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PDF files

What is a PDF file?

A Portable Document Format (PDF) file is a self-contained, cross-platform document. In plain language, it is a file that will look the same on the screen and in print, regardless of what kind of computer or printer someone is using, and regardless of what software package was originally used to create it.

Although they contain the complete formatting of the original document, including fonts and images, PDF files are highly compressed, allowing complex information to be downloaded efficiently.

Why is the City of Clearwater using the PDF format?

Because the PDF format allows the reliable reproduction of published material on many different platforms (requiring only the use of free reader software), it is a way to conveniently and quickly disseminate information including text, tables, and graphics. Since PDF preserves the look and feel of the original document, the federal government standardized on the PDF format some time ago as a way of disseminating much of the material it makes available online to the public -- e.g., IRS tax forms, Census reports, etc.

How to Download the Software or Web Browser Plug-In

Virtually anyone - including Windows, DOS, Macintosh, SUN, and UNIX system users - can view and print a PDF file, often from right within their Web broswer, using the free Adobe Acrobat® Reader, from the Adobe web site.

To download the free Acrobat Reader, click on this button:

Get Acrobat image

If you encounter problems while downloading or installing Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Web site, see Acrobat Reader Support, or Troubleshooting Problems When Downloading or Installing Acrobat Reader.

Adobe also has information about PDF and the visually challenged.

How to View PDF Files:

Once the Acrobat Reader software is properly installed, you just need to click on a link to a .pdf file and it will be loaded for viewing on your computer. Note that the file is sent to your computer as a temporary file that will be deleted when you exit your browser, unless you choose to save the file first.

PDF files are identified on your computer by the following graphic: PDF file icon

How to Print PDF Files

When printing Adobe Acrobat PDF files from within your Web browser, do not use the Web browser print command or icon. Instead, use the print button on the special Adobe Acrobat tool bar, which appears immediately above the viewing window.

How to Save PDF Files

Similarly, click on the small disk icon on the at the top left end of the special Adobe Acrobat tool bar, which appears immediately above the viewing window. To save a PDF file without viewing it, right-click on the hyperlink to the PDF document, and choose "Save Target As...".