Microsoft Edge and PDF

UPDATE: Microsoft has fixed this issue in the Windows 10 November update, so we were able to add a print button for Edge as well. You can find it in ActiveReports 11 and in the upcoming ActiveReports 10 Service Pack 3. Since Microsoft Edge came out, complaints about being unable to print PDF files in the new browser have been showing up in forums all over the internet. This is due to severe PDF limitations in Microsoft Edge. In this article, we will show you how to get past this issue. But first, let's look at the background in more detail. edgepdf

ActiveReports PDF Output

The ActiveReports PDF output feature converts a report's file format to PDF using Adobe specifications. It does not display or print the contents of the file--it only creates the file.

When you display any PDF file in Microsoft Edge, there is no Print button in the embedded viewer regardless of whether it is an ActiveReports PDF.

When you use the WebViewer control to display a PDF in any browser, it displays using software embedded in the browser, usually the Adobe Reader. Browser settings on the client machine determine which software the browser uses.

Microsoft Edge Limitations

In order to boost security against phishing and hacking, Microsoft has made the hard choice to remove support for ActiveX in the new Microsoft Edge browser. Because Microsoft Edge does not support ActiveX plug-ins like the Adobe Reader, it uses its own embedded PDF viewer. This PDF viewer is very basic and does not support these features that we take for granted:

  • printing
  • highlighting
  • comments
  • fill-in forms
  • annotations
  • opening PDF files from mapped or network drives
  • displaying complex PDF files

It seems that Microsoft does not intend to fix the PDF issues with Microsoft Edge, so this is not a reliable platform for delivering PDF files to your users.

To deliver PDF files

To avoid Microsoft's PDF viewer limitations, use something other than Microsoft Edge for viewing and printing PDF files. There are a number of ways to do that.

  • Save the PDF file to your system and print it with the software of your choice (e.g. Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Win8 Reader).
  • Use any other browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, or FireFox, to display your web application. (Here's a link to Windows help on setting your default browser.)

See Also


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