Open PDF File – What is and How to View – Format and Programs

  • File Type: Adobe Portable Document Files Format
  • Extension: .pdf
  • Mime type: application/pdf
  • Format: Document
  • Description: Portable document format


Are you having difficulties in create or opening a pdf file ? Read this full guide about the opening and creation of pdf files.


What is a .PDF file?

A .PDF extension, the Portable Document Format is a file with the .pdf suffix. This suffix corresponds to one popular format for saving large text and picture documents from Adobe Acrobat.

Some of these PDF documents types include; academic papers, huge legal case files, contractual agreements, resumes, invoices, bank e-statements and also school homework. This format offers users seamless accessibility, legibility and transferability.


The Extension .PDF

The file extension pdf is compatible with various operating systems, hardware and application software. These files are based on the PostScript language. Each encapsulating a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document including:

  • Raster images.
  • Vector graphics.
  • Fonts.
  • Text.
  • Other required information for displaying the content.

PDF files 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 files attachments towards enabling workflows that require these features.

The PDF extension is for cross-platform documents created using the Adobe Acrobat software or any program that comes with the Acrobat plug-in.

These files may contain images, text, annotations, forms, outlines as well as other pieces of data. These also preserve fonts and may be electronically formatted across multiple platforms.


You can also safeguard documents by saving them in file extension PDF and using encrypted user passwords. This ensures that your documents can only be viewed by individuals only upon inputting the correct password. The Portable document format is therefore a very secure format, especially if you want to send confidential files and documents across the Internet via email. 

PDF documents may also be saved as read only files or as editable documents. The Portable Document Format is versatile with an easy to use and flexible user interface. It definitely offers users a lot of useful features and options. 

How to open pdf files

How to open PDF Files and documents

Open a PDF file In Windows 

We can view, read, edit and open portable document files with a specific program. Methods and programs for windows 7 and windows 10. It is also valid for older versions.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader 

To read and view these files on devices using Windows OS, such as a Personal Computer, you will first need install a .PDF reader. This is a software application that is capable of opening and view this files format. A portable document format reader, such as; Acrobat Reader.

If you don’t have this software, you can download the Adobe Reader for FREE on the official Adobe Website.  

On the Adobe website, you will be provided with clear instructions on how to download and install the app on your Windows device. Make sure you adhere strictly to the instructions given.

  1. Go to and select download now (see in blue in the image below).

  1. In the next screen, select Download acrobat reader

  1. After a few seconds the download will start

  1. When the download is finished you will see a direct access in your windows. See image below and double click on the file in the lower left side of your screen.

  1. The installation of the program will start and you will see the progress.


This will ensure that the installation is done without any hitch. As soon as you have installed the Adobe Reader on your Windows PC, you will be able to view and read PDF files. You will also be able to save documents in this format.

Open Adobe Acrobat Reader

With your Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you can now read and view portable document format files. Below are step-by-step instructions on how you can use it to open a portable document format file extension.

  1. First click on your installed acrobat reader (this may also apply to another type of PDF viewer).

  1. From the main screen you can select many options.
    1. Click on Set as default if you want adobe Acrobat to be your default pdf reader.
    2. Click on open file to edit quicky a .pdf document
    3. Select edit PDF to edit text and images of a portable document file format.
  2. Go to the “File” drop-down menu located at the top left hand corner of the application’s window. 

  1. Click on the “Open” option, then scroll to where the portable document format files may be located on your PC or other Window device.
  2. Then, Click on the name to select it.

  1. Click on the button labelled “Open” to have the files accessible for reading. 
  2. Now you can view it!


Another way is to go directly from “My Computer”or the “Windows Explorer”.

To do this, you simply have to click on “My Computer” or the “Windows Explorer”. Next, you can locate your desired .PDFs from either of the “Windows Explorer” or “My Computer” options.

Note that by double-clicking on it, you will view the files on your installed Adobe Acrobat Reader. 


Make adobe acrobat your default PDF reader

If you want your .pdf documents to open always with acrobat you have to select it as your default reader. We are going to see the required steps to do it.

  1. Open the program.
  2. Click on Set as default on the right side of your screen (see image below).

  1. In the next screen select the program Acrobat Reader software

How to View and Open a PDF File On Android OS devices 


There are devices with Android OS which can allow you to open the files with .pdf extension even without an installed reader app.

However, there are also those Android OS devices like tablets and smartphones, which require you to install a particular app or apps. This will be necessary before you can be able to view these pdf documents with ease. 

