| Return to Contact Information Page
FROM: OSHA Website Support Team Enhanced Support Document
HELP for users of the Adobe Acrobat® (PDF) Reader and Plug-In Components
Re: Downloading, Printing and Viewing anomalies with PDF Documents.
NOTE: Adobe Acrobat®, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, are third party products, and the OSHA Website Support Team does not provide direct user support for installation, configuration or usage of any third party product.
If you need general assistance with these products, you must contact the specific manufacturer, or your local software support team.
PROBLEM DESCRIPTION: IF, when clicking on a PDF link, your web browser tries to open the file -- in the browser window -- you have your browser configured to use the Adobe Acrobat® "Plug-In" Reader. This configuration can be
changed in a number of ways -- please refer to your local software support team or the manufacturer of the applicable products for assistance in this regard.
There are some very well known problems (with both the Microsoft and Netscape browsers) that can occur on your local PC, when using this "Browser/Plug-In" approach to viewing PDF documents, not the least of which, is a general failure to
load the document, with an error message that reports a possible corruption in the PDF document itself. 99% of the time however, the corruption reported, is not related to the file you've received from the server, but rather, a corruption
that has occurred on your local system.
This type of problem is most likely to occur when attempting to load a PDF document which is larger than .5 MB, OR when attempting to load a newer PDF document with an older Acrobat® viewer -- i.e. when attempting to load a PDF created
with the version 3.x tools, with a version 2.x Reader.
NOTE: It is extremely rare for the source PDF document (the file from the server) to be corrupt. Once the originals are created and tested (and placed on the server), the only corruptions which are likely to occur, would
be due to physical hardware problems (bad sectors, etc.) on the storage system itself. THE SERVER simply sends files requested by the user - it does NOT contol how the document is saved, stored, viewed or otherwise manipulated on the local
Most PDF file corruptions occur ON THE USER's LOCAL PC, as a result of a failure in the Browser/Plug-In Applet.
- Try saving the document directly to your disk (bypassing the browser plug-in). To do this, you will need to use the "Right-Click" method to save the file. E.g.,
Click ONCE on the PDF link using your "RIGHT" mouse button. This will cause a menu to be displayed, from which you will select the proper save option -- depending upon which browser you are using:
For Microsoft IE users, select "Save Target As"
For Netscape Navigator users, select "Save Link As"
Once you've selected the proper save option for your browser, and have saved the file to a location you specified, go to your program menu and start the Adobe Acrobat® Reader. Once open, locate the PDF file you saved and open it directly
If you then see the document, the problems you experienced with the browser are related to the Plug-In or to some combination of problems related to the browser/plug-in configuration -- or perhaps even to a general resource problem
on your system -- such as low Memory or Swap Space.
If you are still unable to load the document directly in Acrobat®, the problem is most likely related to a corruption in the Acrobat® Reader Application itself, or due to the fact that you are running an older version of the Reader,
against a newer PDF file version.
- If you are using a version of the Acrobat® Reader which is 1 or more versions older than the current release version, you should immediately uninstall your current Reader, download the most up-to-date version from Adobe Acrobat® Software,
and install that latest version. Please remember to remove the old version from your system completely and reboot your system before upgrading. Please refer to the Adobe Website for more information: http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html
- If you have tried steps 1 & 2 above, and you are still having problems -- cannot open the file, you may have a corruption in your Windows "File Type/Associations" or with other system related support components -- that may still be
"browser related". In this case, you would be advised to uninstall your browser and reinstall a fresh (most up-to-date) version of your preferred browser software. Please refer directly to the applicable manufacturers website or technical
support group for assistance in this regard.
- If you have tried all three steps above, and your browser or Acrobat® Reader are still reporting possible corruptions in the PDF document, you should report this problem to our website support team, using the error report form - See:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/errorpages/errorreport.html. PLEASE REMEMBER TO COMPLETE THE ERROR REPORT FORM IN DETAIL -- giving your OS, BROWSER AND Acrobat® Reader Versions, etc., along with the FULL URL
of the PDF file reference.
