Portable Document Format (PDF)
- 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 does the Census Bureau Use the PDF format?
Because 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. All
Census Bureau publications released since January 1, 1996 as well as
several 1990 census and 1992 economic and agricultural census products
are now in pdf format.
- How to Download the software
Virtually anyone - including Windows, DOS, Macintosh, SUN,
and UNIX system users - can view and print a PDF file
using the free Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader, from the
Adobe web site.
To download the free Acrobat Reader
For assistance in downloading and installing the software, see
Acrobat Reader Troubleshooting Guide at Adobe's Web Site.
Adobe also has information about PDF and the
- 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.
PDF files are indicated by the following graphic following the filename
- How to Print PDF Files
When printing Adobe Acrobat PDF files from within your web browser, do
NOT use the web browser print facility. Instead, use the print button
at the left end of the special Adobe Acrobat tool bar, which appears
immediately above the viewing window. See illustration below for
location of this print button.
- How to Save PDF Files
To save the file for later use once you have loaded it for viewing, on
most browsers you just select "File" then "Save As..." from the menu
bar. To just save without viewing, place the cursor over the link to
the pdf file, hold down the shift key and click the mouse. This should
bring up the "Save As" window.
Adobe, Acrobat, and the Acrobat logo are trademarks
of Adobe Systems Incorporated
Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft
Source: U.S. Census Bureau