PDF Files and the Adobe Acrobat Reader

Spotlight Multimedia form displayed in the Adobe Acrobat Reader

What's a PDF File?

Most of the content on our website is presented as ordinary web pages. Sometimes, if a document is very large, or intended for printing, we'll provide the document as a PDF file instead.

A web page is just a collection of text and images, and frequently you'll find things get a bit mangled if you try and print out large or complex web pages.

A PDF file is an electronic document that also stores formatting information - like page breaks and margins. PDF files are designed to look the same wherever they're printed. This means that instead of us having to send out paper application forms in the mail, you can download a PDF application form from our website - and when you print it out, your print-out will look exactly like the paper forms we normally use.

What's the Adobe Acrobat Reader?

To view and print PDF files, you need to install a program called the Acrobat Reader on your computer. The Acrobat Reader is a free download, which you can get from the Adobe Acrobat website. Once you've installed it on your computer, you should be able to view and print PDF files as easily as viewing a normal Web page.

If you're having problems installing the viewer or viewing PDF files, please see Adobe's support information here.


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