Published on September 24th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Adobe’s Liquid Mode Leverages AI to Reformat PDFs for Mobile Devices
On August 13, 2020 Emergent Enterprise posted an article about the incredibly poor UX of the PDF file. Perhaps Adobe has provided some relief with a new AI-fueled tool that reformats PDF files for better readability on mobile devices and presumably other formats such as AR & VR. Kyle Wiggers explains Liquid Mode from Adobe in this post at VentureBeat and how it might make life easier for all of us who swipe, scroll, pinch and zoom PDF files. Perhaps the most striking statistic here is that 65% find PDF files frustrating. 65%!!! And yet we throw them at our audiences with regularity. Take a vow today to end the frustration and present your content in the most user-friendly way possible.
Photo courtesy Adobe
Adobe today announced an update for Acrobat Reader that leverages Sensei, the company’s machine learning platform, to make it easier to read whole documents on smartphones and tablets. Beginning with iOS, Android, and ChromeOS ahead of desktop and browser support in the coming months, Reader will gain a viewing option called Liquid Mode that automatically reformats text, images, tables, and more to make them readable on small screens.
Reading documents — particularly PDFs — on mobile has never been a stellar experience. According to Adobe’s own research, 65% of people in the U.S. find it frustrating and 45% stopped reading or didn’t try. But the number of files in the wild continues to rise, with estimates of over 2.5 trillion in circulation today.
Adobe describes Liquid Mode, which began showing up for some Acrobat users earlier in the year, as the first step in a “multi-year vision to fundamentally change the way people consume digital documents.” Another step is Adobe’s PDF Extract API, a beta service that taps Sensei to extract text, table structure, cell data, images, and more from PDFs automatically.
When Liquid Mode is enabled, it attempts to spot and make sense of headings, paragraphs, images, lists, tables, and other parts of PDFs and where they fit in a hierarchy and order. It simultaneously creates an intelligent outline, collapsible and expandable sections, and searchable text for faster touch navigation. Users can adjust things like font size and spacing between words, characters, and lines to suit their reading preferences. And words become resizable and reflowable, images tappable and expandable, and tables fully responsive.