Adobe shares the Liquid Mode Development Story
and Results of Readability and Reading Ruler Studies

An Adobe team consisting of Robert Haverty – Senior Product Manager, Document Cloud Accessibility, Matthew Hardy – Senior Engineering Manager, Document Cloud, Jamila Keba – Frontend Developer for Acrobat’s Liquid Mode, and Rick Treitman – Entrepreneur in Residence, presented Thursday at the axe-con annual conference. They detailed the development of Liquid Mode and the AI required to improve the accessibility of PDF documents for all readers. 

After sharing the benefits of Readability Features in improving reading outcomes for children and adults (see Proof of Concept and Accelerating Adult Readers.) Rick also shared the results of an Adobe Hack Week project, which built four alternative reading rulers for Acrobat.


Source: …Click to enlarge.

The team reported that test data indicated that reading rulers are as individual as readability formats; all readers can benefit from a reading ruler, and different readers performed best with different rulers. But, as the team evaluated the data, surprising results emerged. The dyslexic readers in the study did better with rulers designed by dyslexics, and non-dyslexic readers did better with rulers designed by non-dyslexics. This finding has important implications for building appropriate teams to design tools for readers.

As Rick summarized,

No one ruler rules them all.”



Source: …Click to enlarge.


Improving PDF Accessibility
with AI and Liquid Mode

March 11, 2021, axe-con

Adobe has been working on AI to improve the accessibility of PDF documents as well as an improved readability experience. The first release of these advancements is currently available on Acrobat Mobile for iOS and Android via our Liquid Mode feature. Come learn about our journey in using machine learning and AI to make more PDF documents accessible and easier to read.

Watch the full presentation on the axe-con website here.


Adobe's Robert Haverty, Matthew Hardy, Jamila Keba, Rick Treitman at axe-con