We all dislike reading PDF documents on our smart phones. Pinch in, pinch out, scroll around and attempt to read what was originally designed to be shown on a screen over 10 times larger. Then there’s filling in a PDF Form on your smart phone – close to impossible. So it appears that our beloved smart phone isn’t smart enough to handle viewing PDFs – We have a solution.
The PDF format was not originally designed to be flexible when viewing. It was designed to simulate printed or displayed content similar to reading a book, magazine or newspaper. But smart phones and other small devices are simply too small to view the entire page, so the user has to zoom and scroll to view the content.
When the ISO Standard for PDF was developed, it did not include small devices. Given PDF was born in 1993 and became a standard in 2008, smart phones and portable devices were still gaining traction. For PDF as it’s currently designed, this is sounding like the beginning of the end for the Trillions of PDFs out there given they don’t behave on mobile devices. The happy news is that a PDF is actually a data container. Because of this, we aren’t limited to viewing a PDF precisely as it was created for a large screen. When the content is carefully extracted and the logical reading order created, the PDF can be presented on all sized devices in a user friendly manner. This is also true for PDF forms which can now be filled out as easily as a responsively designed web-form.
This technology can be used to delight your customers with a fantastic UX, build web pages with embedded PDF, mine for data in PDF with hyper-accurate extraction and last but not least we can also rebuild AcroForms into a responsive design so that your users can fill out PDF forms directly on their mobile device in a clean and simpler way. A Mobile App for reading your PDF in a responsive state is coming soon for iPhone and Android. Follow us or subscribe for updates to be first when we launch.