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Help with Opening and Printing PDF Files
- Frequently Asked Questions -

Definitions

Q: What is HTML? What is PDF?

A: HTML (HyperText Markup Language) refers to the programming language used to create most web pages. When you open Netscape or Internet Explorer to view our site on the web, you are looking at a “page” that was created using HTML. While you can print that page on most printers, web pages are not designed with printing in mind; for example; you can’t control the page breaks, and the pages might be too wide for an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

Each PDF (Adobe® Portable Document Format) file on our site is almost like a picture or photo of the original report. These are files that were created from a document that was specifically meant to be printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. These files can easily be saved to your hard drive or to a disk or CD and reopened later, with no change to the appearance. To open these files, we recommend that you use the most current version of Acrobat Reader, available as a free download from Adobe.

Opening Files

Q: This is taking way too long! The internet shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to run something. How can I make this work faster?

A: The procedure for creating either HTML or PDF files does take time, because these files are created “on the fly.” That is, reports are not stored in memory on a server, rather, each report or group of reports is generated dynamically from a common database. For AEIS reports, especially printing all campuses, you may be faced with a wait of a minute or more. For individual Accountability Data Tables, Campus Group reports, or School Report Cards (SRC) the wait should be brief. Please note that once you open a PDF file, it is simple to copy on to your hard drive. It will then open very quickly. (See Saving Files below.)

Q: I waited for a long time for my AEIS reports to open and got an error message. What happened?

A: This happened because the file took too much time to load and your system "timed out." Although we have greatly improved the download speed on our end, we know that some internet connections may still have problems in downloading large numbers of campus reports. Try to access your AEIS reports by thirds (the second, third, and fourth choices under 1.C).

If problems persist, contact us at Performance Reporting, and we will send you your reports by email, or we will print them and send you the printed copies.

Saving Files

Q: How do I save a PDF file?

A: Adobe Acrobat allows the user to easily copy a PDF file to a hard drive or removable disk. Simply click on the “disk” icon on the screen, usually in the upper left corner. (See diagram.)

Image of screen showing a PDF

(Click here to download this diagram as a printable PDF.)

Printing Files

Q: I printed an AEIS report and the right columns are cut off. How do I get it to print all the columns on one page?

A: If you have correctly opened an AEIS PDF file, it should automatically print “landscape” or wide. If it does not, go to your print menu and select landscape orientation. (The exact location of the “landscape” selection for printing from your computer varies by operating system as well as by printer type.)

Q: I successfully printed the PDF version, but bits of the type were cut off around all edges. How do I get it to print a little smaller?

A: Some printers need a wider margin than what the PDF file offers. In your print menu, you should have an option to “shrink to fit” or “scale to fit.” Many printers also allow the user to reduce the size to a certain percent, such as 90%.

Blank Screen

Q: I went through all the steps and waited, but what opened was a BLANK screen. Where’s the report?

A: We have noticed this problem sometimes occurs, especially with Internet Explorer. It may be that you need to update your Adobe® Acrobat Reader. These updates are free, available from Adobe. You may also try clicking on “Refresh” or “Reload” once your browser has completed downloading. If it still does not come up, try searching for the district or campus by number or county. You may also consider using a different internet browser, such as Netscape or Firefox to open the report.

If you are still having problems, contact us at performance.reporting@tea.state.tx.us, and we will send you your reports by email, or we will print them and send you the printed copies.

File Won't Open

Q: I have tried to open a PDF version of the AEIS reports, but have been unsuccessful. My PC appears to save a copy of the file, but then when it tries to open it, the message I get is: "There is no viewer available for the type of object you are trying to open."

A: Your computer may be downloading and saving the file without its ".pdf" suffix. PCs need that suffix in order to know what application to use in opening the file. If that is the case, save the file to your hard drive and rename it, adding .pdf to the end. The PC should then be able to open it.

Small Image

Q: I opened a report for my district, but the image on my screen is too small for me to read. Do I have to print it in order to be able to look at it?

A: No, Adobe Acrobat allows the viewer to zoom in easily. Here are a few tips:

  1. Close the left frame (the one that says bookmarks or thumbnails), by clicking on the double-arrow button at the bottom of the screen (see diagram above). This allows the report to span the width of your screen.
  2. Click on the “show actual size” button. This displays the report at 100%.
  3. If 100% is not big enough, select the zoom tool (which looks like a magnifying glass). Each time you click on the report with the zoom tool, it gets incrementally larger.

Report Size

Q: I just printed the AEIS reports for my district and ended up with 300 pages! Can’t you warn us about how many pages are in this file?

A: Adobe Acrobat shows how many pages are in your file (see diagram above). It also lets you know what page you are on, e.g. page 1 of 300.

Blank Pages

Q: The download of all AEIS campus reports gave me several blank pages. What happened? Is there supposed to be data on those?

A: To allow for double-sided printing, a blank page has been intentionally added after every cover sheet and at the end of every campus AEIS and SRC report that ends in an odd number. If you prefer to print your reports single-sided, these blank pages can be discarded.

Printing a Single Campus Report

Q: I downloaded and saved the PDF for all campuses. I don’t want to have to print everything if I only need one campus. How can I tell which pages are for a specific high school?

A: The schools are arranged in campus ID number order (typically, high schools first, then middle schools, then elementary). You can scroll through the file to see what the first page is for a school and the last page, then send only those pages to print. You may also use the binocular icon to search for a particular school by name. (See the diagram above to see where page numbers are shown on the Acrobat Reader screen.) Also, the Performance Reporting website (at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/) has campus searches of individual schools.

* * *

If problems persist, contact us at Performance Reporting, and we will send you your reports by email, or we will print them and send you the printed copies.


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