General tips

Because a PDF document can be displayed within the existing layout of the web site you are browsing, it might sometimes appear that the document is part of the web page on your screen. In fact it is a different file in a different format. You will run into problems if you try, for example, to print or save the PDF document using the browser toolbar, because the browser will apply the print or save commands to the web pages that frame the PDF document rather than to the document itself.

When you open up a PDF file from your web browser you should notice that the document opens with its own Acrobat Reader toolbar, including, for example, print, save and zoom icons. Always use the Acrobat Reader toolbar for tasks specific to PDF documents .

You may also download and save a PDF file without opening it by right-clicking on a link to the file and choosing "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or choosing "Save Link Target as" (Netscape Navigator or Mozilla Firefox).

Problems viewing or opening PDF files from your browser

When I try to look at a PDF from my browser, I see a blank frame or window. What can I do to fix this?

There are a number of possible causes for this occurring, which may depend on the browser version you are using, the version of Acrobat Reader installed, or configuration settings in your browser, including Security settings. Upgrading your browser or the Reader software may resolve the problem, or you may find you need to change your security settings. In IE 4.0, 4.01 or 5, the security must be set to medium or lower. (In IE 4.x choose Internet Options on the View Menu, click the Security tab, click Internet Zone in the zone box, click Medium or Low, click OK. In IE 5 or later Internet Options is found under the Tools menu.) If you are worried about changing your security settings you may wish to download the file and view it offline using the Acrobat Reader program which will run as a separate application outside your browser.

Problems opeing PDF files may also be due to a slow connection to the internet or because you are trying to view a very large PDF file. If this is the case you will have to wait for the file to download before you can view it.

Problems printing PDF files from your browser

When printing a PDF file from a website I get pages of obscure processing instructions instead of the contents of the file. Why is this happening?

The PDF file format is made up of postscript instructions to the printer, which your browser may interpret as plain text. This results in the processing instructions being printed instead of just the document, and may take up screeds of paper (which is obviously very wasteful if you don't cancel the print job in time!) When printing a PDF file from a website, you should always use the print icon on the Acrobat reader toolbar , rather than using the File -> Print option from your browser menu. You should also note that right-clicking on a link to a PDF file and choosing the "Print Target" option may also result in incorrect printing of the document.


Problems saving PDF files from your browser

How do I save a copy of a PDF file from the website to my local disk?

Remember to use the Acrobat Reader toolbar, rather than the toolbar on your browser when you want to save or print a copy of a PDF you have opened in a browser.

You may also download and save a PDF file without opening it by right-clicking on a link to the file and choosing "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or choosing "Save Link Target as" (Netscape Navigator or Mozilla Firefox).

When I fill out a PDF form in the browser, then save it to my local disk, the form is saved but all the data I entered has disappeared. How do I save the form so that it includes my data input?

Unfortunately you can't save any changes to a PDF document unless you have the full version of the Acrobat software installed. The free Acrobat Reader will allow you to save a local copy of the file but you won't be able to save any changes you make such as filling out form fields.

Please note: If you don't have the full product, don't worry, it is possible to use Acrobat Reader to print filled-out forms from the web site.


Where to get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to open PDF documents

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the software used to open, print and save PDF documents. It is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the Adobe website.


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