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Help Topic: Help with PDFs

Help with PDFs

The material on this site is provided in PDF (Portable Document Format). PDF is an electronic document format developed by Adobe. It is a cross-platform file format which means that these documents can be sent across the Internet from user to user regardless of the user's platform or type of computer. The advantage is that documents in PDF look exactly like the printed originals and contain all the page layout information, fonts, tables, pictures, equations, etc.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to read, search and print PDF files and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe web site according to your platform.

Download Adobe Reader (Opens in new browser window).

Viewing PDFs in the browser

PDF files on this site will automatically open in a new window. If you open the PDF and the new window is blank, and you get a file download dialog box or another program opens to display the PDF, this means your system is configured to view PDFs outside the browser.

If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can set your system to display PDFs in the browser by adjusting your preferences. Please note that many Macintosh systems are set by default to view PDFs outside the browser.

If you have problems viewing PDFs in the browser you may want to try viewing PDFs directly in Acrobat Reader.

Searching within the PDF

You can search within the PDF once opened in most browsers however this is not currently possible when viewing the PDF in Chrome. Please download and open the PDF in Adobe Reader to search within the PDF when using Chrome.

Printing Acrobat files
To print an Acrobat file from your browser:
  1. Scroll to the end of the document to ensure that it has all downloaded to your machine
  2. Click on the Print button in the Acrobat toolbar. Do not use the browser's print button.

Please ensure you check our Terms of Use for Cambridge Companions Online, Cambridge Histories Online, or Shakespeare Survey Online, as applicable, before printing any material from this site.

Enabling Highlighting in PDFs

If you reach a PDF as the result of a search on our site (as opposed to reaching a PDF by browsing), you have the option of opening that PDF with highlighting, also known as "hit-highlighting," turned on. If you choose this option, when you open the PDF you should see all instances of your search term highlighted. If you've chosen this option but are not seeing the highlights, you may need to enable this behaviour within Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. (In version 9 of Acrobat and Reader, highlighting from external sites is turned off by default.

To take advantage of our site's hit-highlighting feature, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Open Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Under the Edit menu, choose Preferences.
  3. Choose Search.
  4. Check the box that says "Enable search highlights from external highlight server."
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

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