The H.264/AVC video coding standard aims to enable significantly improved compression performance compared to all existing video coding standards. In order to achieve this, a robust rate-distortion optimization (RDO) technique is employed to select the best coding mode and reference frame for each macroblock. As a result, the complexity and computation load increase drastically. This paper presents a fast mode decision algorithm for H.264/AVC intraprediction based on local edge information. Prior to intraprediction, an edge map is created and a local edge direction histogram is then established for each subblock. Based on the distribution of the edge direction histogram, only a small part of intraprediction modes are chosen for RDO calculation. Experimental results show that the fast intraprediction mode decision scheme increases the speed of intracoding significantly with negligible loss of peak signal-to-noise ratio.