Help With Downloading


Some of the documents a the CS Ed Library are in HTML format. This has the advantage that you can just click on them and see the results immediately without any special software. Also, HTML is nice for reading things online, since it uses your font preferences and it does not introduce unnecessary page breaks. On the other hand, HTML files do not include the image files. So if you copy an HTML file to look at later, the necessary image files may be missing. (Internet Explorer includes a Save As Archive feature can save an HTML document with its images, but it's a proprietary format. It would be nice if the W3C created a standard for this problem.)


PDF can be a little more complex to download, but PDF files include all the necessary images so they are self-contained. For every HTML document in the CS Ed Library, there is a PDF version available. The PDF version is exactly the same content -- just the format is different.

PDF Download

Usually, just clicking the PDF link will download the file. If that confuses the browser, try your browser's "Save Link As" (right-click, or click-hold) command to download the PDF and save it as a local file. Then you can either (a) drag and drop the file onto Acrobat to open it, or (b) run Acrobat and then use the Open command to open the file. This has the advantage that you have more control about saving and naming the file where you want.

There is a known bug in IE 4.x where it gets confused downloading binary files such as PDF. A workaround may be to option click the link to save it as a file. There is also a known bug in IE 4.x, and 5.x here the client requests the same download multiple times in quick succssion which will slow everything down. Run IE 5.0.1 sp2 or 5.5 sp1 to avoid this problem.

PDF Details

The Acrobat Reader program that displays PDFs is available for free from Adobe. You don't have to register -- you can just skip right to the download step.

If you can downlod the file, but Acrobat won't display it, you probably have a problem with your browser configuration. I think the Acrobat installer tries to set this for you when you install Acrobat, but sometimes it doesn't stick.

CSLibrary provides the PDF file with their correct MIME type which is application/pdf. Your browser needs to know that files with that MIME type should be viewed using Acrobat. You configure your browser to do that in its preferences. In Netscape it's called the "helpers" or "applications". In IE it's called "File Helpers". In any case, configure your browser so that the MIME type application/pdf is handled by Acrobat. Sometimes you have the choice of using the "plug-in" or "application" handling. I recommend using "application" because I think it's a little more reliable.

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