Microsoft Edge gets a built-in dictionary for PDF Reader

The Define command in Microsoft Edge has received a few updates in the latest Canary version. Finally, it properly displays a word definition, and its UI is now more polished.


You may remember the Define command in Edge we recently reviewed. It was available a few builds ago in Canary, but then disappeared. Now it is back and it finally works.

Define Command

The latest Edge Canary builds now offer a built-in dictionary to quickly lookup a word in a PDF. To do this, highlight a word or phrase and select Define from a context menu. When you click this command, the browser opens a small window with pronunciation, explanations, synonyms, and usage examples. Besides, there is a button to listen to a word, copy it, or search for it on the web. Microsoft Edge is using the Bing search to fetch all the needed data. This is a welcomed addition to already available learning features and grammar tools, such as the parts of the speech highlighter or syllables markup.

Define Command With Sidebar Search

By clicking on the Search for %word% link, you will open a sidebar search with extra details regarding the selection. It also contains a descriptive image for the word, something we have already seen in Microsoft Edge with the Picture Dictionary feature.

The Define feature is not new to modern browsers. As we said before, it was available in Edge Legacy, and it is also well-known to iOS and macOS users. Unlike Edge, on Apple operating systems, dictionaries are part of the operating systems and are available in all apps. This means you can define a word from any text on webpages or other apps, not only in PDF Reader. In Microsoft Edge, this feature works in PDF Reader only, which is a bummer. Edge Legacy offered it not only for PDF but for Reading View and even Books. We can only hope Microsoft is in the early stages of implementing this feature, and it would be soon available in other modes as well. Be sure to send your feedback regarding this feature to help the company improve it.

The built-in dictionary is not the only recent improvement to Microsoft Edge. A couple of weeks ago, its Immersive Reader received enhanced Wikipedia support, so it is now much easier to read Wikipedia pages in Reader mode.

Microsoft recently announced it is switching from a six-week to a four-week update release schedule for the Edge browser. This means new features will be available much faster. The change goes live this September with the release of Edge 94.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple.

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