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Adobe Acrobat Reader Instructions


Download & Install Adobe Acrobat Reader

Many of the documents on this website have been published in portable document file (.pdf) format in order to insure that the document that you are viewing and printing is identical to the "hard" copy that we create, regardless of what browser your are using.  This requires the one time downloading of a free "plug-in" or "reader" called the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

It may help to print these instructions prior to going through the download and installation procedures.

  1. Download the Reader from the Adobe website.  You will need to identify your computer's operating system and language in order to get the right Reader for your computer.  Download the file to a directory on your computer and remember where you saved it. 
  2. The file you will have downloaded is an "executable" installer, meaning that once you have downloaded it completely, you should be able to install it using the "File|Run" command, or by double-clicking on it in Windows Explorer (Windows operating system, 95 and above). 
  3. This should bring up an installation program which will guide you through the remainder of the installation.   Once the installation is complete the original install file can be deleted from the directory that you downloaded to.  If you have any problems with the download or installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can find some extra help at the Adobe Acrobat Reader Troubleshooting Guide.

View portable document file (.pdf) with Adobe Acrobat Reader

After you have installed the Reader, you can click on any of the links to Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) files and they should open inside either your browser, or in the freestanding Acrobat Reader application.

When you select a .pdf file for viewing for the first time, you may be prompted to choose how to handle the file. In Netscape, for instance, you may receive a dialog box labeled "Unknown File Type", with the options "More Info", "Pick App...", and "Save File".  

Select "Pick App..." to configure the Acrobat Reader as your "viewer" for this file type. The next dialog box will be titled "Configure External Viewer" and should show a "mime type" of "application/pdf".

Press the browse button, and select the directory where you saved the Acrobat Reader. Highlight the Acrobat application you have installed.

You have now associated the Portable Document Format file type with the Acrobat Reader, so that each time your browser encounters this file type, it will automatically start up the Acrobat "helper" application to allow you to read it.

Save .pdf file to your hard drive

To save a .pdf file for viewing later, once the Acrobat Reader has been installed, right-click on the link to the selected document.
1. Netscape users - select "Save Link As"
2. Internet Explorer users - select "Save Target As"
3. Save the document to a floppy disk or location on your hard drive where it can be readily found
4. Once saved, use Windows Explorer to locate and open the files. 

Adobe Fillable forms instructions

Where indicated, Adobe .pdf documents on this site can be filled in and printed.

To view and complete .pdf fillable forms you'll need the freely available Acrobat Reader  software installed on your computer. Versions earlier than 4 will not support fillable forms.  Acrobat Reader does not allow you to save your completed forms to disk. The ability to save completed forms is available commercially with the Adobe Acrobat suite.

To complete a fillable form:

  • Open the .pdf file.
  • Select the hand tool from the Acrobat toolbar menu. You can use the hand tool to move the page around so that you can view all the areas on it.
  • Position the hand pointer inside a form field and click. The I-beam pointer allows you to type text. The arrow pointer allows you to select a field, a check box, a radio button, or an item from a list.
  • Press Tab to accept the field change and go to the next field.
  • Press Shift + Tab to accept the field change and go to the previous field.
  • Use your mouse to select an area of the form that is not inside a form field before printing your form. If a form field is active (contains the blinking bar) the contents will not print.
  • If the fill-in form is displayed within your web browsers window be sure to use the printer button on the Acrobat toolbar menu to print the form instead of your web browsers print function.