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PDF Overview Table of Contents

Introduction

A Portable Document Format (PDF) file is a standard file type that is widely used on the Internet.  We use PDF files because they can be viewed from most operating systems with free PDF reading software.  The software is available from many vendors.  PDF software must be downloaded and installed in order to view PDF files.

Download the software from Adobe

Adobe Reader is available as a free download to read PDF files.  Simply select your operating system and connection speed, and then select the download button.  This will open a small window that will allow you to save the file wherever you would like.  After you select the destination for the file, select the "Save" button in the bottom right corner of the window to save.  (View more detailed instructions)

Install the Software from Adobe

Find the file that you downloaded and double click on the file to install.  Then, select the "Next" option for the first three screens and select the "Install" option for the fourth screen.  Finally, select the "Finish" option when the installation is completed.  (View more detailed instructions)

View a PDF File from the Internet

With PDF software installed, you can simply select a link to a PDF file on the Internet and the file will open within your Internet browser.  Please note that the PDF will not open immediately because your PDF software will have to start first.  (View more detailed instructions)

Save a PDF File from the Internet

Instead of selecting a link to a PDF file on the Internet with a typical left mouse click, you can select a link with a right mouse click to open a menu.  Select the third option, "Save Target As..."  This will open a small window that will allow you to save the PDF file wherever you would like.  After you select the destination for the PDF file, select the "Save" button in the bottom right corner of the window to save.  (View more detailed instructions)

Save a PDF File with Adobe Reader

The first button that is located on the top Adobe toolbar is the "Save" button.  The button looks like a diskette.  Select this button to save.  This will open a small window that will allow you to save the PDF file wherever you would like.  After you select the destination for the PDF file, select the "Save" button in the bottom right corner of the window to save.  (View more detailed instructions)

Print a PDF File with Adobe Reader

The second button that is located on the top Adobe toolbar is the "Print" button.  The button looks like a printer.  Select this button to print.  This will open a small window that will allow you to select your printer and change any print options.  After you select all of your print options, select the "OK" button in the bottom right corner of the window to print.  (View more detailed instructions)

Search a PDF File with Adobe Reader

Along the top Adobe toolbar is the "Search" button.  The button looks like a pair of binoculars.  Select this button to search the PDF file.  This will open a small window.  Type your keyword(s) to search in the text box.  You may also select the search options below the text box.  After you enter your keyword(s) and select your search options, select the "Find" button on the right to search the PDF file.  (View more detailed instructions)

Navigate a PDF File with Adobe Reader

The Adobe Reader provides tools for zooming in and out of a page, navigating through pages, viewing bookmarks, and much more.  (View more detailed instructions)

Complete a PDF Form

PDF forms are commonly used to provide users with the ability to input information into the form, instead of traditionally printing a form and handwriting the information.  To complete a PDF form, simply open the form with Adobe Reader.  Select the text box and input the information.  After the form is completed, the form may be printed.  (View more detailed instructions)

Revised October 21, 2010

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