Skip to content The Open University

Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

Sign in to work on the Skills Check.
  1. Home
  2. Computing skills
  3. Web browser basics
  4. What is a PDF?

What is a PDF?

Documents are saved in PDF (portable document file) format when users are likely to want to print information and will not need to alter the document. Often the documents are copies of printed books or leaflets that would otherwise be available by post. They are provided on a website so you can get immediate access to the information. These files can either be read in your browser or downloaded to your computer and viewed offline.

Note: You need Adobe Reader to read a PDF file. If this software is not already on your computer, you can download it from the Adobe website. This software is free, reliable and downloadable from the Adobe website’s 'Downloads' section.

How do I download / save a PDF file?

To download a PDF file from a web page, once you have the software.

  1. Click the right button of your mouse on the filename (Mac users - Control and mouse-click).
  2. Choose Save Target As (Internet Explorer) or Save Link As (Netscape) and check that the file is being saved where you want it to be.

Help with PDF accessibility

If you have difficulty using a screen reader to read PDFs in a browser window