FAQ: PDF Documents
Please select from one of the following:
- 1. What is PDF?
- 2. Why does ECSI use PDF documents?
- 3. What do I need to view PDF files?
- 4. What platforms is the Adobe Acrobat Reader available?
- 5. Which package should I get?
- 6. Where can I get the Adobe Reader?
- 7. Are there any product updates?
- 8. Is there a version to help people with visual disabilities access PDF documents?
- 9. Can I save the documents/forms on my local computer?
- 10. What if I get an error message trying to open a PDF document?
- 11. Why doesn't the PDF display?
- 12. Why doesn't the PDF file print properly?
- 13. When I use a PDF fill-in form, what information is sent to ECSI?
- 14. Credits
1. What is PDF?
PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a standard created by Adobe. PDF files allow you to view accurate reproductions of documents and forms regardless of the computer, operating system, monitor or printer. A PDF is created by the document originator and can then be distributed to and read by any person who has the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Adobe Acrobat Reader allows the user to see PDF files as the creator intended them.
2. Why does ECSI use PDF documents?
ECSI uses standard HTML for most of the pages on this site. Unfortunately, HTML cannot precisely control the physical layout of documents and particularly forms. HTML also has no intrinsic support for printing, which must rely on the browser. Where an accurate representation of the document is required, ECSI has chosen to use PDF documents. PDF documents are supported on so many computers and operating systems, they retain all formatting and layout of page-based documents, they will correctly format when printed, they can be magnified for detailed viewing and they are an industry-standard.
3. What do I need to view PDF files?
Adobe Acrobat Reader is a software product from Adobe Systems that enables you to view PDF documents. The Adobe Acrobat Reader software allows you to view PDF documents directly from a web site or from your local disk.
4. What platforms is the Adobe Acrobat Reader available?
The Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, IBM OS/2, IBM AIX, HP-UX, DEC OSF/1, SGI IRIX, LINUX and SUN SOlaris.
5. Which package should I get?
The forms on ECSI's site were designed for version 4.05. We recommend that you have that version or later to take advantage of the features of our PDF documents. There are two different flavors of version 4.05. One includes only the Acrobat Reader. The other includes both the reader and a search engine. The reader-only package is a smaller download (approximately 5 megabytes). The reader with search engine is much more powerful but is a slightly larger download (approximately 7.5 megabytes). In order to get the search engine, you will need to check the box marked "Include option for searching PDF files " on their download page.
6. Where can I get the Adobe Reader?
The Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free of charge directly from Adobe's web site: https://www.adobe.com. The Windows version of Acrobat Reader v4.05 is available at: https://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html. Other versions of the reader or the Java viewer can be found at: https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html.
7. Are there any product updates?
Adobe has release an update to the 4.05 version of the reader. This update is free of charge directly from Adobe's web site: https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/602e.htm. Several problems are fixed with this update. If you experience one of the problems documented at Adobe's site, and you have downloaded the reader prior to 3/17/2000, you may consider updating your reader to the latest version. This will only update version 4.05 of the reader. If you have an earlier version you should download a new installation package.
8. Is there a version to help people with visual disabilities access PDF documents?
Adobe maintains a special site to address the needs of people with visual impairments. You can find this information at: https://access.adobe.com/.
9. Can I save the documents/forms on my local computer?
If you have not installed the Acrobat Reader, any PDF document you select from within your browser will prompt you to either Save or Open the link. You can select 'Save' but you will most likely be unable to open the document until you have installed the Acrobat Reader.
If you have installed the Acrobat Reader, you will need to right-click on the document link and select 'Save Target As' (Internet Explorer) or 'Save Link As' (Netscape). You will be prompted for a location to save the document. Once saved, you can access the PDF document without being attached to the Internet.
10. What if I get an error message trying to open a PDF document?
The error may indicate that the file is damaged or corrupt. Often you will receive a message when the file does not downloaded completely. This problem frequently happens when the Internet or our site is particularly busy. Try to retrieve the document or form again. If the problem persists, try to save the file to your local disk and try again. If the problem still persists, please see Adobe's support site (https://www.adobe.com/support/main.html) or contact our Webmaster.
11. Why doesn't the PDF display?
There are many reasons a page may not display properly. Here are a few of the more common reasons:
- 1. You may not have the current software from Adobe or the version you have is incompatible with the document. You can try to update your version of the software (see item #6).
- 2. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 or 5 with the Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 plug-in, you may not be able to open some PDF files. You may get a blank document (empty screen) or you may receive a message such as An error has occurred while trying to use this document. This is a known incompatibility. Microsoft suggests that the PDF file be downloaded and opened from your local disk in a separate browser window.
- 3. The PDF document may not load properly if a partial download or corrupted copy of the PDF file has been left in your browser's cache. If your connection to our web server was reset (failed), you interrupted a page while loading or the document did not finish loading due to other error, you may be unable to view the document in the future. In this case, you should clear your browser cache and try to load the document again.
12. Why doesn't the PDF file print properly?
Printing problems may be caused by many factors.
- 1. Ensure that you have enough memory allocated to your printer and that your system meets the minimum requirements for using Acrobat Reader.
- 2. When you select 'Print', there may be an option "Fit to Page". Ensure that this option is checked on. If this option is unchecked, portions of the page may be lost.
- 3. Verify that you are using the most current printer driver available for your printer. Contact the printer manufacturer for more information. A great source of driver information is available at: https://www.windrivers.com/.
- 4. PDF files can contain custom halftone screens intended for high-resolution printers. When sent to standard desktop PostScript printers, the custom halftone screens contained in the PDF file can produce bad or missing images. To avoid poor quality on printouts, choose the Use Printer's Halftone Screen option in the Print dialog box.
13. When I use a PDF fill-in form, what information is sent to ECSI?
At this time, none of the information that you enter on a PDF fill-in form is passed back to ECSI. Adobe offers a submission feature that we are not currently using.
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, the Acrobat logo, and PostScript are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.