Frequently Asked Questions

This document covers some of the most frequently asked questions about how to use

Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Usage

Why PDF Documents?

All of the worksheets that you create with are in PDF format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, the industry standard for presenting and printing documents consistently regardless of your computer hardware, operating system or printer model. The PDF documents downloaded from can be viewed and printed using virtually any computer that is capable of using the Internet, and even some that aren't.

What software do I need to install to view PDF documents?

The most popular PDF reading application is the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Using the latest version of Reader guarantees compatibility with It is available for every current (and many obsolete) computer operating systems. Most computers sold today automatically come with a PDF reader installed, so you may not need to install anything.

How do I know if my computer already has a PDF reader installed?

The easiest way is to simply use our website to create a document and then see if your browser automatically opens it for you. Depending on your browser software and configuration, it may open the file directly within the application or it will prompt you to save or open it. If you try and open the PDF document and you receive an error message saying that the computer does not know what to do with the file, then you probably do not have Acrobat Reader or any other PDF application installed.

How do I print just the student worksheet page of the document?

Most of the worksheets you can create on come with three pages: the student's worksheet, an answer key and a license page. To print many copies of only the first page, open the print dialog box like you normally would (File - Print on the menu).

You can just one number (e.g. "1") or a range of numbers (e.g. "3-4") in the first box to only print the pages you want. You can also change the number of copies to be printed to match the number of students you will give the worksheet to. You might want to leave the answer key on your computer or print out just one copy. The license page does not need to be printed.

My browser opens the file directly, but I want to save it to my hard drive instead. How do I do this?

When you see the page that prompts you to download the PDF file, you can tell the browser to save it to your hard drive instead by right-clicking on the icon and click "Save target as..." as shown below. On a Macintosh with a one-button mouse, you may need to hold down the Option button first before clicking on the link, which should cause the browser to ask you where you want to save the document.

When I open the document from your website it displays as content in a browser window. How can I make it open directly in the Acrobat application?

When you install Acrobat Reader, it attempts to behave like a plug-in to your browser. Occasionally this does not work well and makes using the PDF files a little harder. You can change Acrobat to open PDF files outside the browser by following these steps.

  1. Start Acrobat by itself. It can usually be found right on your Start menu, or under a sub-folder with the name Adobe.
  2. After Acrobat starts, open the Preferences dialog by selecting it from the Edit menu.
  3. In the dialog box that opens, click on the Internet category. This will show the preference settings relating to Internet connections.
  4. Clear (uncheck) the checkbox that reads Display PDF in browser.
  5. Click the OK button. Acrobat will spend a few seconds reconfiguring its browser settings, and may also ask that you reboot your computer so that the changes will take effect.

The next time you download a PDF file, your browser will ask you what you want to do with the file, or if it already knows, it will send the document to Acrobat.

What are some useful shortcuts to use with Adobe Acrobat?

These are some of the most useful key combinations. Refer to the Acrobat Reader help for more usage tips.

Ctrl-PBrings up the print dialog box
Ctrl-0Displays the document to fit the window
Ctrl-1Displays the document a 100%
Ctrl-LDisplays the document in full-screen (ESC to go back)
Tap space barJump to next page
Hold down space barChanges cursor to a hand so you can drag around the page with the mouse
Ctrl + hold down space barChanges cursor to a zoom icon so that you can zoom in with the mouse
Ctrl + Alt + hold down space barChanges cursor to a zoom out icon so that you can zoom out with the mouse

I use Adobe Acrobat Reader and my computer slows down a great deal when I try to open the PDF document.

Unfortunately, recent versions of Adobe Acrobat have become very large due to new functionality that most people never use. It might help to start the reader application and keep it in the background before creating PDF documents from

Website Usage

A certain worksheet is great but what it really needs is a little something extra. Can you change it for me?

We welcome your suggestions and if the change you suggest can apply to a broad audience, we will put it up for consideration.

Can I reproduce part of a worksheet I created on your site for my school's newspaper?

Please contact us with the details of how you want to use the materials, then wait for us to get back to you with a response. We try to be flexible.

Can I serve one of your worksheets on my website?

In most cases, no, purely from a technical perspective. The document generation code runs inside a container that we developed for this purpose and needs a specially configured server. Placing individual PDF files on your site would not be permissible either. Again, however, we try to be flexible, so if you have a suggestion to make this work then contact us with the details.

I have some unique worksheets I created by myself but they don't look as good as yours. Can you add them to your website?

Many of our worksheet designs came straight from documents used by educators in their own classrooms (some are so old that they are actually mimeograph reproductions). We would welcome your suggestion although we have a formidable amount of designs already in the development and testing queue.

I got an error when I tried to do something. What should I do?

While the website is still in beta, a lot of things are prone to be rearranged. The only ones you should see are 404 errors, which means a page was not found, and a 500 error, which means some code behaved badly. We log all of these errors and review them with great detail, so there is nothing you need to do about it in order for us to fix the problem. If it was a 404 error (page not found), you may have clicked on a link from another website and that page has already been moved elsewhere. You can try looking at the sitemap or using the search form to see if you can find the new location.

Other Questions

If you have a question that is not covered by this FAQ, please feel free to contact us and we will try to answer it.