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PDF File Questions & Answers

What is a PDF file and how do I view it?
A PDF file is created in the "Portable Document Format" a different type of format than a Web page. (Web pages are displayed in HTML, hypertext markup language.) While Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, work fine for viewing a Web page, an additional program, Adobe Acrobat Reader, is required to view PDF files within browsers. Acrobat Reader is free from Adobe Systems.

Why do some PDF files take a long time to open?
Many PDF files contain numerous pages and graphics, requiring extended download times, depending on the speed of your internet connection. On this site, you will commonly see PDF files noted as "filename.pdf [PDF xx Kb]" where xx is the size of the file in kilobytes. This information is provided to give you an idea of the file size and associated download time. (In some cases, the file size is not indicated if less than 200 Kb.)

What are the advantages of using PDF files?
PDF files display and print as the author intended, which is essential for complex documents, such as reports and forms. Acrobat Reader preserves the layout and presentation of the information allowing documents to look and print the same on virtually any system or printer. These documents are truly portable because they can be viewed on virtually any computer operating system (Windows, Apple, etc.). The supporting software, Acrobat Reader, is free so there are no additional costs for software.

Why do I get a blank page when I click on a PDF?
This usually means that Acrobat Reader is not installed or improperly installed.


Recognizing that many of our current and potential customers possess various disabilities, the OWRB has made a concerted effort to make our Web pages meet the priority 1 checkpoints of the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

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Last updated: December 11, 2020

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