Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser has been my go-to browser since it was launched and for good reason. The browser offers a lot of useful features, support for Chrome extensions, and more. And now, Microsoft seems to be working on yet another useful feature for it.
According to the latest Edge Dev channel update, Microsoft is testing a new Office file viewer inside the Edge browser. The option was enabled by default for me with the latest Edge Dev 92.0.873.1 update. However, if you don’t have it enabled, here’s where you can find it.
Go to edge://settings -> Downloads. You will find the new “Quickly view Office files on the web using Office Viewer” option here. Just enable the toggle and you’re good to go.
So what does this feature do? Well, up until now, if you searched for presentations, Word documents, or even spreadsheets online and clicked on a direct link to a ppt, docx, or xls file, your browser would just download it. With this new feature, however, the file will open in the Edge browser itself. In fact, for things like presentations, you also get a handy slideshow mode within the browser now, as well as a Notes pane.
If you actually intended on downloading the file, you can still use the Download button in the toolbar to download the presentation or document to your computer. If you use Bing Search, the functionality has been integrated into it pretty well too. Basically, for links leading to Office Files, you will now see a handy ‘Web View’ option right next to the link which will open up the file inside Edge’s new Office Viewer.
This feature should prove way more useful to students than it will ever prove for me, but I’m fairly excited about it, even if I’ll only ever use it a couple of times in my life. As mentioned above, the feature is available in Edge Dev, and not on the stable channel. So, there’s no telling when (or if) it will be made available to the wider public, but stay tuned.