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Contents of this Page

Introduction

Below you will find instructions for using the various file types as well as links to download free viewers that will work across multiple operating system platforms. Many of these documents will open directly in your browser or will provide the option of saving to your local computer.

Adobe Acrobat or PDF Forms and Files

Before attempting to read these files, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed (download Acrobat Reader Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer ). The free Adobe Acrobat reader will allow you to view and print PDF files. Also see the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer for quick links to Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility features. In addition, Adobe offers other Online Conversion Tools for Adobe PDF Documents Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer including web-based and e-mail submissions. Additional conversion tools are available in the Adobe Accessibility Resource Center Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer.

Numerous PDF forms on this site are labeled as "Fillable". Note that there are limitations on the functionality of these forms depending on the product you are using, as follows:

  • If you have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software you can fill the forms out and print them, you cannot save them. You must re-fill the PDF form every time you open it. The Adobe Acrobat Reader software functions this way by design, it is supposed to allow users to view PDF files, it is not designed to edit them.
  • Software packages may be available that will allow you to complete, save and print the forms. However, it it essential that the type size and format specifications are met or the application will be returned without review.

Audio Files

There are several software programs that can play audio files on demand. Some of the common file formats for audio files are .mp3 and .wav. Below you will find a list of the free software programs that are used to play the audio files on this site:

Quicktime

There are several Quicktime audio files on this web site that can be played on demand using Quicktime which is available from Apple for free and may be downloaded by visiting the link below.

Windows Media Player

There are several Windows Media Player audio files on this web site that can be played on demand using Windows Media Player which is available from Microsoft for free and may be downloaded by visiting the link below.

Video Clips

There are several software programs that can play video clips on demand. Some of the common file formats for video files are .mp4, .rm, and .wmv. Below you will find a list of the free software programs that are used to play the video clips on this site:

Quicktime

You can play Quicktime video clips (.mp4) using Quicktime, which is available for free from Apple and may be downloaded by visiting the link below.

RealPlayer

You can play Streaming Video Clips (.rm, .rfm) using RealPlayer software. The Real Media streaming video player is available for free; get it from the Real Media Player download site Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

Windows Media Player

You can play Windows Media Player video clips (.wmv, .mp4) using Windows Media Player, which is available for free from Microsoft and may be downloaded by visiting the link below.

Flash

You can play Flash files using the Adobe Flash Player, which is available for free from Adobe and may be downloaded by visiting the link below.

Saving Files Locally

When you click a link to a file, your browser may open the document in the browser window, open the document in its native application automatically, or prompt you to save the file locally. The action the browser takes depends on your local browser/application configuration. You will need to have the appropriate application or file viewer (see free viewers above) to view these documents.

  • If your browser automatically opens the document in it's native application or reader, you will have the option to do a File/Save to capture the document to your local computer.

  • If your browser prompts you to download and save the file, choose an appropriate place on your local hard disk to store the file. You will want to carefully note the location you save to so that you will be able to find the file when the download is completed.

In addition, you can save a file by right-clicking the link, then saving it to a selected drive and folder.

Using Compressed and Archived Files

In some cases, large individual documents or groups of files have been archived together and compressed into a single (smaller) file. File names of these archives end in "EXE" if you are a PC user or "SIT" for Mac users. Clicking on a link to an archived file file will result in that file being downloaded to your computer.

Once downloaded, these compressed files can typically be uncompressed by simply double-clicking and choosing a destination folder to store them in.

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