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Old Thu Mar 29, 2007, 01:38 PM
Neil Cuadra Neil Cuadra is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,503
Reading PDF files

When forum members post links to medical information, clicking the link will sometimes take you to a web page. If so, your web browser will show you the page.

In other cases, however, the link may to a PDF file. PDF stands for "Portable Document Format" and is a standard format for documents that look like a series of printed pages. Many medical articles are put online as PDF files, matching the printed form used in medical journals. PDF files are used for many purposes. Many documents on the Internet are PDF files, ranging from conference registration forms to the instructions for your new toaster at the toaster manufacturer's website. It's worth knowing what to do when you encounter one.

When you click on a link to a PDF file, what happens depends on your web browser. Depending on which browser you have, it might display the PDF right in your browser window. If you have a dial-up connection to the Internet, it may take a few minutes for a large document to load. You may see an indication that it is loading if you look at the status bar at the bottom of the window.

If your web browser doesn't display a PDF file right in the browser window, or automatically open a new window to display it, you can download the PDF file and then read it with the program named Adobe Reader. Downloading the PDF file should work for everyone, no matter what web browser they have.

How to get Adobe Reader

Chances are that you already have Adobe Reader (sometimes known as Acrobat Reader) or another PDF viewer on your computer. Macintosh users can use the program named Preview to view PDF files.

Adobe Reader is free and easy to get, using these instructions:
  1. Go to the Adobe Reader download page on Adobe's website.
  2. Select your operating system version. You get a choice of language as well.
  3. Click to start the download and wait for it to finish.
  4. The downloaded file is the Adobe Reader installer. Run the installer and follow the instructions.
How to download and view a PDF

To download the PDF file when you see a link to it in the forums, right-click on the link (control-click for Macintosh users) and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" or "Download Linked File". The exact words depend on your web browser. This will save the file to your disk.

You should notice what folder it is being downloaded to so you can find it after it finishes downloading!

Once the download completes and you have the file on your disk, double-click it to open it in Acrobat Reader or whichever PDF viewer you have. You'll be able to look through the pages, zoom in and out, search the text, or print the document.

Once you have read the document, you can keep the PDF file on your disk, to look at again in the future, or you can delete it from your disk if you won't need it again.

If you have problems with these steps or have questions, post and I'll try to help you.
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