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How to Improve PDF Readability of Scientific Papers on Computer Screens

Scientific papers are articles of an academic nature whose purpose is to expose one or more discoveries in a particular area of a field of study and, unlike a common article, they have a specific narrative structure that may seem complex but has the purpose to assist the reader to understand its content.

It is the most reliable, effective, and professional method of scientific dissemination. However, it is a reading with a high level of difficulty. It is for this reason that most of the people who read scientific papers on a regular basis rely on digital tools that facilitate their understanding, such as computers, tablets, laptops, Smartphones, or eReaders. These devices can display documents in PDF format, offer a reasonably comfortable reading experience, and allow you to browse the internet for references. However, it is common for more experienced readers to feel uncomfortable with these tools as many of the methods they use to synthesize content are not viable when read from one of these devices.

Part 1. Features of Scientific Papers

Most of the most important scientific advances in recent years have been documented through these types of articles. A scientific paper is a document that has undergone an exhaustive review process to be approved and published. These usually have a specific structure to facilitate the analysis and reading. However, this may vary slightly from article to article.

Next, I will talk about the sections that you can find in a scientific paper.

Title: A sentence that must accurately describe the content of the article

Authors: List of the names of everyone involved in the investigation.

Abstract: Summarize the content of the article without delving into any topic. This section is especially useful for the reader to determine whether or not they are interested in reading the content of the article.

Introduction: Expose the purpose of the investigation.

Materials: Describe the experimental design

Methods: Describe in detail all the procedures that were performed during the investigation.

Results: Objectively exposes the results that emerged from the investigation, without any interpretation of the author.

Discussion: Expose the author's interpretation of the results and the context that justifies the interpretation.

Conclusion: Concisely summarize the key points and the outcome of the investigation.

References: List the scientific books or articles that were cited in the article.

As you can see, these articles have a complex structure but offer great advantages for their regular readers, guaranteeing a better reading experience.

Part 2. What Is Good Reading Experience of Scientific Papers?

Scientific papers have a large amount of information, citations, and references because they seek to express with precision the process and result of an investigation since it must be able to be replicated from the information that is exposed in the article. This can become overwhelming for the reader and cause them to lose their attention or even lose interest in continuing to read. Therefore, for a reader to have a good reading experience, a number of specific conditions must be met.

During the reading, the reader must be able to identify each of the parts of the article, recognize who or who the authors are, for what purpose the research was carried out, understand the processes and conclusions of the research and have tools that allow them pause the reading without discarding the reader progress.

There are traditional methods and tools that help readers organize information. For example: Underline or highlight the most relevant parts of the article, write the doubts that the reader may have in a notebook, make annotations that allow one article to be compared with another, or transcribe the references for later consultations. However, most of these methods are not feasible when reading through a digital device.

Part 3. How to Improve PDF Readability of Scientific Papers?

Nowadays, publishers have considerably reduced the use of paper and ink for the publication of scientific papers. In other words, they are published mostly through digital media thanks to the low costs that these represent and their enormous potential for dissemination. To make this possible, it is important to ensure that articles can be viewed well from any device. It is for this reason that scientific papers are published in PDF format. This format is the standard for transferring digital documents due to the enormous compatibility and interoperability benefits it offers.

It is in this way that the digital media and the technology industry became the main allies of scientific dissemination. However, there is still a "problem" that hinders this process. There are thousands of devices on the market and many of them have different characteristics. There are different formats and screen sizes, in addition, some of these can recognize the user's touch, while others do not and, as a result, many readers choose to print these articles on paper, because in this way they say they feel more comfortable and have greater control. However, this is opposed to the initiative to reduce the use of paper, so some companies have already proposed solutions to this problem through specialized software that improves the user's reading experience. For example: Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor.

Next I will talk about how PDFelement manages to improve the user experience, offering the same comforts that readers are used to and at the same time, some additional advantages that can only be obtained with professional software.

Clickable links

Instead of writing the cited emails or web pages, you can just click on them. PDFelement will automatically redirect you to them through your browser or messaging software by default.

add link

Insert notes

It is quite common for questions or ideas to arise while reading a scientific paper. In general, the more experienced readers who print their articles, usually take notes on small sticky notes that later paste on the paragraph that caused them the doubt to analyze it later. Using PDFelement, you don't need to print the documents to make annotations. You can easily insert sticky notes to keep your ideas in context and organized.

add note in pdf

Highlight text

Generally, the most effective way to make an article easier to understand is to highlight the most important parts of a paragraph with a marker. In this way, the reader can process the information almost immediately. With the help of PDFelement you will not need to carry markup texts with you, as this tool allows you to highlight text with ease. You can even use different colors to better emphasize and compare ideas.

highlight area

Attach support documents

One of the most practical advantages of PDFelement is the “Add attachment” tool. This tool will create a button that redirects you to some other file that you have stored. This will allow you to attach related articles anywhere in the document to make it much easier for you to use them as a reference.

attachment pane


You can facilitate navigation in the document by creating Bookmarks. You just need to click on the “Bookmarks” option in the navigation panel, click on the “Add” button and assign a name to it. This process takes just a couple of seconds and will make your reading experience much more comfortable and practical.

add bookmark


If you need to go to a certain location of the article but are not sure where it is located, you can use the PDFelement search tool. This tool allows you to search words and sentences within the article with precision.


Automatic screen adjustment

If you are used to reading printed scientific papers, viewing them on a computer may be uncomfortable due to the scale and the way the pages are displayed, however, in PDFelement you will find tools that will help you create an experience of reading to your measure. You can choose between these adjustment modes: "Fit to actual page size", "Fit to window width", "Fit to window height", "Fit to window size" and "Full screen". In addition, you can choose between these display options: "View single page at time", "View page with scrolling enabled", "View two pages side by side" and "View pages side by side with scrolling enabled".

viw mode

File comparison

If you need to compare two articles, you can use the file comparison tool. This tool will show you both documents at the same time, each one with a different color and it will list all the differences between these documents. In this way you get a much more accurate result in just seconds.

compare two pdf files

Closing words

Those who are regular readers of scientific papers know that reading them is not easy. It is important to take notes, pause, and consult references. In the past, this was a complex and methodical task that could take hours. Fortunately, thanks to tools like PDFelement, it is possible to achieve the same results in just seconds. All the tools you may need in one place.