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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Supported Product

Adobe Reader DC is the recommended application for viewing PDF (Portable Document Format) files on the web. PDF documents are derived from documents created in other applications, such as InDesign or Excel, and retain the typography, layout, and graphics of the original. Adobe Reader DC enables PDF files to be viewed after they are downloaded or viewed within your internet browser with Adobe's PDF plug-in installed. This sofware is optional for users of macOS as PDF viewing software is built in to the operating system.


Note: Many schools and units have standardized on the use of specific applications and operating systems. Faculty and staff should speak to their local support provider to determine which products are supported locally before selecting or purchasing software. 


Adobe Reader DC is freeware and is available for download from the Adobe website. After installing, remember to allow Adobe Reader DC Updater to update to the current version or else manually update by selecting Check for Updates... under the Help menu

macOS and Windows compatibility

Detailed information regarding system requirements and operating system compatibility is available here.


No further configuration is necessary. However, please note the following for Windows computers regarding the web browser plug-in:

  • If only one browser is on your machine, the plug-in will be automatically installed in the browser's plug-ins folder when you install Acrobat Reader. If more than one browser is on your machine, the plug-in will be installed in the plug-ins folder of the first browser it finds.
  • If you have more than one browser on your machine, you must check to make sure that the plug-in is installed in the correct browser's plug-ins folder.

After you ensure that the plug-in is in your browser's plug-ins folder, all you need to do is restart your browser before viewing PDF files.

Saving documents in PDF format

Adobe released PDF as an open standard in July 2008 and there are now many ways to save documents into PDF format from web browsers and other applications.


PDF is a native file format in all versions of macOS currently supported at the University and PDFs can be created from any application with a print dialog.  For advanced users, Adobe Acrobat DC does include additional functionality.


Windows options for creating PDFs are varied. However, for advanced users, Adobe Acrobat DC does include additional functionality. Users who need to create PDF documents only from within Microsoft Office have this capability with Office 2007 Service Pack 2 and above.

There are many shareware and freeware options that allow PDF creation from any application with a print dialog. Examples of such applications are CutePDF Writer and PrimoPDF. Both of these products are compatible with all currently supported versions of Windows.