Windows Reader, Windows 8’s Built-In PDF Reader

Windows Reader is a new program that Microsoft has developed exclusively for the Windows 8 operating system. The reader is integrated into the Consumer Preview version of the operating system, so that it can be checked out by everyone.

Windows Reader will open all pdf documents by default, regardless of their origin. The Metro UI app opens local pdf documents and those that you download from the Internet. Windows users who prefer a different pdf reader can install it on the system to associate pdf documents with the program instead. The core benefit of Windows Reader is that it adds native pdf support to the Windows operating system, so that you do not need to install a third party application anymore for that. Windows Reader on the other hand is just a document viewer, it cannot be used to modify pdf documents in any way.

The program is not added to the start page by default, which makes sense as it is opened automatically when you click on a pdf file. You can however easily add the program to the start page. When in Metro, enter Windows Reader, and right-click the result afterwards. This pins the program to the start page. You can then launch it with a click, and open pdf documents from within.

windows reader

The fullscreen app displays only the opened document on the screen. A right-click displays a toolbar at the bottom that lets you open, save and find documents, switch between a one or two pages layout or rotate documents.

When you use find or open to load pdf documents, you are taken to a filtered view of My Documents where only pdf documents are visible and every other file is hidden from view.

Windows Reader isĀ  a basic pdf reader, comparable to the built-in pdf reader of the Google Chrome browser. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially so for users who just need a program to access the occasional pdf document on their computer. The inclusion makes sense from a usability point of view, and maybe even security, considering that the most popular pdf reader, Adobe Reader, is also one of the most attacked.


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13 Responses to Windows Reader, Windows 8’s Built-In PDF Reader

  1. hwatt March 5, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    while it’s nice not to hit errors when opening a pdf, the fullscreen-only gremlins attack desktop users once again. After 5 min of this app thing eating up my whole screen- with no directory tree support- I downloaded Adobe Reader X in a quick hurry to restore window-able, table of contents-showing pdf reader we’ve all come to know and love.

    great tablet os, btw

  2. Mike March 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Associated the *.pdf extension with “Reader” and it came back “unknown application” I then associated the *.pdf extension with Foxit Reader and it came back “Foxit Reader 5.1”

  3. adhammagdy March 6, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    u can see table of contents (bookmarks) by selecting more>>bookmarks
    to zoom in and out hold ctrl+mouseWheelUp/down

    • hwatt March 6, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      ooooh. I stand corrected. I had to reinstall the app to see for myself. now all that’s left is to put metro in a window. Since this OS is called ‘windows’. Where’s the app for that?…hm…

  4. mike f March 6, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Like all the new apps in Windows 8, you have to use task manager or alt-F4 to close or they stay open in the background. That is on my list of reasons NOT to upgrade to Windows 8 when the full release comes out. As an IT student, I could probably get it cheap or free…I’ll still keep my 7 !!

    • Jhabril Harris March 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      You do realize to close out a windows 8 app just simply move the cursor to the top, click, and drag it down to the bottom to close it right?

      • Dan Dar3 March 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

        He probably only used Developer Preview, this feature is in Consumer Preview.

      • peeved March 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

        No, we don’t and that’s what’s so annoying. The simplest of things be come difficult thanks to microcrap that keeps changing everything. You have to constantly re-learn everything. And you have to know the secret. “All you have to do is push button x”.

      • peeved March 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        How do you make it go to “Restore down” mode? That’s the position between minimized and maximized where you can see your background around the window. Again, the simplest things unkown to me. After using computers for 30 years I feel like a complete noob that has to relearn how to use a computer again. Thanks MS.

  5. gdg444 March 7, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Either drag the app down, or right click the thumbnail and choose close to close app.

    As far as reader goes it’s OK, I just have not found a way yet to “CLEAR” out recently opened PDFs that’s kind of getting on my nerves.

  6. peeved March 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    How do you exit it? windows just keeps getting more and more annoying until you can’t even do the most simplest of things.

  7. Anthony Mallett December 3, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    How do you close just the file not the whole app and get to the files that were open in reader…? if you Alt-F4 it closes the whole App if you right click then go to More and then Close file – it still closes that whole Application …

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