It should be mentioned that many of the new smartphones and tablets are designed with in-built PDFs readers.  Where your Android device does not come with it, you will have to install an app. 


Install Adobe Acrobat Reader

You can also install Acrobat Reader on your Android device. You simply need to go to Google Play Store to download this app. 

  1. If you are interested in getting the beginners version of this app from Google Play Store, click here.
  2. For the professional version which has a filter feature for search results you can click here to download. The pro version is also free of pop-up ads.

Note that installation is quick and the app size is moderate. In addition, the app comes with a variety of user options. 

These features include; zoom, scroll, night-time mode, brightness lock and customer support search options. 

You can also append your signature to PDF files extension, while documents may be printed directly on Google Cloud Print.


Opening Adobe Reader Software 

To read, view and open it directly from an installed Adobe Acrobat Reader app, you will have to comply with the following instructions;


  1. Go to the Acrobat Reader app on your Android mobile device and tap the “Menu” option.
  2. Tap on the “Documents” folder.
  3. Once you are in the “Documents” folder, you will see every available portable document format on your Android device. 
  4. Tap on it and the Adobe Acrobat app will do the rest.


Using your File Manager

  1. First visit the “File Manager” on your Android mobile device.
  2. Then, just go to the location of the files.
  3. Next, you need to tap on it.
  4. By tapping it, the Adobe Acrobat Reader opens it automatically on your Android mobile device.
  5. View your document


How to Open PDF Files on MAC

mac os

For users of Mac personal computers, there are different ways to open these .pdf documents.

Using preview option

One way is through the “Preview” option. 

The “Preview” feature is actually an in-built application. It allows you to view PDF (read only), that are on your Mac PC.

Here is how it’s done;

  1. First, select the file using the”Open Finder”option.
  2. By double-clicking the selected file, it will be displayed via “Preview”. However, the double-clicking option will only work where “Preview” has been selected as the default PDF reader for your Mac PC.
  3. Alternatively, you need to right-click the selected file, then highlight “Open With” and click the “Preview” option from there.


How to view pdf files from an installed Reader 

You can also install a PDF reader and view the file directly from it. You can also set this app as your default program for opening portable document reader files, this will save you time.

 To set this app as the default program… 

  1. first “Launch”,
  2. secondly, locate the file and then select it,
  3. thirdly, you then need to click and hold “Cmd + i”. Alternatively, you can choose “Get Info”when you click the “File” menu.


Software that can open a PDF file

What programs can open pdf files? There are many pdf readers and editors available. The viewers are software, apps and online websites.


Category: Page Layout Files
Format: Open Source
Windows programs
Linux programs

Open With Android:

Android comes with a built in app to view pdf documents. However, you can also download the following apk apps:


How to Create A PDF File document

How to create PDFs in windows

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Acrobat file and select Tools and click on Create PDF
  2. Click the type of file to be created in PDF format, like single or multiple files, or any other option.
  3. Click on Next or Create, depending on the type of file you have selected earlier
  4. A prompt will come up. Follow it to convert that file to PDF. Next, save your work in your preferred location on your PC.

How to create PDFs in macOS

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the document you want to convert on your macOS.
  2. Click on File and then click on Print
  3. Next, click on the popup menu on the program and then click on Save as PDF.
  4. Give the new PDF document a name of your choice and also decide on the location to save the file on your macOS. You can also fill other fields like Keywords, Subject, Author and Title.
  5. Then, you can use Spotlight to easily locate the contents of the file
  6. You can go a step further to add password to the newly created document. You can do this by clicking on Security Options. The password will be required before anyone can print. Copy or open the newly created document.

How to create a fillable PDF in windows

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open acrobat reader and click on Tools, next, select Prepare Form
  2. After that, click on the file you are interested in or you can scan a document. Acrobat automatically analyses the document in question and will add fields for the form.
  3. Next, add new fields to the form by using the toolbar at the top and adjusting the layout with the tools you can find in the right pane.
  4. You should then save the fillable PDF. If you like, you can share it by clicking on Distribute and it will help you to automatically collect responses.


How to create a fillable PDF in macOS

Follow the steps below:

  1. Create the document first suing your word processor
  2. Next, use acrobat to create a new form. You can also create a new form from an existing document.
  3. Then, you can then add fields to the form by clicking on Add new Field, which you can find in the right sidebar located under Tasks. You can choose to Drop down lists, checkboxes or text fields.
  4. The next step involved setting properties for the form field to modify how the fields act or look.
  5. You can then save the file after the modifications above.

