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Help with PDF documents

Some of the publications on the PHAC web site are available in Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF allows for a cross-platform PostScript-based file containing any combination of text, graphics and images. If you do not want to read the document on-line, you can download and save the complete file for later use.


To download a PDF file, you have to right click on the corresponding link.

In your Web browser, select the "Save target as…" option or the "Save link as…" option. Specify where you want the file saved for future reference. Also beside every link, the size of the file is specified to let you know how long a file can take to download. Remember that depending on the speed of your modem, internet traffic and your internet provider, the download time can vary.

Once the file is on your local drive, you can view, navigate or print the documents using Adobe Acrobat® software. If you do not have this software, a copy of Acrobat Reader® or Exchange® is required. Adobe Reader® software is available for no-charge in various languages as well as operating systems including; Windows 3.1, 95 and XP, Macintosh, and UNIX. Documentation for installation and operating requirements of Acrobat® is included with the software.

Download a no-charge copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader® from the Adobe® web site.External Link

Once the software is installed, you can view the PDF file by opening it in Acrobat Reader®.

Please consult the information provided with Acrobat Reader® or the Adobe® web site for any problems/questions you may have.

Acrobat Reader® features a "PDFViewer" plug-in compatible with both Netscape Navigator 3.x and above and Internet Explorer 3.x and above that allows for PDF viewing in your web browser window. See the Online guide under the help menu in Acrobat Reader® for more information.


If you are experiencing difficulties viewing PDF documents online, modify the browser's settings to open all PDFs in Adobe Reader® instead of the browser's built-in PDF viewer.

Internet Explorer

  • at the top of the browser, click on Tools
  • click on Manage Add-ons
  • under Toolbars and Extensions, find Adobe PDF
  • enable Adobe PDF

Mozilla Firefox

  • at the top of the browser, click on Tools
  • click on Options
  • click on Applications
  • under Applications, find Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • change the drop-down from "Preview in Firefox" to "Use Adobe Reader (default)"

Google Chrome

  • in the browser's address bar, type "chrome://plugins"
  • disable the Chrome PDF Viewer
  • enable the Adobe Reader plugin


PDF documents are easy to print. Using the print dialogue box in Acrobat Reader® you can choose to print the whole document or any selected pages within the document.

*Use of registered trademarks and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the Public Health Agency of Canada.