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About Adobe Acrobat and PDFs

What is PDF

The Abode Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the World Wide Web’s standard format for sharing documents across platforms and applications with their original look and feel intact. The PDF format is an efficient way to distribute documents in a secure and professional manner, maintaining images, tables, charts, and graphs that are not possible to include in text-only files.

Accessing PDFs with a Web Browser

To view a PDF on the web, your computer must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader application installed. Get Acrobat Reader 

Why Use a PDF?

Adobe's Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the standard format for sharing documents across platforms and applications with their original look and feel intact. Microsoft Word documents require your users to have Word installed. Adobe provides the free Reader application for many operating systems

Creating PDFs for the Web

There are two ways to create a PDF. One is with Adobe Acrobat. The other is to "print" or save a document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Web page, etc.) as a PDF. All MCPS computers have the ability to either print or save from Microsoft Office.

If you have Office 2003

  • Select print
  • Select the Adobe PDF "printer" from your list of available printers
  • Click on the "print" button
  • Give your PDF a title and select what folder on your computer you want the PDF to be saved to
  • Your PDF should open up in Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer
  • If you have problems: Contact your school's ITSS or the Help Desk

If you have Office 2007

  • Select "save as" PDF
  • Give your PDF a title and select what folder on your computer you want the PDF to be saved to
  • Your PDF should open up in Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer
  • If you have problems: Contact your school's ITSS or the Help Desk

Adding Properties to your PDF

If you have access to Adobe Professional, at minimum you should add a title property and an author property to your PDF. Here's how

  • Open your PDF with Adobe Professional
  • Select File -> Properties
  • In the Document Properties window, add your Title and Author. Author should be generic, e.g. "Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland" or "Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Bethesda, Maryland"
  • Click the "OK" button
  • Select File -> Save

Linking to your PDF from a Web page

If your site is in Tron

How to link to a PDF if your site is in the Tron Web Publishing System (PDF)

If your site is not in Tron

You need to uploaded your PDF to the server using an FTP client in the same way as you would a web page. For organization purposes you may want to keep PDFs together in a folder called "pdf" or "docs" to separate them from the graphics and web page files.

Links to PDFs are made in the same way as links to another web page. When browsers are configured to open PDFs in the browser window, a link to a PDF document launches the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.

It is godd practice to let visitors to you Web site know that the link is go to a PDF. You may also want to note how large the document is. Give the document size in kilobytes (K) or megabytes (M).

It is also a best practice to have the PDF open in a new browser window. You can achieve this by using the tag "target" with the attribute "_blank".

Here is an example of a link that identifies that it is a PDF, gives the size, and opens in a new broswer window

Directions to Schools (PDF, 577K)

HTML code for the above link

<a href="/info/PDF/DirectionsToSchools.pdf" target="_blank">Directions to Schools</a> (PDF, 577K)

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