Adobe's Liquid Mode uses AI to make PDFs easier to read on phones

The feature is now available in Acrobat Reader for iOS and Android.


PDFs can be a pain to read on smaller screens, and that’s something Adobe intends to address now that more and more people are relying on digital services for their work and personal lives. Today, the software company has revealed its multi-year effort to bring Adobe Sensei-powered features to its PDF reader, starting with Liquid Mode. The new mode uses Sensei, Adobe’s AI tool, to automatically reformat text, images and tables for mobile devices.

When you activate Liquid Mode at the tap of a button in Adobe Acrobat Reader, Sensei uses AI and machine learning in the background to identify the parts of a PDF document. It will make headings larger, for instance, and make sure the text is readable on a smaller screen without having to zoom in. The feature can even create collapsible and expandable sections of the document you’re reading, as well as make its text searchable. If you want to make the document even more readable, you can customize it further by changing its font size and its line and word spacing.

According to Adobe, it conducted a study showing that 45 percent of Americans stopped reading or didn’t even try consuming lengthy and wordy documents on mobile. Meanwhile, 72 percent said they’d work more on phones if it were easier to read on them. Liquid Mode was the solution it came up with, though the company admits that it’s early days for it and that it’s bound to become better in the future.

At the moment, Liquid Mode is available in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader app for iOS and Android. It will also work on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store and will eventually be available on desktops and browsers.