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PDF Files: Retrieval and Printing

[Portable Document Format (PDF) files] are stored as images of printable pages that have been formatted specifically for printed output. They are created using a proprietary program named "Adobe Acrobat" written by [Adobe Systems Incorporated]. Despite their proprietary nature, these files can be viewed or printed using a free program from Adobe named "Adobe Acrobat Reader". This program can run as a "plug-in" inside of a web browser or as an independent program. When viewing a PDF document inside of a browser window, if you want to print the document, be sure to click on the print icon on the button bar inside of the Reader's document window rather than using the Print icon or menu choice at the top of the browser's program window.

You might have a PDF Reader already installed on your computer, in which case you can simply click on any web link to a PDF file to load the Reader and the document for viewing or printing. If you want to check to see if your browser can display PDF files, click [TEST PDF]. If successful you should quickly see a page displayed in a new browser window stating:

Your computer has software capable of displaying Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files.

If you do not have a copy of the PDF Reader installed on your computer, the program is available for free download from Adobe. If you want to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on the Adobe icon below to open the appropriate download page on the Adobe website. Then follow the instructions there to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The program is quite large (over 53MB at the time of this writing) and might take hours to download using a dial-up modem connection. If the site offers any additional software or upgrades, reject them (remove check marks in their checkboxes). After the installation is complete, you should be able to click on any web link to a PDF file to load the reader and the document for viewing or printing.

Click the Adobe icon to download Adobe's Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the free Acrobat Reader

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