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Help with PDFs

  • What is a PDF?
  • How to read a PDF
  • How to save a PDF
  • Want to search for information in a PDF?
  • How to print a PDF
  • PDFs for the visually impaired

What is a PDF?

Almost all documents on this website are in PDF Format (Portable Document Format). We use PDFs because they are good for onscreen reading and printing.

In order to open PDF files you will need a copy of Adobe Reader installed on your computer. You can download the software for free from Adobe’s website where you will be guided through the process.

How to read a PDF

To read a PDF simply click on its link and it will open in a new screen.

How to save a PDF

To save a PDF, either go to File (top left-hand corner), then Save As. Or click on ‘save a copy’ button on the toolbar.

Want to search for information in a PDF?

You might want to find specific information without reading through the whole document. You can do this by searching for a single word or phrase: There are two ways to do this:

  1. Press Control + F. This will bring up a small box where you need to enter the word or phrase you want to search for. Once you have entered the word, hit 'Enter' on your keyboard. You can then click ‘Previous’ or ‘Next’ to take you through the document.
  2. Click on the binoculars icon on the toolbar. Enter the word or phrase you want to search for and click on search. This will bring back a list of where the word or phrase appears.

Note that you will only be searching the document that is currently open.

How to print a PDF

To print a PDF document click the print button in the toolbar. You can print the entire document or selected pages.

PDFs for visually impaired

We are working to make all our PDFs as accessible as possible, so they may be used with screen-reading software.

If you have version 7 or later of Adobe Reader, you can use its accessibility extras.

This means if you are visually impaired, Adobe Reader will read a document aloud to you. To do this:

  • save a copy of the PDF to your computer
  • double click on the document to open it in Adobe Reader
  • go to the view menu and use the 'read out aloud' option.

Some documents (eg documents containing complex tables) may not work. If you have difficulty accessing a PDF document, please contact us. We will do our best to provide you with a version that meets your requirements.

See the Adobe accessibility resource centre for more information.

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