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Adobe Reader FAQ

Opening an online PDF document
Printing a PDF document

Opening/Viewing an online PDF document

Install the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader after making sure that a version of the internet browser (Internet Explorer, NetScape etc.) suggested by the Adobe Reader system requirementsLink to a non-federal Web site is already installed.

Many PDF documents are frequently edited in the latest PDF format. Acrobat versions are partially backwards compatible; the basic document can be processed and opened in previous desktop versions, but the latest features are inaccessible. The real problem is opening the document from within Internet Explorer or Netscape with older versions of Acrobat.

Documents created and/or edited in Acrobat 6.0, for example, are built in PDF v1.5. This version of the PDF "language" contains the features found in Acrobat 6. Acrobat 5 was built to work with Internet Explorer 5.0 and Netscape 4.5 to 4.77 and 6.0 while Acrobat 6 was built to work with IE 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.1. Attempting to use an earlier version of Acrobat with an HTML browser it is not compatible with will result in an error similar to the following:

Error message: 'The instruction at 0x005aa772 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read.'

These documents can, usually, be read off-line with the desktop version of the Adobe Reader currently installed. Downloading the document (by right-clicking on the PDF link and then selecting "Save Target (or File) As") and then opening it with an earlier desktop version of the Acrobat Reader will allow the user to view the document, just not the latest features. A reminder to upgrade (see below) will appear as the document is loading if the "Do not show this message again" checkbox has not been previously checked.

Warning message: This file may contain newer information than this viewer can support. It may not open or display correctly. Adobe recommends that you upgrade to the latest version of our Acrobat products. Please visit our product site at http://www.adobe.com/acrobat.

The solution for sucessfully viewing these documents on-line involves installing the latest version of the Adobe Reader after the versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape specified in the Adobe Reader system requirementsLink to a non-federal Web site have been installed.


[Back to Top]Printing a PDF document

Specify Print as image from the Adobe Reader Print window.

Some users have reported problems printing certain PDF files containing statistical tables to PCL printers from Adobe Reader. These tables are filled by large black circles as shown below.

large black circles appear over tables

The solution is to specify Print as image from the Adobe Reader Print window.

Select 'Print as image' from the print dialog box


[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Administrative and Customer Services Division | (301) 763-7710 |  Last Revised: February 13, 2013