper right of the Edge window and select Settings
  2. Move to the Appearance section and flick the two toggles in the Context menu section to the on position

With this done, you can right click a word in a PDF document and select the define option. You will initially see a definition in a popup, and more detail is available if you click See more in sidebar.”