Adobe’s Liquid Mode: The Biggest Change to PDFs is Here

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Adobe is setting the stage for what it claims to be the biggest change in using PDFs in a generation. On September 23, 2020, the tech giant announced its brand new feature, Liquid Mode which would debut in the next update to Adobe Acrobat. The new feature is specifically designed to make it easier for the end-user to read PDFs on mobiles or on smaller screens.

The new feature will be debuting first on iOS and Android Applications. It was a much-needed feature since many users find it difficult to read PDFs who have not been formatted to be viewed on devices with smaller screens.

Official Adobe Acrobat Liquid Mode Announcement

Adobe Acrobat: A Way To View Digital Documents

With the digitization of the upcoming age, the necessity of being able to read digital documents across multiple platforms became an inescapable need. With Adobe Acrobat, Adobe introduced a way to read such digital documents on our devices with much ease for the first time back in 1993. It was made an open-source software to be available to everyone and continued to come with various updates against the online threats over the years. It made viewing and editing of documents fairly easy and simple. However, much work had to be done to ensure its security against various threats the digital age had to offer. Security and integrity of the documents was the foremost necessity for the world.

Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat
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However, in the past decade, the use of mobile devices has been increased drastically. People have been using their smartphone devices and tablets to do much of their work which they previously used to do on computers. This new age of smart-devices came with challenges of its.

Even so, the devices to work on digital documents kept on changing, the mode of viewing them remained the same. People had to resize and adjust pages by zooming in and out constantly on devices with smaller screens to work on such documents since they were formatted to be viewed on desktop browsers. Navigating through documents on these compact devices was a nightmare as people had to constantly check for indexes by resizing them to view them properly. Hence, a need to improve the user experience on these new compact devices was very much necessary.

With Liquid Mode, Adobe has finally decided to introduce a feature that will make viewing documents on smaller screen devices much more efficient and user-friendly than before.

Liquid Mode: How Does it Work

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Liquid Mode, once activated, resizes and completely reformats static PDF files to fit according to the screen of the user’s device, making reading and editing PDFs in mobile devices much simpler. It uses technologies like AI and machine learning with the help of Adobe Sensei to analyze a static PDF file and identify its key elements, indexes, and then reformats and resizes according to the user’s screen.

Adobe's Liquid Mode
Adobe’s Liquid Mode

According to Ashley Still, SVP and General Manager of Digital Media, Adobe, “Liquid Mode simultaneously creates an intelligent outline, collapsible and expandable sections, and searchable text for quick navigation. Users can even tailor font size and spacing between words, characters, and lines to suit their specific reading preferences. This is especially useful for those who may see the text as too small, squished together, tight, or jumbled. With Liquid Mode, pinching and zooming are no longer necessary. Words are resizable and reflowable, images are tappable and expandable, and tables are responsive.”

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However, Adobe is keen on saying that the new feature is still in its nascent stages of development. The more data that is fed to Adobe Sensei, the more efficient Liquid Mode will become. Moreover, according to Adobe’s new multi-year roadmap for PDFs, they are focused on making more of their products and services automated using AI and machine learning. The new Liquid Mode feature is all set to become available to iOS and Android devices along with Chromebooks and would arrive on desktop browsers later this year.

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