PDF Files

This website now uses Adobe PDF files for some of the information it presents - i.e. you will find clickable links on our web pages to PDF files. This is a quick guide to help you use PDF files.

Viewing a PDF file

To view a PDF file, you must have Adobe Reader (sometimes called "Acrobat Reader") installed on your system. The good news is that this is free software. You can get it by clicking this button:

You will find instructions on how to install/use this software. Once installed, it becomes a seamless part of your browser - i.e. when you click a link to a PDF file, the file will open up within your browser just like a normal web page.

Automatic Installation

When you click a link to a PDF file, some browsers will automatically ask you if you want to download and install the software required to view this type of file. If your browser asks you this, say "yes" and let it do the whole thing for you, instead of using the button above.

Advantages of PDF Files

Why are we using PDF files, instead of regular web pages? The answer is that PDF files have several advantages over web pages:
  • A PDF file retains the exact look of the document it was derived from. For example, if we put up one of the mailed Newsletters, it will look exactly like the mailed version.
  • A PDF file prints better than a web page. If you print a PDF file while it is displayed in your browser, the result will be very similar to the original document it was derived from.
  • It is much easier for the person maintaining this site to convert a document to a PDF file than to a web page.
  • Once a PDF file is displayed on your screen, you can save it to your hard drive for later viewing. Web pages can also be saved, but a PDF file is much cleaner - you just get the one file, instead of the many files that can make up a web page (graphic files and html files). If you prefer to save a PDF file directly to your drive without viewing it in your browser, you can click the link with the right mouse button and select the "Save target as..." menu option.

Disadvantages of PDF Files

  • A PDF file loads slower than a regular webpage. This is especially true with a dialup connection, where it can take a few minutes for a PDF file to display, so give it some time. This is much less apparent with a broadband connection.
  • Small text isn't as clear in a PDF as it is on a regular webpage.
  • Some find the Adobe Reader program difficult to use.

Help with PDF files

If you experience problems using these PDF files, please contact Rich Hureau at rhureau@earthlink.net. He will be happy to assist you.