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Technical Assistance

Adobe PDF Files

To read and print a PDF file, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed on your PC. You can download a version suitable for your system, free of charge, from Adobe. Adobe also provides tools and information to help make Adobe PDF files accessible to users with visual disabilities at Adobe® Accessibility Web site.

Many of the documents on the USDA Web site are in HTML or ASCII (plain text) formats. These formats are generally accessible to people who use screen readers. We also have a large number of documents in Adobe Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDF).

Video Files

Real Networks' RealPlayer Cloud is required to view some video clips. If you do not have RealPlayer Cloud, you may download a free version from http://eu.real.com/. Only the free version is required. Installation instructions are available on the RealPlayer Cloud web site.

Newer clips will play in Windows Media Player. Some are offered in multiple formats.

To Save a File or Image

To save a file or image, right-click over the link and choose "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Chrome or Firefox) to download. You may also use the "Save" options on your browser's File menu.

Graphic File Formats

Graphic art on this site is offered in multiple formats. Most of the images you see are low-resolution files (gif or jpg) suitable for viewing on the screen. When using other formats, please note the following:

  • PDF, the Adobe Portable Document Format, preserves the look and feel of the original document. For some printing and duplication purposes (classroom use, for example), this is a good choice. To read and print a PDF file, you must have the Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your PC (see "Adobe PDF" above). We recommend using the latest version of the Reader.

  • The TIF (or TIFF) and EPS formats are higher-resolution formats. Files in these formats may be too large to fit on a standard floppy disk. We suggest having your printing professional download the files from this site, or saving them to a computer hard drive (space permitting), high-capacity disk (e.g., Zip® or Jaz®), or writable CD. (Note: your system's download manager may show the file extension EPS as PS.)

  • Some educational materials (brochures, posters, etc) may be offered in the high-resolution SIT format. These files are intended for professional offset printing. SIT files were prepared on a Macintosh G3 using programs such as Adobe Pagemaker, Quark XPress, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. To facilitate downloading, the files have been compressed using Aladdin's Stuffit Deluxe and archived in a SIT file. To expand or open a SIT file you will need a copy of Stuffit Expander. You can download a free copy from the Stuffit web site at http://www.stuffit.com/. PC users will not be able to open or manipulate the files contained in the SIT archive files. PC users will need to work directly with a professional printer, graphic designer, or service bureau to open, manipulate, and print the files. File sizes listed on web pages are for the compressed files.