Get Acrobat Readerget Acrobat ReaderFrequently Asked Questions: PDF Files

What is a .pdf file?

Handouts and lecture notes for Dr. Jadwin's courses are offered for download in Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF files are printer-independent files that can easily print a duplicate of any original publication using any graphics printer (i.e., laser, inkjet, dot-matrix or plotter).   You can use the Adobe Acrobat Reader to download IRS forms, manufacturer's warranties, coupons. . .the uses are limitless.

What do I need to have in order to read and print a .pdf file?
To read and print a PDF publication, you must install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your PC. This highly useful software allows you to print any kind of form directly from your printer without needing to upload it first through word-processing or spreadsheet software.  You can download the Adobe Acrobat Reader version suitable for your system by clicking on the button at left.

How do I install the Acrobat Reader?
Double-click the "Get Acrobat Reader" button at the top left corner of this page.
At the Adobe site, find the version of the Acrobat Reader that is appropriate for your computer and operating system and double-click its link.
When your computer prompts you to SAVE, save the Acrobat reader in a location where you'll easily be able to find it (such as the Windows Desktop).
When the download is finished, close your browser and double-click on the downloaded file.
Follow the installation instructions on the screen.
That's it!

How does the Acrobat Reader work?
Once you've installed the Acrobat Reader, it will automatically launch any time you attempt to double-click a .pdf file.  Also, once you've opened one .pdf file during a session, it will remain on standby, and you will not have to relaunch it for every subsequent .pdf file you open.

Troubleshooting PDF files
Should you experience PDF files appearing as a blank window within your web browser after downloading, follow the appropriate steps below to resolve the  issue:

Upgrade your Adobe Acrobat Reader
If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.0 or earlier, upgrade to version 3.01 or later.

The problem may be caused by Internet Explorer
When you try to view a Portable Document Format (.pdf) file in Internet Explorer, you may see a blank window or frame instead of the .pdf file. This may occur even though you have installed the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, and you are normally able to view .pdf files in that program. For a solution, see the Microsoft Support Page with a solution to this problem.  If you still can't get the Reader to work in Internet Explorer, try using Netscape Navigator as your browser instead.

Change your SAVE options and download the file to your hard disk
Use the "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..." option to download the PDF file directly to your hard drive and bypass the Acrobat Reader plug-in. 

And if all else fails, try this:
Select "PDF File Format" if necessary. 
Select the file(s) you wish to download. 
Click the "Review Selected Files" button. 
When presented with the Results page use the "Save Target As.." option to download the file. This can normally be accomplished by right clicking (left click, if your mouse is configured for left handed operation) on the  title link then selecting "Save Target As.." when presented with a menu. 
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file after downloading. 

Technical support beyond this point is up to you.
Check out other possible solutions at:


©Lisa Jadwin, 1997-2008. All rights reserved.
Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2008.