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Adobe Reader Tips

Links followed by a PDF document icon icon identify an Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF) file that cannot be opened without the Adobe® Reader™ software installed on your computer. The Adobe Reader will allow you to view, navigate, and print documents from your computer. The program is free and can be downloaded by following the “Get Adobe Reader” image link below. Once the program has been downloaded and installed on your machine, you will not have to repeat the procedure the next time you visit our site. However, we highly recommend that you always use the most recent version of the Reader.

Get Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader XI System Requirements


  • 1.3GHz or faster processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 3 for 32 bit or Service Pack 2 for 64 bit; Windows Server® 2003 R2 (32 bit and 64 bit); Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 (32 bit and 64 bit); Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit); Windows 8 or 8.1 (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • 256MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
  • 320MB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024x768 screen resolution
  • Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11; Firefox Extended Support Release; Chrome

Note: For 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows XP (with Service Pack 2), Microsoft Update KB930627 is required.


  • Intel® processor
  • Mac OS X v10.6.4, v10.7.2, or v10.8
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 350MB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024x768 screen resolution
  • Safari 5.1 for Mac OS X v10.6.8 or v10.7.2; Safari 5.2 for Mac OS X v10.8; Safari 6.0 for Mac OS X v10.7.4 or v10.8

After installing Adobe Reader, click a PDF file link within the browser to start Adobe Reader and view the file. Or you can download the file to your computer then start Adobe Reader and choose File > Open to view a PDF file. To download the file to your computer, right click on the link and choose “Save Target/Link As..”

You should be aware that documents in this format are typically much larger than simple text files. If you are connected via a slow modem over a telephone line, you should consider the likely download time before attempting to retrieve such documents. In order to help you decide, we will give the size of the PDF file alongside its description.


Some PDF files on this web site are read-only, but others are fill-in forms. Because of licensing agreements, these forms cannot be saved with data you have entered. You should prepare all the information first and then fill in the form. These fill-in forms allow you to enter information while the form is displayed by Adobe Reader and then print the completed form.

We have found that the fewest problems occur when you have the most recent version of the Reader installed on your machine.

  • Click the form link—your web browser should be configured with the Adobe Reader plug-in to automatically open the file within your browser’s window.
  • OR... to download the file directly to your computer, right click on the link and select “Save Target/Link As..” when presented with a menu. Use Adobe Reader to open the file. This will allow you to complete the form off-line and save Internet connection charges. It will not allow you to save information in the form, however.
  • Because you will not be able to save these completed forms, we suggest that large amounts of text are written and saved in a word processing program, then copied and pasted (Ctrl+V) into the PDF file. The text will paste as 12 pt. Times Roman; you may want to use this font in your original document to approximate the amount of text that will fit into the allotted space.
  • Select the hand tool from the Adobe Reader toolbar menu. You can use the hand tool to move the page around so that you can view all the areas on it.
  • Position the hand pointer inside a form field and click. The I-beam pointer allows you to type text. The arrow pointer allows you to select a field, a check box, a radio button, or an item from a list.
  • Press Tab to accept the field change and go to the next field.
  • Caution: When you print a PDF form, the text in the active field (i.e., the field containing the blinking cursor) doesn’t print. Deselect the active field (i.e., click outside the field) before printing the form. Adobe Reader viewers don’t recognize text you’ve entered in a form’s text field while the field is still active, and therefore can’t print the text in that text field. Deselecting the active text field enables the Adobe Reader viewer to recognize the text.
  • Do not bother formatting your text in the word processing program: formatted text (i.e., bold, underline, font type, font size, margins, etc.) will NOT display or print with the Adobe Reader.

Printing Problems

Often times, printing problems are caused by printer driver issues. The best way to fix it is to uninstall your printer driver and download and install the latest driver version from your printer manufacturer’s website. However, if you can’t get a new printer driver right away, there are a few other workarounds:

  • Printing the PDF as an image can enable the file to print.

  - Choose File > Print, and then click Advanced.
  - Select Print As Image.
  - Click OK to close the Advanced Print Setup dialog box, and then click Print.

  • Resave the document by choosing File > Save As, and give the file a new name. The Save As command rewrites the file.
  • Download the PDF again in case it didn't download successfully the first time.
  • Print at a lower resolution (for example, 150 dpi instead of 300 dpi).
  • Deselect the Fit To Page option in the Print dialog box.

More Help From Adobe

For support downloading, installing, configuring or using Adobe Reader, try one of the following links:

  • Visit the Adobe Reader support page at www.adobe.com/support/reader.
  • See document kb403595, “Troubleshoot download and installation problems (Adobe Reader 9 in Windows)” or document kb403522 “Troubleshoot download problems for Adobe Reader (9.0 on Mac OS).”

Help From WAB Staff

If you still need help opening a Wisconsin Arts Board PDF form, please contact Dale Johnson at dale.johnson@wisconsin.gov or 608/264-8191.



Updated:  Friday, July 22, 2016