File viewers & plug-ins

PDF Files

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a type of file format, commonly used by businesses and governments around the world to present information. The files contain all the fonts, graphics and visual layout information, which means they appear exactly the same as when they were designed, no matter what computer is used to view them. PDF files are compact, and can be viewed, printed and shared by anyone using the free Adobe software.

In order to view a PDF file, you need to install Adobe Reader on your computer. This is available for free and you can download it from the Adobe web site. There’s a link to this in the 'Related External Links' section at the foot of the page.

Listening to PDFs - Read Out Loud

The latest versions of Adobe Reader, come with the ability to "read" the PDF content to you. This function known as "Read Out Loud" can be accessed as follows:
With the PDF you want read to you open in Adobe Reader 7, go to the "View" menu and select "Read Out Loud", you will then have the option to "Read This Page Only" or "Read To End Of Document".

Microsoft Office Documents

Microsoft Office is an office application used across the world, both at work and at home. It comes with a word processing programme (Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet programme (Microsoft Excel) and a presentation programme (Microsoft Powerpoint). If you do not have these installed on your computer you can download free viewers. There are links to these free viewers in the 'Related External Links' section on this page.