- Keep your browser and other accessory software utilities (AND your Operating System) as up-to-date as possible. Technology, especially as it relates to the Internet, changes very rapidly, and software that is more than 1 version
old, should be upgraded, or at least "patched" with any applicable service release software the manufacturer may provide, to fix specific "bugs" that may plague the product. Keeping these products up-to-date requires diligence and regular
routine maintenance, but in most cases, will insure that your browsing experience is as error-free as possible.
As of January 1, 1999, if you are still using a 3.x or earlier version of either the Microsoft IE or Netscape Navigator browsers, or a 2.x or earlier version of the Adobe Acrobat® Reader, you should strongly consider
upgrading these programs. As of 1/1/99, the Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Netscape Navigator, and the Adobe Acrobat® Reader are all available free of charge from their respective manufacturer's websites.
- Many of the PDF documents on the OSHA website are quite large -- greater than 1MB in size. In most cases, we try to list the size of the document in KB (KiloBytes) or MB (MegaBytes) [1000 KB - 1 MB], but this is not always possible.
When downloading, you may not see the document on your view screen (or there may appear to be NO activity -- or the screen may appear blank) until the ENTIRE DOWNLOAD COMPLETES. Seeing a blank screen in the browser window during
the download, does NOT mean that there is a problem.
NOTE FOR LARGE PDF DOCUMENTS: If you connect to the Internet via modem, you may want to consider saving larger PDFs (anything larger than 1 MB) directly to your local PC, rather than using your browser to view them online
(see Step #1 above under SOLUTIONS). When viewing PDF's via your browser, the browser must download a fresh copy of the file from the server, every time you want to view it. If the file is 4 MB in size, this means you may have to
wait perhaps 20-25 minutes every time you want to view it. If the document is one that you will refer to often, having a local copy on your PC, and using the Acrobat® Reader directly for viewing, will save a great deal of time down
the road. Please remember to check back with the OSHA website routinely however, to check for possible updates.
- A standard rule of thumb, is that you will need at least 5-6 minutes of download time, for every 1 MB of material downloaded, when connected on a standard 28.8 - 33.6 kbps modem connection (this timeframe can vary significantly depending
upon the number of users connected to the server, noise on your phone line, general traffic on your network or on the Internet in general).
Many users grow impatient when waiting for a large document download, and will actually cause corruptions or interruptions in the data transfer process (many times without knowing it), by attempting to stop, print, go "back" or
navigate through the document, before the download completes. To avoid these potential problems, please monitor the browser or other download progress screens carefully, and do not attempt to navigate, manipulate, print or
otherwise interact with the PDF documents directly, until the download is COMPLETE.
Please be patient. While it may take 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or even longer to download some files from the OSHA website, once you have (saved) a local copy, you can view it at any time. Some of OSHA's publications can be requested
in printed form, but you can expect to wait at least 10 days for such an order to be processed and shipped, so it is generally much more efficient to wait for the download, than to request a printed copy.
- As with viewing PDF documents via the browser, printing these documents from the browser can also be a process frought with problems. Ideally, whatever is displayed in your browser window, should be able to be sent to your printer,
but this is NOT always the case. Even if you have no problems viewing a PDF document via the browser, if you experience printing problems, you should refer to step #1 above in the SOLUTIONS section, save the file directly, and try using
the Acrobat® program directly, to view and print the document. There are known problems in MSIE, Navigator and Acrobat®, which may effect printing ability in any given PC configuration.
If you are unable to print a given PDF document, the problems are generally related to your specific printer hardware/operating system print drivers. The PDF document margins may exceed the "printable area" of your printer's layout
area, or the document may include graphical details which your printer is unable to adequately render or handle -- whether due to a lack of physical memory or to a complete inability to reproduce certain features. Such problems
are generally not overcome by downloading new copies of the document from the OSHA website, and such problems should NOT be reported to the OSHA Website Support Team, as there is little that can be done to address individual hardware
/local PC feature support issues.