My Favorite PDF Reader is Word

Long Live Clippy – Forever in our Hearts

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Word is my favorite PDF reader.


Microsoft Edge?

Standard Windows 10 ships with Microsoft Edge as the default PDF reader. It’s nice not having to purchase or download extra PDF reading software, but for me reading a PDF in a web browser does leave something to be desired. First, it’s difficult to markup or edit a PDF in a web browser. Second, I don’t like getting the PDF I’m reading mixed in with all my other open tabs. Third…actually I don’t really have a third – two strikes is enough.

Usually, I read PDFs because they are documents sent to me from a colleague or a customer. I want my open documents grouped with my other open documents (WORD documents), not my endless supply of browser windows.

Make Word Default PDF Reader!

This is actually pretty simple. If you right-click on a PDF, you can choose how to open the file. If word doesn’t appear as an option, you can select choose another app.

From the choose another app screen, if Word does not appear you can find it by clicking more apps. Once selected, you can mark Always use this app to open ..pdf files to set Word as the Default.

As you can see below, setting Word as the default PDF reader creates a slightly different document icon to distinguish between .doc word documents and .pdf PDF documents, though both will be opened in the Word application.

Opening the PDF in Word has the same look and feel of opening a standard word document. As a user, you can make comments or edits like working with a Word document and then save those additions as a new document.

Apparently this functionality has been available since Word 2013. I’m just seven years late to the party. Better late than never, right?

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