This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]


What is Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format

Some publications are too long or too complex to be easily converted to the standard "html" file, which your browser usually displays. As a result, websites sometimes offer these publications in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). If you are familiar with PDF files and have a copy of Adobe's free Acrobat Reader, you may want to skip the following paragraphs, which give information on downloading and reading PDF files.

What are PDF Files?

Adobe has created a type of file that looks the same on any computer when opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader. These files allow for special tables, graphics, and typefaces that cannot be created any other way for the World Wide Web. Adobe named this type of file Portable Document Format or PDF.

Do I need special Software?

Yes, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to use these files. You can download this software from Adobe's WWW site. To get the software at no cost, click on the link below. It will take you to the Adobe Acrobat Reader download site.

Image of the Adobe Acrobat Reader logo

Download Adobe Acrobat Now!

People with visual disabilities can download tools and information at to help make Adobe PDF files accessible.

Now can I just click on a PDF link?

You are now ready to download PDF files for viewing. Go ahead. Remember now that you have installed the acrobat software, you have the ability to access many more publications and documents on the Internet. Many companies offer publications in this format, and more are doing it every day.

Sometimes you may wish to save PDF files to a disk (your hard drive or a floppy) and then view them offline, or allow your browser to automatically open the file for you to view and/or print. Remember when you are looking at any file ending in ".pdf" it is an adobe file.