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Adobe Acrobat Reader

Supported Product

Adobe Acrobat Reader 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 Acrobat Reader 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 Acrobat Reader is freeware and is available for download from the Adobe website. After installing, remember to allow Adobe Acrobat Reader 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.

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 Reader does include additional functionality.


Windows options for creating PDFs are varied. However, for advanced users, Adobe Acrobat Reader does include additional functionality. Users who need to create PDF documents only from within Microsoft Office have this capability with all currently supported version of Office.

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.