Cowper logo

PDF user information

Read this page, sections 1-4, before using Adobe PDF for the first time (or even if you know a bit!).

Definition: PDF = Portable Document Format = text, images, fillable forms in a layout delivered exactly as created, across all computer platforms.

1 ) Always download the latest free Acrobat Reader Acrobat Reader

It is possible that you cannot open a PDF file just because you have an earlier version. Get the latst version and all will be well.

video: how to download

2) View or Download a PDF Form on the web?

Put your mouse pointer over the icon and RIGHT CLICK on your PC mouse!

PDF Right Click

This gives you control over how you view your PDF files and most important where you store them on your computer. They can easily disappear. Not many people know this.

The Right Click method is important because your browser internet preferences may have been set in some strange way. This might mean the PDF file is saved automatically and it can all happen automatically behind your browser window, so you can't find the wretched file, (it will actually be in your download folder).

3) How to use the Acrobat Reader

In the Reader toolbar, use the Zoom tools and the Magnification menu to enlarge or reduce the page. Use the options on the View menu to change the page display. More options on the Tools menu give you more ways to adjust the page for better viewing (Tools > Select & Zoom).Reader 9 toolbar

Adobe Reader toolbars open by default: A. File toolbar B. Page Navigation toolbar C. Select & Zoom toolbar D. Page Display toolbar E. Find toolbar

For more information, see Viewing PDF pages in Acrobat Help.

Essential Questions answered


4) How to Deal with Acrobat Reader Problems

If an error message pops up and says something like,
The Adobe Acrobat/Reader that is running cannot be used to view PDFs in a Web Browser.


Adobe Reader could not open 'xxxxxxx.pdf' because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded).

Try clicking and continue anyway.

Try saving to your desktop (right click method) or other location and open the file from there.

If that does not work, download the latest Acrobat Reader just in case. Then contact the person who owns the file because this message appears when the file is not available on the website or their file is corrupted.

PC users might like to consider using

MAC Safari users need to be sure that Display PDF in Browser in Preferences are selected.

FireFox has a PDF Download extension gives users multiple options for handling PDF files.

You may want to add this to your emails when sending PDFs to students

The attached PDF requires Adobe Reader, which you can download here for
You may need to adjust your spam filter to accept PDF attachments from Middlesex University

PDF stands for Portable Document Format . It is a cross-platform, open file format that retains the layout of original documents. PDF is independent of computer platforms and distribution media and therefore it is the ideal basis for long-term document distribution, archiving and retrieval. So a PDF file contains a document that can be transferred to other computers, displayed and printed, all while the original layout and looks are retained.