How to view a PDF file
What is a PDF file?
PDF (Portable Document Format) files are designed for online reading and printing on all computer platforms. They are a bit like an image of the document and so retain the formatting of the original document (unlike HTML).
PDF is particularly useful for documents with complex formatting or large (> 20 pages) documents. However, it can not always be easily accessed by screen-reader programs used by the visually disabled. See below for a solution.
How do I download and view or print a PDF file?
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 (or some other PDF reader). Visit Adobe's website where you can download the reader and install it on your machine.
Whenever you click on a link to a PDF file, your web browser will know to use Adobe Acrobat. It will ask you if you would like to open the document or save it to your hard drive. You should choose to open it, unless you want to keep a copy.
One you have downloaded and opened it, you can view at your leisure and print.
How can I tell if I have already installed a PDF viewer?
If you have not installed a PDF viewer, your browser will be unable to deal with any PDF files you link to. For example, Netscape 4 gives the following error:
'UNKNOWN FILE TYPE: You have started to download a file of type application/pdf.'
It then asks what application you wish to use. Other browsers will give different errors.
If you get a message similar to the one above you should cancel the download, install a PDF viewer such as Acrobat Reader (as described above) and then try the link again.
Through a free, Web-based service provided for blind and vision-impaired users by Adobe, any PDF document on the Internet can be converted to HTML.
- PC Users: Right click on the link
to the relevant PDF document, and then click on "Copy Shortcut" or
"Copy Link Location".
Mac Users: Hold mouse button down on the link to the relevant PDF file, and then click on "Copy Link to Clipboard" or "Copy This Link Location".
- Go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/access_onlinetools.html, click and paste the URL of the PDF file into the box provided.
- Press the "Get this PDF Document as HTML" button. The PDF document will be converted on-the-fly to HTML, and will be returned to you immediately in your browser application.
For other PDF conversion options for visually disabled users, go to the Adobe accessibility site (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/access_onlinetools.html).