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A Practical PDF Reader for Android

by Alan German

The ability to easily read PDF files on a smartphone is somewhat restricted by the small size of the display screen. Practically, only a portion of a page can be displayed at any one time. The problem often comes when it is necessary to move to the next page.

Let's suppose, for example, that I have finished reading the text at the bottom of the first page. When trying to scroll down the document, most PDF reader apps will move the pointer laterally, and place it at the bottom of the second page. Clearly, this isn't all that useful. I need to be able to restart reading the text at the top of the second page, not at the bottom! It's very inconvenient - I would say unnecessary - to have to scroll up to the top of the page before being able to do so.

But, it's amazing how many apps follow this model. I tried several different apps, including the "industry leader", with no success in finding a logical approach. That is, until I came across MuPDF, a free, cross-platform app for Android, Linux, Windows and IOS.

With MuPDF installed on my phone, reading a PDF file became much more user friendly. The program is lean and mean. It doesn't have a lot of fancy features. It loads documents very quickly, provides a sharp rendition of the content, and just lets you read your PDF file.




Best of all, with a document loaded, one tap in the lower-right corner of the screen scrolls down the page. And, when at the bottom of one page, the on-screen tap moves the pointer - to the top of the next page!

As might be expected, tapping on the bottom the screen scrolls down through the document, while tapping at the top scrolls upwards. And, in the latter case, when moving up between pages, tapping on the screen takes you from the top of one page to the bottom of the previous page. So, as when scrolling down through the document, scrolling up also maintains the focus on the current material being read.

As indicated, MuPDF is a lightweight app - a PDF reader no more and no less - but it achieves this purpose admirably.

Bottom Line:

MuPDF (Freeware)
Version 1.7
Artifex Software, Inc.

Originally published: June, 2015

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