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Technology Requirements Help

Plug-ins and Viewers

Some files and documents on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website require software to view the files. Below are the most common examples and links to get the readers for free.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

Many documents available on the internet and on OPM's websites are in Portable Document Format (PDF). PDFs allow you to view publications in their original format regardless of what type of computer, browser, or operating system you use to access the Internet.

In order to view, navigate, and print PDF documents, you'll need the free Acrobat Reader software. If you don’t already have it, you can download a free reader at Adobe’s website.

If you are using a screen reader that is not compatible with Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe will convert PDFs into either HTML or ASCII text.

ZIP/Self-Extracting ZIP

ZIP files are used to simplify the download process by wrapping a number of separate files into a single "wrapper" and compressing the original files by a significant amount. ZIP and UNZIP software is available from a variety of vendors.


Your operating system might already have ZIP software included. Check your system first.

StuffIt Expander is a freeware package. WinZip has a free evaluation copy that is good for 21 days. After that, you will be required to pay for the full version.