About Adobe Reader
Our web site provides or links to some information in Portable Document Format (PDF), which is a file format that enables you to view and print a document so that it appears exactly as the author created it and such that you do not need the same application or fonts used to create it.
We occasionally use and link to PDF files so that we can communicate certain kinds of information more accurately, easily, and effectively than we can with other methods.
To view, fill out, or print PDF documents, you must have software called Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.
Choosing between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Reader provides basic viewing, printing, and form-filling functionality, and it is available for free.
Adobe Acrobat provides more advanced features, and it is not free software like Adobe Reader.
If you need to fill out PDF forms, be aware that Adobe Reader does not permit you to save a completed or partially completed form like Adobe Acrobat does.
How do I know which one I have?
Ask a knowledgeable friend to examine your computer for you.
Browse through your list of installed software. In Windows, see the Add/Remove Programs control panel. In Mac OS, see your Applications folder.
Download any fillable PDF form (example: 1040 Tax Form), enter some data, save the document, close it, then reopen it. Adobe Acrobat permits you to save the data you entered with the document. Adobe Reader does not. If the data you entered reappears, you have Adobe Acrobat. If not, you have Adobe Reader.
Getting Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat
Both products are available from a software company called Adobe Systems, Inc.
Adobe Acrobat can also be purchased from any vendor of computer software. Adobe Acrobat is not required to complete any forms on this Web site, and UCSF will not reimburse you for purchasing it.
Using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat
Refer to the user guide and online help provided by Adobe to learn how to use Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.