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A (very) Short Course in Viewing PDF Files

Installing Adobe Acrobat Reader

Installing Adobe Acrobat® Reader is very simple. Prior to installation, you'll need to download the Acrobat® Reader file. Detailed installation instructions for various operating systems, including Windows, Macintosh, and Unix, are provided on Adobe's download page.


Viewing PDF Files with Adobe Acrobat Reader

PDF files represent a high-quality presentation format in which the on-screen display is comparable to the material's original appearance. Acrobat Reader allows you to read PDF files and provides a variety of viewing options, including searches and image magnification.

Adobe also provides an extensive help facility that provides details about Acrobat Reader's features. To help you get started using Acrobat Reader, however, we'll briefly describe a couple of the major features.

Hint: If you're going to be looking at more than one PDF file, viewing will be expedited if you'll leave Acrobat Reader alive and running between files.

Magnifying (Enlarging) the image

There are several ways in Acrobat Reader allows you to size the image to your tastes:

  • the magnifying glass icon allows you to enlarge any area you select with your cursor;
  • three "page" icons towards the top right will size the image according to the current window size;
  • the enlargement ratio can be specified exactly by selecting the magnification ratio button in the lower portion of the image;
  • the Acrobat Reader window itself can be resized.

You can set the initial magnification Acrobat Reader uses on a page in the "Preferences" menu under the "File" menu of Acrobat Reader. Then all PDF files will initially appear at your specified magnification.


Searching in the Documents

You can search for words within a PDF document using Acrobat Reader's "Find" facility. This is available either from the top menu under Tools, typing Control-f, or clicking on the Binoculars icon in the top right portion of the window.


Navigating Within Documents

You can navigate within documents by several methods, including:

  • using the page-forward and backward icons at the top;
  • scrolling up or down the page using the scroll bar on the right;
  • holding down the left mouse button, using the "hand," and moving it;
  • displaying "thumbnails" of the document by using the icon displayed in the upper left-hand section of the window and selecting the small page icon; or
  • selecting the page number from the lower left-hand section of the window.

The help documentation available under the "Help" menu displayed at the top of the Acrobat Reader screen provides a wealth of information that can answer many of the questions you may have. Happy PDF'ing!

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