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Using Adobe Acrobat files
on your web page

If you plan to link documents to your web page, there is an alternative to coding the document files in HTML. You can instead use a program called Adobe Acrobat to convert your existing files into portable document format (PDF) files.

PDF format offers some advantages over HTML because the conversion process is completely automatic. Moreover, the resulting PDF file will look exactly like the printed file including fonts, colors, graphics, and all. In addition, you do not have to create separate PDF files for different platforms. The same PDF file can be "read" on Windows, Mac, and Unix platforms.

On the downside, you need to purchase a copy of Adobe Acrobat. In addition, PDF files do not integrate as seamlessly on the web as do files formatted in HTML. This is because you need a separate program to view and print PDF files, called the Acrobat Reader. The Acrobat Reader is easy-to-use, however, and can be downloaded for free from Adobe's web site at www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Unix computers.

Creating a link to a PDF file

To create a link on your web page to a PDF file, first upload the file to your Unix account. (Depending on the program you use to transfer files, you may need to specify that this is a binary file.) Then, simply use the HREF command as in this example:

<A HREF="report.pdf">Annual Report</A>

When someone clicks on the link, most likely, one of two things will happen. If the browser is set to recognize PDF files, it will automatically open the file in the Adobe Reader, if the user has the Reader installed. If the browser does not recognize the file, the user will be prompted to either save the file or select the program to open it.

You might want to include a link to the Adobe Reader web site (as listed above) for users who wish to obtain it.

For more information on Adobe Acrobat, visit the Adobe web site.

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Updated 5/1/02

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