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About PDFs

What is a PDF?

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format that saves a document as an electronic image. A PDF file preserves formatting (including text, fonts and graphics) so it looks the same on any device regardless of the software, hardware or operating system used to create it. PDFs are primarily meant for viewing, not editing, and you can easily view, navigate, print or forward them to someone else.

 

How do I view PDF documents?

Most website browsers already support PDF viewing but you can also download the free viewer from Adobe Systems: get.adobe.com/reader/.

 

When I open a PDF document the pages are blank. What’s wrong?

Problem
Although the PDF document opens successfully, there has been a minor corruption in the document during the download. Because the PDF document is stored temporarily in the web browser's cache on your machine, subsequent attempts to re-open the document will not clear the problem.

Solution
First click the BACK button on your browser to deselect the PDF page and then manually clear the browser cache (Go to Tools > Internet Options > Temporary Internet Files > Delete button). Now re-open the PDF document.

 

When I try to open a PDF document I get this message: ‘The file is damaged and could not be repaired/opened’.

Problem
Sometimes long PDF documents and slow connections can cause an error when trying to view a PDF document from within the internet browser.

Solution

There may have been an error during the initial attempt to download the document and that corrupted version has remained in your browser cache. You can force a refresh of your cache by holding down the control key (or command key on a Macintosh) and clicking the Refresh or Reload button.

If this doesn't work, and you’re using a network computer (e.g. at work) the corrupted file may be being held in a cache which your IT area would need to refresh.

It may also work more reliably if you right-click on the link you want to download and save the document directly to your computer and then open it from there.

 

When I open a document I get a message that the file cannot be found. What’s wrong?

Problem
Although it is possible for some document links to break, we do test all changed and moved files each week to ensure the links are up to date. If you get a message that the file cannot be found, the most likely cause is your browser's cache.

The web browser stores your most recently visited pages in an area of your computer (reserved by your browser) called the ‘cache’. Generally, you have options in your browser to choose how often the cache is cleared—every time a page is opened, every time you launch your browser or never. We recommend using the second option to clear your cache whenever you launch your browser.

This will ensure your cache is not storing filenames for historical versions of reprints you have viewed previously and will ensure you link to the latest available reprint without getting a message that the file cannot be found.

Solution

If you get a ‘file cannot be found’ message, you can configure your browser to reset your cache.

To do this, open your web browser—

  1. If you use Internet Explorer— 

     2.   If you use Chrome— 

     3.    Alternatively, if you are on a web page, hold down the Shift key and click the refresh icon on the web page.

 

When I click a link I get an error message about viewing. What’s wrong?

Problem
When you open a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat software, you get a message: ‘There was a problem reading this document.’ This message is followed by another message: ‘This file contains information not understood by the viewer. Suppress further errors?’

After you click ‘OK’ the PDF document opens but its pages are blank.

Solution
Upgrade to the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can follow this link to Adobe's website for the free Reader download: get.adobe.com/reader/.

 

How can I save PDF documents to my own computer?

You can save PDF documents to your computer either from a web page's link or using the browser's 'Save As' command.

Macintosh Users

To download a PDF document from a link—

  1. Click and hold the mouse on the link to a PDF document (Control and click), then choose the Save This Link As/Download Link to Disk (depending on your browser) from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select a location on your computer, then click Save.

To download a PDF document you’ve opened—

  1. Click the floppy disk icon that appears directly above the PDF display area.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select a location on your computer, then click Save.

 

Windows Users

To download a PDF document from a link— 

  1. Right-click the link to a PDF document, then choose Save Link As/Save Target As from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select a location on your computer, then click Save.

To download a PDF document you’ve opened— 

  1. Simply click the floppy disk icon that appears directly above the PDF display area.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select a location on your computer, then click Save.

 

 How can I copy text from the PDF document I’ve opened?

To copy content from a PDF document

  1. Open the PDF.

  2. Highlight and copy the text you want (Ctrl-C).

  3. Click into the document you want to add the text to and paste (Ctrl-V).

  4. Save the copied text (Ctrl-S).

 

Please note that text copied from a PDF document will retain carriage returns (line breaks) at the end of each line in the original PDF. You will need to remove the carriage returns individually after pasting the text.

 

To save the whole document as a text file

  1. Open the PDF using Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader software.

  2. Click File > Save as.

  3. Click the ‘Save as type’ drop-down list and select the file format you want to save as (e.g. Word.docx, Word.doc or Rich Text Format.rtf).

  4. Choose where on your computer you want to save the file and click Save.

     


 

Last updated 25 August 2017 at 23:48