Adobe Acrobat Page

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Answers to some basic questions about Adobe Acrobat, PDF files, and readers.

How do I download a PDF file?

What's a PDF file?

How do I get the Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Why would I want an Acrobat Reader?

How do I download a PDF file?
There are many web browsers out there, and each is different. An Adobe Acrobat PDF file needs an Adobe Acrobat Reader to be viewed or printed. Assuming you have an Acrobat reader, most browsers give you two choices:
  1. View the file right now on screen. This is typically the default. It's what happens if you left-click the file name. The reader opens up inside your browser and allows you to see the chart on your screen. The disadvantage is that when you disconnect, you no longer have the file. (Actually, it's probably in a temporary directory, but that won't help most users.)
  2. Download the file. Most browsers require you to right click the file, and list a bunch of choices. Pick the one most like "Save Target As" (remember each browser has its own terminology). This is what most users want to do. If you download it, you have it on your computer. You can open it a week from now, email it to someone else as an attachment, print it on your printer, etc.

Adobe Acrobat PDF files
With Acrobat Reader, users can view, navigate, and print documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Systems Incorporated created the Portable Document Format to allow documents to be read online on all platforms. PDF files are designed to look the same, no matter what machine you view them on. Adobe offers free Acrobat reader programs for a long list of platforms, including:
  Macintosh
  Power Mac
  Win 3.1
  Win95
  Win NT 3.5.1
  Win NT 4.0
  OS/2
  SunOS
  Solaris
  HP-UX
  AIX
  IRIX (SGI)
  LINUX

Getting an Adobe Acrobat Reader
The easiest way to get an Acrobat reader is to download it directly from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/readstep.html). Just click the button below to get the reader.
Don't have an Adobe Acrobat Reader?

What's an Acrobat file?

Why would I want an Acrobat Reader?
Acrobat has rapidly become a standard format on the world wide web. Government agencies ranging from the Federal Reserve Board to the Census Bureau make many of their documents available for free download as PDF files. Many companies publish documentation on the web as PDF files. With an Acrobat Reader, you can view, navigate, and print those documents. With thethe Acrobat Search plug-in, you can perform quick full-text searches of PDF document collections that have been indexed with Acrobat Catalog. This search capability has led to Acrobat's widespread use on CD-ROMs as well. Best of all, the reader that lets you access all that is free!

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Last modified: April 06, 2005