Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Trying to read PDF on a mobile screen is a pain, be it iBooks or Adobe Reader. Neither of the apps properly format the content for reading on the iPhone. I was wondering if there is a "Reader" feature, similar to Safari's reading feature, on a PDF reading application that with a tap renders the content perfectly viewable on the tiny mobile screen.

If there is no such application then I would like to know how I can convert a PDF into any other format that would allow me to format the contents better for viewing on the iPhone.

share|improve this question

PDF files are popular precisely because the formatting is fixed. A PDF author can be sure that their document looks the same on any device that displays it. So I'm afraid you're asking for a feature that goes against one of the basic premises of the format.

That said, some PDFs have a text-only layer that can be displayed directly. On an iPhone, I'd recommend Goodreader for this. It will display the formatted PDF, then you can click to display the text-only version. That version may be bigger and more legible for you.

Having a text layer depends on the author of the PDF, but I would think Goodreader may be a step in the right direction for you.

share|improve this answer
+1 For mentioning GoodReader. Great app! – anon173 Apr 24 '12 at 18:03

I think Kindle for iOS can meet your requirement.
You only need to send PDF documents to your Kindle by e-mailing the PDF to to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address. If you want to convert the PDF to another format,put the word "convert" in the subject line.
In this way, you can get a better experience to read PDF on the iOS.

Send to Kindle just recently came out. It allows you to wirelessly drag and drop files onto your iOS device.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.