Microsoft has just issued a new version of their Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17074 and it dramatically increases the functionality of ebooks in the Edge Browser. Reading View is sporting a fresh new look when reading EPUB and PDF files and you can now read in full-screen mode. There is also new grammer tools that can break the words on the page into syllables, as well as highlight different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Edge will also be syncing all of your notes and reading progress in the cloud and can be accessed on other Windows 10 devices.
One of the most exciting features is support for EPUB Media Overlays, enabling support for a tailored narration experience, including custom audio and highlight styles. On supported books, you can now hear the book read aloud with custom narration, with the publisher’s chosen style applied to the highlight as the book is read. Microsoft also made accessibility improvements when using Narrator to browse, search, or load a book.
Finally, users can also now pin books to the Start Menu and see a list of book recommendations if their library is completely empty. Microsoft has also made many improvements to fixed layout EPUB books, so content should be arranged more predictably on the page. Users of assistive technology will also find several improvements to viewing PDFs or Books with a screen reader, including more explicit narration when opening, loading, and navigating books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.