Microsoft Edge Canary brings back dictionary tool to all webpages

Edge Dev Hero 2020 Newfeature
Edge Dev Hero 2020 Newfeature (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Edge Canary now has an option to define selected text on any webpage.
  • The option to define words was available in the legacy version of Microsoft Edge.
  • Microsoft started testing a similar dictionary feature in March, but it was limited to PDFs.

Microsoft Edge Canary has a new feature that lets you look up the definition of selected text on any webpage. This functionality was available on the legacy version of Edge but is now making its way to the Chromium-based Edge browser. The new dictionary feature is found in the mini context menu that appears when you select text. It was spotted by Leopeva64-2 on Reddit.

To enable the feature, you need to open the Appearance section within Edge's settings. You can then toggle an option to "Show mini menu when selecting text." A similar option appears on the production version of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, but it only works for PDFs.

When enabled, an icon for a mini menu will appear whenever you select text on a webpage. If you hover over that icon, you'll see a menu with a few options, including defining the selected text. The interface for this mini menu is a bit rough at the moment. The icon that appears when you select text looks like it should be clicked, but you actually just need to hover over it. Clicking it dismisses the icon.

The new mini menu is in testing, so some inconsistencies and odd behaviors are to be expected. Once it's refined, it will make it easier to access more information on Edge.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at