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PDF tips

You will find that there are many PDF (Portable Document Format) files on this website. This document provides information on PDF files: what they are, how to open them and how to search them.

1. What is a PDF?

The PDF file format is a common Internet file format and is used throughout this website.

It's used for electronic distribution because it preserves the look and feel of the original document complete with fonts, colours, images, and layout. It allows us to share documents with anyone, using free Adobe Reader software and across many different types of computers and browsers. It is commonly used for government publications, leaflets and forms.

2. How do I open a PDF File?

To open a PDF file you can either:

download a free program called Acrobat Reader and install it onto your computer; or

  • you can use an online Adobe PDF conversion tool to convert documents into text files. To do this, please visit the Adobe Acrobat website, type in the URL of the PDF file you wish to translate into text.

    Note: You can also choose to convert the document into HTML if required. The conversion tool will do this while you wait and return the document to you in your browser application. If you receive an error message saying that the PDF cannot be changed, you should alternatively, select the option to change it to text.

    If you prefer, you can also email the file to Adobe and they will email a translation back to you. However, please be aware that the translation of the file may not be as clearly formatted as the original PDF file

3. Are PDF files accessible?

PDF file standards have improved over the years and have become more accessible through technologies like screen readers, navigation through the keyboard and enhanced screen viewing. The Adobe site provides information on how best to use these features. You may come across earlier versions of PDF files that are not so accessible.

4. How do I search a PDF file?

When you open a PDF file an Acrobat toolbar will appear, featuring a number of tools to help you view and search the document. The Search tool will search the document for a word or phrase, bookmarks, and data fields in documents.

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