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PDF Help

General PDF Tips

Most PDF issues can be fixed by downloading and installing the latest version of Adobe Reader.  Even if you have the latest version, you may find that reinstalling Adobe Reader will fix the issue.  

Mac users should view the PDF in Safari instead of Firefox.

For help with specific errors including opening, saving, printing, or emailing click on the tabs above.


A potential solution to PDF issues is to view articles in non-PDF format. Often, a database will allow you to view the full text of an article in either HTML or PDF format. Here's an example of format options in some databases:

HTML and PDF full text links in EBSCO

An article in HTML format has been reformatted to display nicely on a web page.  It may not include page numbers, which makes citing the article difficult.

PDF Text is Garbled or Unreadable

When you open or print a PDF, the article text may appear garbled and unreadable.

First, verify that you are using Adobe Reader to open or print the PDF.  If you try to open or print PDFs in Microsoft Word or other word processing software the PDF text will not format correctly.

If you using Adobe Reader, try saving the PDF to your computer using the alternative save method.  Then, open the saved PDF and print, if desired.


Thanks to the Walden University Library, as portions of this guide’s template were built upon the template created by their staff. Used by permission.

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