You can also create a form in either macOS or Windows by following the steps above.


How to create a PDF with images

Follow the steps below:

  1. First of all, get novaPDF installed on your windows operating system.
  2. Next, open the image that you want to convert using Windows Photo Viewer
  3. Then click on Print or you can simply press the Ctrl+P and this will open the dialogue box for Print Pictures
  4. After that, you can now select the novaPDF, select your preferred quality and paper size. If you are printing multiple images, you can also select them at the same time instead of picking them one after the other.
  5. You can then use the predefined layouts to print them. Furthermore, you can access the novaPDF settings by clicking on Options and then Printer Properties.
  6. The next thing is to click on Print and choose where you prefer to save the PDF image. You can select a location from the window for Save PDF document As.
  7. The image will then be automatically saved as a PDF document.


How to create a PDF with images on macOS

Follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Finder.
  2. Click on the image that you want to get converted to PDF.
  3. After that, you can right-click on the files that you have highlighted or you can simply Ctrl-click on them.
  4. Then you need to select Open With Preview in the drop-down menu that shows up.
  5. Next, check the Preview’s sidebar and drag images’ thumbnails into the particular order in which you want them to appear in that particular PDF document.
  6. Check the Preview menu bar.
  7. Click on File, then Print. You can also do this by clicking on Command+P on your keyboard and this will bring up- the Print dialogue box.
  8. You can then click on Show Details and this will help to expand the Print dialogue box. After that.
  9. This will bring up the full set of options available. Ensure that you select the All button in the Pages options.
  10. After that, you can click on Save as PDF. It can be found in the PDF dropdown menu in the lower-left corner of the Print dialogue box.
  11. The Save dialogue box will then appear. You can now give any name of your choice to the newly created PDF file.
  12. Then select your preferred save location.
  13. You can also go a step further by adding password to the newly created PDF document. You can find the password functionalities in the Security Options button. The password will prevent the printing, copying or opening of the newly created document.


Why PDF Files won’t open?

You love using Adobe Reader or Acrobat to open pdf files on your Windows Desktop. However, not being able to access PDF documents while using an Adobe Systems tool or google chrome is extremely irritating.

As inventors of PDF file format, Adobe has a relatively clear understanding of how to optimize users’ experience, especially when engaging in Acrobat premium models.

Why are troublesome?

One of the legit reasons behind the failure of some PDF documents is that the designers are more focused on producing good layouts rather than creating actual proofs. Don’t look at these; they’re going directly to the department or printer.

If designers focus more on the pdf documents, then this type of errors can be solved. This means there is far more continuity between the supplied file and the original one.


Why won’t PDF files open? The Causes:

Several reasons prevent the pdf files from opening. We have listed them below:

  • The file you are trying to access is either corrupt or damaged.
  • One of the reasons your PDF file won’t open is that you might be using an outdated version of Adobe reader.
  • The installation process was not completed correctly.
  • The PDF document you are trying to access is from a non-Adobe program.


This question may also be considered the mother of all Windows 10 portable document format issues. Several people who reported this problem are those who moved to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.

It won’t even give you an option to open a new window.


What’s the solution?

Adobe Acrobat can exhibit unpredictable behavior at various levels of operation, which has a detrimental impact on usability.

The software may fail to import data, display catastrophic errors when the software is modified or started, or simply fail to respond to the user’s basic commands. If you can’t access your pdf file, read the solution below on how to fix them.


1.     Update Adobe Acrobat:

If you are using an outdated version of Adobe Acrobat, opening all of your PDF files may not be in a good position. Adobe regularly updates its Apps to Acrobat and Reader.

Of this purpose, we can only suggest you access the app from the official Adobe release website.

While there, pick the latest edition of the OS program, and push the Update Now icon. It is more likely that taking the new Update would resolve problems with the program. If the current one is corrupted, that will make a huge difference.

Besides, the new fixes and protection updates will keep Adobe Acrobat still working smoothly.


2.     Proper Installation:

There are several ways that a failed download can manifest itself. The process can refuse to begin when you start the download, or the download can end abruptly. The installation can even end with an error message until the full download of the installation package.

  • Attempt to resume download again. Before downloading, select the latest version of Adobe Acrobat from the drop-down list on the Downloads page.
  • Make sure you’re on secure internet service. Run a compatibility scan to ensure that nothing interferes with your connection, and then restart the Update.


