Skip to Content


Opening Adobe PDF Documents

PDF Documents from Your Hard Drive or Other Disk

You can open a PDF document that is saved on your computer's hard drive (or other disk) by locating the file in Windows Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac); then double-clicking the name of the file. This will open the Adobe Reader application and display the file.

PDF Documents from the Web

When you click a link to a PDF document on a Web page from your browser, one of three things usually happen:

  1. The PDF document opens in your Web browser if you have Adobe Reader configured as a "plug-in," or opens in its own window if you have Adobe Reader configured as a "helper application." This option is configured within Adobe Reader 6, from Edit > Preferences > Internet (PC), or Adobe Reader > Preferences > Internet (Macintosh).
  2. If your Web browser is not configured to open PDF documents, it may:
    1. Display a dialog box with an option to save the document to your hard drive; where you can open it later with Adobe Reader.
    2. Automatically download the document to your computer's desktop and preview it (for example, Internet Explorer on the Macintosh). You can also open it later with Adobe Reader.
  3. If you do not have Adobe Reader installed, your browser cannot display the document. Depending upon your browser, it may display an error message stating that it could not load the plug-in (i.e. Netscape Navigator) or display an image icon on the page without displaying the document (i.e. Internet Explorer).


Next page -->Viewing Adobe PDF Documents (part I)

Last updated: June 23, 2011