Files produced in PDF allow you to view the same formatted information on any computer and in any operating system and in any browser. We use it for two documents on this site: our registration/waiver form and our semester brochure.
There are many free PDF readers you can install on your computer. You probably already have Adobe PDF Reader on your computer.
If you are having problems opening a PDF file linked to a website, it's often one of these glitches:
- You have not installed a PDF reader on your computer
- You have an outdated PDF reader
- Your recent install of a PDF reader was not complete
Problem One: You don't have a PDF reader installed.
It's a fact of life: you MUST have a Portable Document File (PDF) "Reader" installed on your computer.
There are many such readers you can download and install in seconds. Here are links to three:
Problem Two: Ok, you have a reader, but it's not working
It's probably out of date.
Let's say that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, and your version is 9.1. That's very outdated--Adobe Acrobat updates its reader at the very least twice a year. So again, make sure you keep your reader updated.
How do you find out if your reader it outdated? Most PDF readers have "Help" link with an "About" link in the drop-down menu. Clicking on that link will tell you what version you have of your PDF reader. If it's not the latest, download and install the latest version.
Problem Three: You have a PDF reader, it's been updated, why is it not working?
There's a chance, especially if you are using Adobe Acrobat, that the last install was not complete. You can try uninstalling it completely and then reinstalling it, or do the simplest thing--just download a different type of PDF reader.
Just so you know...
- Adobe frequently includes in its downloads things you do NOT need. In the latest update, they automatically included another web browser and other things. If you don't want anything but the reader, uncheck the box(es).
- The Foxit Reader used to be a reliably smaller download. But for a year or two, it too started adding "bloatware". The company seems to have responded to complaints and is offering a slimmer version again. Again, feel free to download the product but feel free not to accept anything OTHER than the reader itself in the download/install.
- The FCAAE website administrator installed Nitro Reader onto her computer with good results, but for awhile, its ability to display graphs was limited. Although she's back to using Nitro again, for awhile, she used another PDF reader BECAUSE...
- ...There are many more free PDF readers out there. The point? Google away for "PDF reader" and then check for reviews. Select what YOU want--and keep them updated.
One last thing: If you find you can't open PDF files or URL addresses in emails, just check your email security settings. You may have set your email security to the point where in order to go to a web address or web document, you must physically insert the URL addresses into an open browser (i.e., the address bar of a web page) in order to open the page or attachment. Or in the case of some PDF documents, you have to save the file to your computer before you can open it. So you just might want to review your various computer settings.