The Digestor system automatically converts web-based documents designed for desktop viewing into formats appropriate for handheld devices with small display screens, such as Palm-PCs, PDAs, and cellular phones. Digestor employs a heuristic planning algorithm and a set of structural page transformations to produce the “best” looking document for a given display size. Digestor can also be instructed, via a scripting language, to render portions of documents, thereby avoiding navigation through many screens of information. Two versions of Digestor have been deployed, one that re-authors HTML into HTML for conventional browsers, and one that converts HTML into HDML for Unwired Planet’s micro-browsers. Digestor provides a crucial technology for rapidly accessing, scanning and processing information from arbitrary web-based documents from any location reachable by wired or unwired communication.