Reader app for Windows: FAQ

The Reader app helps you open and view PDF, XPS, and TIFF files. Reader lets you search for words or phrases, take notes, fill in forms, and print or share documents. Here are answers to the most common questions about Reader.

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How do I open a file?

If you try to open a PDF, XPS, or TIFF file, it usually opens in Reader automatically. If that doesn't happen, you can set Reader as the default app for those types of files. (We'll show you how to do that in the next section.)

If Reader is already open and you want to open a file, here's how:

  1. Tap or click Browse.

    If you don't see Browse, swipe up from the bottom edge or right-click within the app, and then tap or click the Open another file button Open another file button.

    If you want to close the current file and open a new one in its place, tap or click Open file, and then tap or click Browse. If you want to keep the current file open and open another file at the same time, tap or click Open file in new tab, and then tap or click Browse. (The option to open a file in a new tab won't be available if you already have five files open, because Reader can only have five files open at once).

  2. Browse to the folder or location where the file is stored.

  3. Tap or click the file to select it, and then tap or click Open.

Note

  • Reader can only have five files open at once. If you already have five files open and then open another one, Reader will close one of the other files. If you've made changes to the file that Reader wants to close, you'll be prompted to save those changes.

How do I make PDF, XPS, or TIFF files open in Reader by default?

If PDF, XPS, or TIFF files are opening in another app, you can tell Windows to use Reader instead. Here's how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click Change PC settings.

  3. Tap or click Search and apps, and then tap or click Defaults.

  4. Tap or click Choose default apps by file type (you might need to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to see this option).

  5. Under Name, scroll down until you see .pdf.

  6. Tap or click the name of the app that appears to the right of .pdf, and then under Choose an app, tap or click Reader.

  7. Repeat this for each type of file that you want to open in Reader (for example, .oxps, .xps, or .tiff).

How do I switch between open files?

  1. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)

  2. Tap or click the file you want to switch to.

How do I view two files side-by-side?

  1. Open the first file.

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge or right-click within the file, tap or click the Open another file button Open another file button, and then tap or click Open file in new tab.
  3. If the file you want to open appears in the list of recently opened files, tap or click it. Otherwise, tap or click Browse, go to the folder or location where the file is stored, tap or click the file you want to open, and then tap or click Open.

  4. Swipe up from the bottom edge or right-click to display thumbnails of the files you have open.

  5. Press and hold or right-click the thumbnail of the other file, and then tap or click Open in a new window. The files are displayed side by side.

How do I print a file?

  1. Open the file you want to print.

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge or right-click within the file, and then tap or click Print.

  3. Tap or click the name of your printer.

    If you don't see your printer listed, but you see a More option, tap or click that and see if your printer appears. If you still don't see your printer, you probably need to add it. For more info, see Install a printer.

  4. Set the printing options you want, and then tap or click Print.

How do I go to a specific page in a file?

Do one of the following:

  • Using your fingers, pinch the screen to display thumbnails of each page. (If you're using a keyboard, press Ctrl+Minus Sign (‑) until you see thumbnails of each page.) Then tap or click the page you want to go to.

  • Tap or click the page number if it is displayed in the upper-left corner (or press Ctrl+G), and then enter the number of the page you want to go to.

How do I zoom in or out?

  • Using your fingers, stretch or pinch the screen until the file is the size you want. (If you're using a keyboard, press Ctrl+Plus Sign (+) to zoom in or Ctrl+Minus Sign (‑) to zoom out.)

How do I change the document layout?

You can change the way that Reader displays the document you're reading. This is useful if you want to change the number of pages displayed on the screen at once, or to switch between scrolling horizontally and scrolling vertically. You can change the reading layout of the current document or set the default reading layout so that documents you open in the future are displayed as you prefer.

To change the reading layout for the current document

  1. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To display two pages at a time (and scroll horizontally), tap or click Two pages.

    • To display one page at a time (and scroll horizontally), tap or click One page.

    • To display one page at a time (and scroll vertically), tap or click Continuous.

To change the default reading layout

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click Options.

  3. Under Default layout, tap or click the display option that you prefer.

Documents you open after setting this option will open in the layout you picked.

How do I add notes or highlight text?

  1. Tap the first word you want to highlight and then drag the selection handle to the end of the text you want to highlight. If you're adding a note, select the text that the note is about. (If you're using a mouse, drag over the text to select it.)

  2. Tap or right-click within the selected text, and then tap or click Highlight or Add a note.

Note

  • You can highlight text and add notes only if the author has granted permission to do so. To check this, swipe up from the bottom edge or right-click within the app, tap or click More, and then tap or click Info. Under Permissions, see if Add notes and highlight is selected. If it's not selected, you can't highlight text or add notes.

How do I copy text?

  1. Tap the first word you want to copy and then drag the selection handle to the end of the text you want to copy. (If you're using a mouse, drag over the text to select it.)

  2. Tap or right-click within the selected text, and then tap or click Copy.

How do I save a file?

  1. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Tap or click Save.

    • Tap or click Save as, enter the filename you want to save the file as, and then tap or click Save.

Files are saved in Documents by default.

How do I close a file?

  1. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the app commands.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)

    A thumbnail of each open file appears across the top of the screen.

  2. Tap or click the × for each file you want to close.

How do I close Reader?

  • Swipe down from the top edge of the screen and drag the Reader window to the bottom edge of the screen. To learn more and to watch a video that shows how to do this, see How do I close an app?

    If you're using a keyboard, you can close Reader by pressing Alt+F4.

What keyboard shortcuts can I use with Reader?

Press this key To do this
Press this key

Ctrl+O

To do this

Open a new file (replaces the file that is currently open, if there is one)

Press this key

Ctrl+T

To do this

Open a file in a new tab

Press this key

Ctrl+P

To do this

Print a file

Press this key

Ctrl+Plus Sign (+)

To do this

Zoom in

Press this key

Ctrl+Minus Sign (‑)

To do this

Zoom out

Press this key

Ctrl+R

To do this

Rotate document counterclockwise

Press this key

F8

To do this

Switch between reading layouts

Press this key

Ctrl+F

To do this

Search for a word or phrase

Press this key

Ctrl+G

To do this

Go to page

Press this key

Ctrl+S

To do this

Save the file

Press this key

Ctrl+Shift+S

To do this

Save the file under a different name

Press this key

Ctrl+W

To do this

Close the file

Press this key

Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab

To do this

Switch between open files

Press this key
Windows logo key‌ Windows logo key+Z
To do this

Display app commands

Press this key

Shift+F10

To do this

Display a menu of options for selected text