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Technical Note about Adobe Acrobat Files

Some files at the World-Wide Web site of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection are in Adobe Acrobat, or Portable Document Format (PDF). These PDF files allow you to view or print an exact copy of our original documents -- complete with formatting, illustrations, figures, etc. -- on a wide range of computers and printers.

In order to view PDF files, you must first download and install version 3.0 (or later) of the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. You may download this software from the Adobe Systems, Inc. Web site. The Acrobat Reader is available for a variety of computer platforms and is distributed free of charge.

Problems Viewing Acrobat Files

We verify the integrity and accessibility of all the files we post to our Web site; they are all functional. If you experience trouble viewing Acrobat files from our site, you may want to wait a minute or so and try accessing the file again. Network traffic may have caused a temporary problem.

If problems persist, you may want to check the following:

  • Do you have version 3.0 or later of Acrobat Reader installed on your computer? If not, download and install it.
  • Is your Web browser correctly configured to handle Acrobat files?
    • Most browsers understand what to do with Acrobat files immediately after installation, but changing certain defaults may affect this functionality.
    • Some browsers allow you to choose to display the Acrobat file in the browser window or to download it and open it in the Acrobat Reader application itself. Check your browser's documentation for these settings.
  • Can you try accessing the files with a different Web browser or from a different workstation?
  • Can your network administrator or computer help desk assist with retrieving the files?

Downloading Acrobat Files

If you are still having difficulty reading or printing one of our Acrobat files from your browser, you may try downloading the Acrobat file (i.e., the file with the .pdf extension) to your computer and opening it there with the Acrobat Reader application.

Most Web browsers offer a means to download a file from the hyperlink that refers to it. While the diversity of possible browsing situations prevents us from providing exact instructions for your computer, a couple of general hints follow.

  • Windows Users: You generally click on the hyperlink with the right-hand mouse button and choose "Save target as..." or "Save this link as..." (or something similar, depending on the browser) from the menu that appears. The file will then be downloaded to your computer -- you may be asked (by a dialog box) where on your hard drive you want to save it.

  • MacOS Users: You generally click on the hyperlink and hold down the mouse button for a couple of seconds until a menu appears. Then choose "Save target as..." or "Save this link as..." (or something similar, depending on the browser) from the menu. The file will then be downloaded to your computer -- you may be asked (by a dialog box) where on your hard drive you want to save it.

  • Other Platforms: Browsers on other platforms may offer a mechanism similar to that of Windows or MacOS. (See above.) Otherwise, please consult your browser's documentation or your computer help desk.

Extraction of Textual Information

If you have exhausted your options and simply cannot handle PDF files, there is a mechanism to extract and view the textual content from these files. Access at Adobe is a Web-based service offered by the developers of Acrobat to convert PDF files to plain text and either view them in your Web browser or have them sent to you via email.

To use this service, you will need to note the full URL of the Acrobat file you are trying to access at our site (Example of a full URL: http://www.pccip.gov/intro.pdf) so that you can enter it into the form at the Access at Adobe Web site. Please note that the PCCIP has no connection with the Access at Adobe service and can neither guarantee its functionality nor vouch for the integrity of the text files it renders from our PDF files.


Adobe, Acrobat, and Acrobat Reader are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. MacOS is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Mention or use of a specific commercial product does not constitute an endorsement by the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

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