Skip to content

Open PDF File

File type: Portable Document Format File


The PDF file extension is used in the cross-platform documents created using the Adobe Acrobat software or any program that comes with the Acrobat plug-in. This file extension is also used for files that serve as email attachments or for saving programs and applications using a standard format so as for the applications to be viewed easily on multiple computers. The files containing it are created usually from a different document rather than creating these files from a scratch.

These files may contain images, text, annotations, forms, outlines as well as other pieces of data. These files also preserve fonts and may be electronically formatted across multiple platforms. These files are shown on the screen the same way they will appear after being printed. .PDF documents are now being indexed by Google as well as other search engines and may be viewed in the Web browser with the Adobe Reader plug-in.

PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. It is a file developed by Adobe and has been around since the 1990s. The file is compatible with various operating systems, hardware and application software. The file is equally built based on PostScript language with each file encapsulating a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including raster images, vector graphics, fonts, texts and other required information for displaying the content. Though it had been around since the 1990s as stated earlier, it was not standardized until 2008 as an open format. As a result, there was no more need for royalties for implementing it.

PDF has improved beyond what it was in times past. Today, it can handle several contents aside from the graphics and rich texts. It can now contain three-dimensional objects, using PRC or U3D, different data formats, rich media like video content, layers, form-fields, annotation and several other interactive elements and logical structuring elements. Today, the specification equally enables digital signatures and encryption, metadata and file attachments towards enabling workflows that require these features.


Detailed information 

Category: Page Layout Files
File format: Open Source
Open with Windows: Foxit Reader or PDF Editor, ACD Systems Canvas, Nuance PaperPort, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Reader to view, Brava! Reader, ACDSee Photo Manager, Nuance PDF Converter, Adobe Acrobat to edit
Open with Linux: Foxit Reader for Desktop Linux


In this write-up, you will have the opportunity to learn how to open and download a PDF file.


How to download and Open

PDF files are files formatted in a special way and they require specialized software for opening them. You will only require a few minutes to download a PDF file to your computer. The downloading can only take a long time if it contains a lot of images. Check below for instructions on how to download it


  1. Download a PDF reader

The PDF reader is available for free online. You can download it to both your desktop and mobile devices. This reader is essentially required for opening a PDF file. You can visit the Adobe website to get a free copy of the PDF Reader. Instead of the Adobe website, you can equally get it from some other sources. Likewise, you can get several third-party programs that work in a similar fashion to the free PDF reader and can be used in opening a PDF file. What is more, some of the third party programs may contain certain features not found in the PDF reader from Adobe.

Instead of downloading the PDF reader, you can equally open the PDF file via your internet browser since many of them permit easy access to PDF files. Be that as it may, many of the in-browser PDF readers do not have certain features. Furthermore, you may not be able to download the PDF file to your device from the in-browser PDF reader except you have downloaded the PDF reader or related programs.

If you are using the Windows 8 operating system, it comes with a pre-installed PDF reader and you can use it in place of the Adobe Reader.


  1. Search for the PDF file to download

After downloading the PDF reader, either from Adobe or any other source, it is time to locate the PDF file that you want to download. First of all, check if the PDF file can be opened full screen as part of its own page rather than as part of another page.

Next, click on the "Save Disk" tab on the window located at the right bottom toolbar and this will start the process of saving the file on your computer. Next, click on the location where you want to save the PDF file. On some websites, you can find links to downloadable PDF files just like any other type of downloadable file. You can get them downloaded the same way you would download just any other file from the internet.


  1. Save the file

You can now click on "Save" and this will save that PDF file to the specific location you prefer in your device.

  1. Open the downloaded PDF reader

Before you can open the download PDF reader, you need to first go through a setup process. The setup process is essential if this is the first time you will be opening that PDF reader. The setup usually takes a few minutes and the process is very easy and straightforward.

While installing the PDF reader, you will be prompted to also accept the McAfee offer, but you should decline this offer during the installation process. The box to accept the offer is checked automatically; you should uncheck that box before you proceed.

  1. Open the saved PDF file

After the PDF reader setup has completed, the next step is to open the PDF file already saved to your device. First of all, click on "File" on the PDF reader. Next, click on "Open." Then search the list for that particular PDF file that you have earlier saved to our device. Once found, click on it to open it and it will open automatically via the PDF reader or viewer.

Besides, the file can be opened by navigating to the PDF file on your computer and clicking on it. You can right-click and choose "Open" from the drop-down menu. You can equally double-click it to open the file.   

You may not have to go through much stress after installing the Adobe Reader since the reader will open automatically after installation to display the PDF files already saved or downloaded to your device. Some PDF files may be passworded. If that is the case, you will need to provide the password before you can access the content of the PDF file. If you do not have the password, you will have to request for it from the creator; you can also go for password cracking program, which can either be free or paid, depending on the tools and features you want to gain access to.

Points to note

There are times the PDF file will refuse to open despite having the PDF reader already downloaded on your device; this may happen if the PDF file is not yet associated with the PDF reader. Follow the steps below to associate the two:

  • Right-click the PDF files on your device and click on "Open With".
  • Look for Adobe Reader in the drop-down menu and click on it.
  • If there is no Adobe Reader on the list of programs, you can browse it on your device; you will usually find the Adobe Reader at C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader.