The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a widely used format for documents. Aside from the fact that PDF files can be opened in various operating system platforms, documents saved in the PDF format get to preserve the intended layout and design, as well as the content. Opening PDF documents should be easy, even for an inexperienced computer user.
- Have the appropriate software application installed on your personal computer. First, you will need to type in Get Adobe Reader into the empty text field of your choice of web browser. Hit Enter on your computer keyboard and you should see the official website of Adobe Reader listed first in the results page. Click on that to be directed to the said Web site. Now, click on the yellow Download button for the process to begin. You will be prompted for the save location for this download. Simply choose desktop so that you can easily find it later. You will be updated every now and then of the progress of the download. Once done, simply click on OK and the installation should start automatically. If it does not, you can go to the desktop, and locate the icon of the recently downloaded software application. Click on it twice for the wizard program to commence the installation process. Just follow all of the instructions and key-in needed information when prompted by the wizard program for correct installation.
- Try other PDF software. Aside from the widely used Adobe Reader application other developers have also come up with software capable of opening and viewing PDF documents. One example is Foxit Reader created by Foxit Corporation. This software development company focuses on technology associated with PDF. The latest version is 3.0 and there is one designed for the Windows operating system. The application can be downloaded for free from the official website. Another example application is simply called PDF Reader. The latest version is 2.6 and there is a freeware version available for Windows which can open, view and print PDF documents but otherwise has limited functions. The full features are accessible in the paid version. These alternatives to Adobe Reader are easily searched on the Internet and can be downloaded and installed directly.
- Regarding PDF documents online, some PDF documents are distributed or made available to the public online. White papers, manuals and other reports are usually set in PDF format when uploaded to a website. With a PDF reading software installed in your PC, you can actually configure your web browser to open an online PDF document. The browser is usually enabled through a plug-in that comes with the PDF reading software. Take note however that certain browsers may not support certain PDF applications. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox for example have long been designed to work with Adobe Reader, but other alternative browsers and PDF applications may not be as compatible. In such cases, it may be necessary to first download the PDF document and open it separately using whatever PDF reader application you have installed.
Software capable of opening PDF documents are often called 'reader' or 'viewers.' This is to distinguish them from other more powerful and complicated applications that can create and edit PDF documents. Adobe Reader for example is a 'reader' application and is different from Adobe Acrobat Professional, though both deal with PDF documents and its associated technologies. For purposes of opening a PDF document, only a 'reader' is necessary.