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How Do I Change the Size Of Text In a PDF File?

I enjoy reading PDF files on my iPhone. I usually save them in iCloud Drive so I can read them on any device. The PDF files look great on my MacBook Pro and iPad, but I often have to pinch to zoom to resize the text on my iPhone. Unfortunately this forces me to scroll horizontally from sentence to sentence. How do I change the size of text in a PDF file without having to scroll horizontally on an iPhone? The code responsible for reading a PDF file should allow for re-rendering like a web browser does (configuring viewport), but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Ian MacGregor

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Change the Size Of Text In a PDF File?”

    2 years ago

    So the whole purpose of PDF documents is that you cannot change things like the font size and have the text flow differently. PDFs are meant to be a format that is akin to a printed piece of paper, but in digital format. A PDF document should look the same on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Kindle, and any other devices that displays PDFs.

    Before the PDF document, it was a big problem. Any formatted document would look different if opened in different apps on different platforms. If you created a nice layout you couldn’t rely on it looking nice on another platform — even on another computer using the same platform. It could look the same, slightly different, or completely screwed up and unrecognizable.

    Adobe created PDF to solve this problem. It was a big deal when it first arrived. You could finally create a form, resume, brochure, post or an entire book and be sure of what it would look like when someone else opened it. You could say: line 17 of page 92 and it would be the same text as anyone else saw on line 17 page 92. If you put a shape or image on a page, it would be in the same position and look the same everywhere.

    So you definitely can’t re-flow the text in a PDF. Which means it isn’t an ideal format for reading on a mobile device.

    That is why the ePub format was created. Its main purpose is to provide a document in a way where the text can be resize and re-flowed as needed. There are a few other formats that compete with ePub as well.

    So your best bet is to see if the documents you want are in an ePub format. Of course, HTML is a hybrid format that can sometimes be made very static, and at other times can allow the text to be resized and re-flowed.

    If the PDF document you have is just text, you can always open it in Preview, select all of the text, paste it into a text document and read that. You can even paste it into Pages, export as ePub, and then bring it into your Books app library for an even better adjustable reading experience.

    Ian MacGregor
    2 years ago

    Thank you very much for the reply, Gary. You taught me quite a bit here and I really appreciate it!

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