Adobe Liquid Mode uses AI to make reading PDFs on your phone easier

Ewdison Then - Sep 23, 2020, 8:23pm CDT
Adobe Liquid Mode uses AI to make reading PDFs on your phone easier

We live in a digital and mobile world but, ironically, many of the things we deal with still aren’t designed to fit both. Electronic documents that come in PDF form are one of the biggest offenders and while there is no shortage of PDF reader apps for phones, actually reading them on small screens is an entirely different matter. To address that problem, Adobe has embarked on a multi-year campaign to make PDFs behave better without actually changing them and the first stop in that journey is the new Liquid Mode for Acrobat Reader on mobile.

Some PDF readers, especially Adobe’s Acrobat, have long had ways to “reflow” text to fit in any screen. While useful in a pinch for short documents, it’s definitely not ideal for longer reading material, magazines, presentations, or even forms. That’s what Liquid Mode tries to offer, practically a souped-up version of Reading Mode that preserves as much of the beauty and formatting of the original.

Many users of the Acrobat mobile app may have already seen the Liquid Mode icon on the toolbar but it is only now that it will actually do something when you tap on it. It resizes, reformats, and reflows the content to be readable on phone-sized screens but doesn’t simply zoom in or out of the document. It even lets you make the same adjustments you could do in normal reading mode, like changing the font size and the like.

Adobe Acrobat does all these without actually modifying the original PDF and that’s possible thanks to Adobe’s Sensei, its fancy new AI and machine learning framework. Sensei actually analyzes the content of the PDF so that, in addition to reformatting it, it can even create an outline that you can use to navigate through the document.

Liquid Mode, however, is just the first leg of Adobe’s AI-powered new vision. That vision includes leveraging the power of Sensei and its document-analyzing capabilities to allow searching through multiple PDFs from an organization all at once or even pulling out data from thousands of reports, researches, and records.

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