Using a PDF file requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader (8 or higher). If you don’t have a copy of Acrobat Reader, download the latest version from Adobe’s web site. It’s free and safe, and installation is simple.

Using PDFs

Once you have installed Adobe Acrobat, you are ready to use PDFs. When you click on a website’s link to a PDF, it will open either in your browser or in Acrobat Reader (we recommend the latter; check the “Troubleshooting” section of this page to learn more).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Each web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) has a built-in PDF reader/viewer, which automatically opens any online PDF in the browser, instead of opening it with the free Acrobat Reader. There are numerous difficulties with these browser PDF viewers, and they change often.

We recommend always using Acrobat Reader to open PDF files. You can set your browser to do this automatically; visit the Adobe website’s page on this topic to learn how. Many of the troubleshooting issues listed here can be resolved by opening the PDF in Reader instead of in your browser.

Note: The Chrome browser’s built-in PDF viewer no longer supports Adobe PDF documents. We suggest either using a different browser, or disabling the Chrome PDF viewer using these instructions >>