Adobe intros Liquid Mode, an AI tool that automatically reformats PDFs for small screens

Adobe's new Liquid Mode tool can understand the structure of PDFs and automatically reformat text, images and tables for consumption on small screens.

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Adobe on Wednesday introduced a new AI-based feature for PDFs that's meant to make reading the digital documents easier on smartphones. Using its AI framework Sensei, Adobe's new Liquid Mode tool can understand the structure of PDFs and automatically reformat text, images and tables for consumption on small screens.

Adobe said Liquid Mode is the first step in its multi-year vision to fundamentally change the way people interact with digital documents. According to Adobe, Liquid Mode uses AI and machine learning to identify key components of a PDF -- like headings, paragraphs, images, lists and tables -- and then reformats those parts from static to dynamic based on the hierarchy and ordering.

Liquid Mode simultaneously creates an outline, collapsible and expandable sections, and searchable text. Users can also tailor font size and spacing between words, characters, and lines. Words are resizable, images are tappable and expandable, and tables are responsive. 

"Giving people tools to view and extract content from PDFs, without changing the PDF itself, will help everyone gain more insight and power from the trillions of PDFs housed in enterprise storage systems, PCs, mobile devices, and on the web," Adobe said in a blog post.

"Delivering exceptional digital experiences is our mission, and we've been working in service of our customers to do just that for more than three decades. From the introduction of PDF in the early 1990's, to unleashing it as an open standard in 2008, to the debut of Liquid Mode today, we continue to define how the world works with digital documents, both personally and professionally." 

Liquid Mode will debut first in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app for iOS and Android, including Google Play Store-compatible Chromebooks, and then eventually on desktops and browsers.