Using PDF Files

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On this Saramana Chapter SAR  website, and on almost every other website of other SAR Chapters, the Florida SAR , SAR South Atlantic District, and the National Society Sons of the American Revolution, you will find that almost EVERYDocument" and "Form” will REQUIRE that you have and use the latest version of the “FREEAdobe Reader. This is also true for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) website. These are “FREE” downloads from Please make sure you download the Version that is correct for your systems operating software. There are different versions for different Windows Operating Systems and different versions for different MAC Operating Systems, and for the Android Operating System. In addition, make sure you check for updates by going to the Adobe website or by opening up Reader, clicking on HELP and then click on “Check for Updates”.

Special Notice regarding a Failure to Complete an SAR PDF Form Successfully. The most frequent complaint that is received centers on the inability to fill-in forms successfully and save the completed form. Such a problem usually occurs because (1) Instructions are not followed. (2) The computer you are using does not have an authentic copy of Adobe Reader installed on it. (3) The computer you are using has not been programmed to associate PDF files with your authentic Adobe Reader software. And/or (4) the user does not realize that Microsoft Windows 10 uses Edge as the default internet browser.

To correct the inability to fill-in any Form correctly, the Saramana SAR Chapter advises you to take the following steps, knowing that the first two steps will solve most problems. Steps to follow: (1) Open the form you want to use. (2) Immediately, save the PDF file to your computer with a file name such as MY Form.pdf. Make sure you remember what you named the file and where you saved the PDF file on your computer. (3) Open your newly named file and fill it out, following the instructions. (4) Once you have completed and saved the Form, you can attached the file to an email. It is important that you use authentic copy Adobe Reader, preferably version XI or later as your default PDF reader.

Please be aware that some computer software manufactures install alternative software instead of the “FREEAdobe Reader. While these PDF viewers will open and let you read almost all PDF files / forms, they will NOT allow you to complete or fill in a PDF fillable Form. Again, let me say it is crucial that one’s computer has an authentic copy of Adobe Reader, preferably Adobe Reader XI or later. Notice we stated “AuthenticAdobe Reader. We did not say PDF Pro 10, which is not an authentic Adobe PDF reader—it is a cheap imitation reader bundle with some computers just so you think your system can do all things. Other PDF Readers that are not an “AuthenticAdobe Reader include Sumatra PDF, Nitro Reader, Foxit Reader, PDF-XChange, and PDF Preview for Microsoft. By now we trust you have gotten the point that you must have an “AuthenticAdobe Reader, preferably version XI or later, to complete or fill in a PDF Form.

After ensuring that Adobe Reader is the default PDF reader, verify that it has be “associated” properly by following these instructions (Using Windows 10 as the Example): On the left end of the taskbar, Right click on the “Start Icon”. Left click on “Control Panel” and then Left click on “Default Programs”. Left click on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”. On the left side under “Name”, scroll down to .pdf and read across the line through “Description” to “Current Default”. I trust it says Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. If you are using the recent free Windows 10 software, know that your browser is EDGE and not Explore. The Edge and Explore icons look alike but on close examination it is not so. Edge does not work currently with certain PDF files, especially Adobe created files. The cure is to download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome or reinstall Explorer. Windows 10 does not tell you that Explorer is in the Windows 10 bundle, but it is there. Many feel that it is simpler to download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome than to uncover where Explore is hidden. The Bottom line – the Edge Browser will not work with PDF fillable forms. So download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome and use it.

If the default software used by your computer to read Acrobat (PDF) files is something other than Adobe's Reader, you can choose to open them with Adobe Reader anyway - this allows you to take advantage of fillable forms, hyperlinks, buttons and other features that Acrobat (PDF) documents often contain. To ensure that you are opening an Acrobat file (PDF) in Adobe Reader, first find the file in your computer. Instead of double clicking to open the file, you should right-click on the file instead. This will open a small action menu. Look down the list of options for a selection named "open with". If you hover over that selection, it will expand to show a list of options for opening the PDF. You should left click on Adobe Reader in the list. Your PDF will now open the the program it was intended to be used in. NOTE: This will not change the defaults of your computer. It will only use Adobe Reader this one time.

Mac users have also informed us that Apple has its own program to open Adobe Reader files. One problem in using OS X Preview to fill in form fields is that the filled in forms will probably not be viewable on a Windows system. They tell me the solution is to change the “Open With” default application to “Adobe Reader”. You might also want to do an internet search on your favorite search engine like "Google" using the phrase "
adobe reader for pdf files on a mac" to give you more information. You might also want to do an internet search for the phrase "how to configure Mac OS X to open PDF files with Adobe Reader".  It has been suggested that to configure Mac OS X to open PDFs with Reader or Acrobat, do the following, but there may be other options:

1.    Click the PDF file's icon in the Finder to select it.
2.    Choose File > Get Info.
3.    Click the triangle next to Open With.
4.    Choose “Adobe Reader” from the Open With menu (if it's not on the list, choose “Other” to select it).
5.    Click Change All.

If you have followed the above instructions and still have a problem with PDF files and fillable forms, please contact the Webmaster of this site.

Saramana SAR Chapter  Sons of the American Revolution