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Guidance for Using PDF Documents

Some documents on this Web site are available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). These documents are identified using the pdf symbol.

What is PDF?

PDF is a portable document format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF documents are widely used on the Internet, including the DMHC web server, for several reasons:

  • A PDF has the same appearance, colors, fonts, graphics and layout as the printed document.

  • PDF files can be viewed in the browser, or saved for off-line use or printed.

  • The Acrobat Reader software is freely available for most operating systems.

  • While the Reader software can't edit (change) a PDF document, it can copy text from the document and perform word or text-string searches of the document.

Viewing Requirements

To view PDF documents you need to use a PDF file viewer such as Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Exchange from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
You may download and install Acrobat Reader free of charge.

Please upgrade your browser and PDF viewer to the latest version to avoid any problems.

To check if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, click here. If you are prompted to download hit cancel, this means that you do not have it installed. Click here to download Acrobat Reader now.

If you experience any problems with PDF documents, upgrading your browser and/or PDF viewer to the latest version usually solves the problem.
If after upgrading your software you are still unable to view PDF documents click here to view Adobe's help section. You may also send E-mail to the webmaster for further assistance regarding PDF or technical issues concerning this Web site.

How to Use a PDF Documents

  • Download Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Install Acrobat Reader on your computer.
  • Start your web browser and locate a PDF document on the Web.
  • Click on the hypertext link for the PDF file.
  • If you want to save the file for future reference, follow your browser's instructions for saving files from the Internet (often this requires pressing the shift key while clicking once on the filename).

Electronic Fill-In-The-Blank PDF Forms

NOTE: Use of PDF fill-in-the-blank forms does NOT include onlne submittal.

Some PDF forms are available in a fill-in-the-blank format. Users now have the option—on certain DMHC forms—to complete the PDF forms electronically, instead of manually writing or typing the information on a hard copy version.
The form can be completed in several easy steps.

  • The user opens the PDF form in Acrobat Reader—in the browser or as a standalone product. The user can also save the PDF form to their computer system and open the form in Acrobat Reader at a later time.
  • Once the form is open, the user clicks on the desired field and a blinking cursor appears.
  • After the information has been entered in the field, the user can tab to the next field.
  • After all the fields have been completed, the user can print out the page.
  • If the cursor is blinking in a field, the information in that field will not be printed. Hit "Return" or "Enter" and the information will be captured for all fields.

Users with Acrobat Reader only, the entered data cannot be saved for later use.

For those who have the entire Acrobat suite—Acrobat, formerly called Acrobat Exchange—the data can either be saved separately or as a part of the form. If you save the data-only, it will take up less disk space and can be imported back into the same form at any time, provided the form has not changed. For more information on exporting and importing form data, check your manual.

Accessibility Tools for Visually Impaired Users

If you are using a screen reader, you may find that it will not read some documents in PDF format. Adobe provides a web site that will convert non-accessible PDF files to a format that is useable with a screen reader. The Adobe Access site is located at www.adobe.com and the tool can also be added to your computer as a "plug-in".

There are some PDF files on the Department's website that may not work correctly with screen readers. You may convert them with the Adobe tool mentioned above or if you need them in another format (tape, Braille,...), please contact webmaster@dmhc.ca.gov.