Monday, 17 October 2011

Adobe Reader got dumbed down: update kills PDF text reflow

Update: Adobe listened to us. Text reflow is back.

There are many PDF viewers for Android. Unfortunately there are not many good PDF readers for Android, and none of the free PDF viewers can match their PC counterparts.

The free Adobe Reader is not a very good PDF reader, but it had one thing going for it: text reflow.

Yes, the original idea behind PDF is to preserve formatting and layout, but the inventors of PDF never anticipated that one day we'd read PDF files on the small screens of our phones.

Ever tried to read a two or three column PDF on your phone? Then you know why it's a good idea to reflow the text to make things readable on your mobile display.

But Adobe had to ruin it.

The new Adobe Reader update for Android adds bookmarks (not done very well) and lets you read PDFs protected with their own DRM scheme (as if anyone would want to do that), and you can copy text from your PDFs to other apps now.


...Adobe stupidly removed the option to reflow the text of your PDFs to a single screen width fitting column in a legible font size.

Let's hope text reflow comes back in a future version. Until then you better stick with the old version of Adobe Reader if you want to keep the option to reflow your PDFs.

Adobe Reader (Android Market)

Adobe Reader version 10.0.2 still comes with text reflow:

Adobe Reader 10.0.2 at
Adobe Reader 10.0.2 on Google

Ask for the return of text reflow on the Adobe forum. Maybe they'll listen?

What happened to text reflow? (Adobe Forums)

Update: Adobe listened to us. Text reflow is back.

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