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Help with downloading PDF files

What is a download?
A "download" is just a computer file. "Downloading" is the process by which a file gets from our computers to yours.

Why are you giving me a download?
If you have one of the newer browsers, then the file will appear in your browser window and you can view it, save it, or print it. Saving it to your local computer is the same as "downloading" it.

How do I download the PDF file?
Windows users should right-click the link to the file; that is, click with the right mouse button, not the left. Mac users should click and hold; that is, click once without unclicking the mouse button. Alternatively, Mac users can hold down the Control key on their keyboard when clicking the link.

Select the "Save link as" or "Save target as" command from the menu that pops up under your pointer. The exact wording of the menu command depends on whether you're using Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, or AOL to browse the Web, so don't be alarmed if you see something a little different.

Choose a folder in which to save the file, using the "Save as" dialog box that appears next. Be sure to take note of where you save the file.

Do I need any special software to download files?
With PDF files, you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to read this file. The Reader is completely free and is the only program that can display these types of files.

How do I open a file in Adobe?
After you've downloaded the .pdf file, start the Adobe Acrobat Reader program. Use the Reader's "File > Open" menu command to find and open the downloaded file from wherever you saved it.

When I tried to open the file with the Acrobat Reader, it said, "There was a problem reading this document."
Generally this means you have an outdated version of the Acrobat Reader. You can check which version you're using by starting the Reader and choosing its "Help > About Acrobat Reader" menu. If you're using anything earlier than version 9, then getting an upgrade from the Adobe website will almost certainly help.

Why do I just see gibberish when I open my .pdf file in Word/WordPerfect/Wordpad/etc.?
Adobe .pdf files have a lot to offer, but most word processors will only display them as page after page of comic strip swear words. If you haven't done so already, you'll need to download and install the Adobe Acrobat Reader, since it's basically the only program that can display Acrobat-formatted files. The Reader is completely free and available from the Adobe website, where you'll also find installation instructions. Once the Reader is installed on your computer, you'll be able to use its "File > Open" menu command to find and open your saved report. What you'll see then will be much more interesting than pages of incomprehensible symbols.

How do I print when I'm in Adobe Acrobat Reader?
Choose the "File > Print" menu command or click the printer icon on the Acrobat Reader toolbar. As long as your printer is turned on, hooked up, and loaded with paper, you'll be able to print the report.

I can't print the whole report without getting error messages or an ugly printout.
There are lots of things that can complicate report printing -- your computer, your printer, the versions of the relevant software, etc. Here are a few things to try:

Lower the print resolution. This is a printer-specific thing, so you might have to do some digging. Clicking the "Properties" button in the Reader's "Print" dialog will give you access to all sorts of printer options. If you can lower the resolution of the print job from, say, 600 dpi to 300 dpi, you're liable to make things easier on your printer.

Acrobat 4.0 users can click the "Print as Image" option in the "Print" dialog. This will likely increase the print time, but if you're getting strange symbols instead of numbers, or astreamofletterswithnospaces, then this should help.

Print only a few pages at a time. In the Acrobat Reader "Print" dialog box, you can limit the print range to a few specific pages, for example, pages 1 to 4. If that goes OK, just do the rest of the report in small batches.