How to use a PDF document: 6 steps (with images)

How to use a PDF document: 6 steps (with images)
How to use a PDF document: 6 steps (with images)

PDF is the abbreviation for Portable Document Format or “portable document format” in French. This format is used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware or operating system. Luckily, this format is used the same way on Windows, Linux or Mac.


Part 1 of 3: Download Adobe Reader

Use PDF Step 1

Step 1. Go to the Adobe Reader website

Although a PDF document can be used on almost any system, you will need reader software to be able to read and use its content. To download a PDF reader for a computer running Windows, open your favorite internet browser and enter: in its address bar.

Use PDF Step 2

Step 2. Click on the yellow "Install Now" button which is located at the lower right of the Windows web page

  • On a Mac, click on the latest installer, which is located at the top of the list. You will be able to find out if this is the latest version of this program by checking its number on the download list.
  • A new tab should then open. Click on the gray button located in the middle part at the top of the page and titled "Download Now". This will initiate the software download operation.

Part 2 of 3: install the reader program

Use PDF Step 3

Step 1. Click on the downloaded program

When the installer is completely downloaded, go to the directory where it is stored by default, usually named “Downloads”.

You can alternatively click on the name of this file at the bottom of your browser window to install it automatically

Use PDF Step 4

Step 2. Start the installer by double-clicking on it

The installation wizard will then open and guide you step by step through the procedure.

  • Adobe Reader does not need any customization, you will just have to click "Next" and wait for the installation to finish.

    Use PDF Step 4Bullet1
  • There may be other files to download for Adobe Reader to work.

    Use PDF Step 4Bullet2

Part 3 of 3: Open PDF Document with Adobe Reader

Use PDF Step 5

Step 1. Find a PDF document

The first thing you will need to do is get yourself a PDF document. When you have obtained it, place it in an accessible place, such as your desk.

Documents in PDF format are now commonly used for presentation or user manuals for hardware or software

Use PDF Step 6

Step 2. Open your PDF document

Your computer should automatically associate all documents with the PDF format extension to the Adobe Reader program, so all you have to do is double-click the icon representing that document to open it.

  • If this was not the case, you will have to right-click on the PDF document and then select the “Open with…” option from the contextual menu that should open. A list of programs that may open a PDF document should then appear on your screen.

    Use PDF Step 7Bullet1
  • Choose Adobe Reader then click "Open". The PDF document will open and you will then be able to view and print its contents.

    Use PDF Step 7Bullet2

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