What are PDF Files?
Unlike HTML files, PDF (portable document format) files maintain the look and layout of original documents (on screen and in print), regardless of computer platform, browser, or printer. For this reason, PDF files are better suited than HTML files for the presentation of certain documents such as legal and government documents. However, to view the PDF files, Adobe® Acrobat® Reader is required. See below for information on obtaining the Acrobat Reader. PDF is a development of Adobe Systems, Incorporated. For additional information on PDF, please visit Adobe's web site .
Obtaining the Acrobat® Reader (PDF viewer)
If you don't have Acrobat® Reader, you can download it free of charge from the Adobe web site (for any computer platform). To download Acrobat® Reader, go to Get Adobe Reader Free and follow the instructions.
Downloading, Viewing & Printing PDF Files
- Once you have installed Acrobat® Reader on your system, it should automatically integrate with your browser as a plug-in. If the Acrobat® Reader does not work with your browser, you could be running an older browser. Try upgrading your browser.
- When you click on a PDF file, Acrobat® Reader should automatically launch and open the PDF file in the Reader. If Acrobat® Reader does not launch and open the PDF file, please try the following:
- Configure your browser to recognize Acrobat® Reader as a plug-in.
- If you are still unable to open the PDF by clicking on it, you may have to download the file to your PC first. You can do this by clicking your right mouse button on the link, and saving as a PDF.
- After you download the file to your machine, launch Acrobat® Reader, and open the PDF file from your hard drive.
Once the file is open, you can select "Save As" from the file menu to save a copy of the PDF file to your machine (if you want to keep a copy for future reference).
- Once you have the file open in your browser window, you can view it using Reader's navigation tools, or you can print it by selecting "Print" from the file menu.
PDF Access for the Visually Impaired
Adobe Reader X accessibility is a tool that allows visually impaired users to read any document in Adobe PDF format. The tool converts PDF documents into simple HTML or ASCII text which can then be read by a number of screen reading programs that analyze the HTML and present it as audible speech.
PDF/Acrobat® Usage Disclaimer
The NIEHS does not assume responsibility for downloads or use of Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, or Adobe Reader X