3.     Ask the sender to resend the PDF file if it’s damaged:

This is not a particularly common issue, although it is likely that the software used to produce the PDF file didn’t correctly create it. The information in the PDF documents are sometimes damaged and corrupted.

Besides, if the document is sent via email or a website, then the root cause is that it may not be correctly uploaded.

You can check the credibility of the document and whether it is uncorrupted by simply opening another file. If that file opens, then you will know that the other one was corrupted.


4.     Use older version for non-adobe files:

Often on your Windows 10 PC, you can attempt to open multiple PDF files, and they struggle to open because they were produced from non-Adobe goods.

In Adobe Acrobat or Reader, PDF documents produced by non-Adobe items do not always follow the PDF requirements and specifications. The reason is that the previous versions of Adobe reader are not so rigid as compared to the latest ones.

The file that you opened by using the older version cannot be opened with the latest version.  When you have an idea that the file maker is credible enough, then you can request them to switch to the older version of acrobat reader to open the file.

Moving back to an earlier version would allow you to uninstall the Reader or Acrobat update that’s already installed on your drive.



5.     PDF not recognizable

In some instances, when submitted by e-mail, the file extension Microsoft Windows uses to define the file as a PDF can be omitted. Microsoft Windows won’t realize how to access this file because the file doesn’t finish in.pdf.  Below is some solution on how to fix this problem.

  • Save your PDF to your personal computer.
  • From the start menu, you can view the option to enable the browser for PDF.
  • Drag the saved PDF into the reader from the laptop. If this file is uncorrupted and valid, it should be accessed.


Why PDF won’t open in Chrome

The main reason is that google Chrome downloads the document. To fix this just do the following steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Click on settings
  3. Then, click on Advanced.
  4. Click on Content Settings (you will find it in the securty and privacy section).
  5. Search for “PDF Documents”.
  6. Select the option. “Download PDF files instead of Automatically Opening them”.


If these steps don’t resolve the issue update your chrome version, use another browser or use adobe acrobat reader app.



Many of the difficulties you’ll find while opening PDF files are attributable to one of the above-described causes.

Another important factor is that your PC must have the software to recognize PDF files.

There is a drawback in Window’s 10 and that is it uses Microsoft Edge as the default PDF reader. It would be best if you altered it to make Acrobat your default PDF reader.



How to open PDF files online

If you don’t want to download any program you can just view your pdf file online. There are many options available.


  1. Go to
  2. You have two options to select your document:
    1. Drag your pdf file from your device to the “drag and drop Pdf file here”
    2. Click on the green button “Click to upload PDF”


PDF escape

  1. Go to
    1. Click on upload if you have the pdf file in your device.
    2. Or Load from internet if you are using an online pdf file document.

How to convert PDF to Word


You can use an online converter. There are many options like this 

Using Software in Windows or MAC

For Windows you have the following converters available:

  • SmallPDF
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Simply PDF

For MAC you have the following converters:

  • SmallPDF
  • SodaPDF

How to convert PDF files to JPG


You can use an online PDF to jpg converter like

Using Software in Windows or MAC

You can use the following programs:

  • SmallPDF
  • FoxitPDF

What Free PDF Editor should I choose?

There are many free pdf editors available, all of them with great features. You should try the software to find out which one you like.

The options are:

  • Acrobat
  • Smallpdf
  • foxitpdf
  • Online editors and converters.

How to merge or combine PDF files

Sometimes you have more than one document and you want to merge or combine all of them. These are the required steps to follow.

  1. Identify which are the documents and files you want to merge or combine:
  2. Use an online merge tool like
  3. Use a software like SmallPDF

It is safe to delete .PDF files ?

You can delete it if you no longer need the document. It won’t crash anything.

Can’t Open a PDF file extension

There are times the file will refuse to open despite having the viewer already on your device.

This may happen if there is not association with the pdf viewer. Follow the steps below to associate the two:

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

Can’t view a specific .pdf file? Problems editing it?

Just download another free viewer on windows, mac or android and try again.



Regardless of the type of device you use, you can access and open a PDF file with ease. Whether you use Windows, Android or Mac devices, there is a pdf viewer readily available for download. 

It is a reliable and trusted format that can save you lots of time and money if used properly. It will also keep your documents secure from unauthorized users. You can also send large sized documents over the internet by saving them in this format.