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Software help

Software help

Helpful information for those using browser plug-ins and other software applications

Help for PDF, media and Office files or other formats

King County uses PDF, video, and Office files on its Web site, in addition to other file formats. If you run into difficulty using any of these, the information below may be of help.

The King County Web site makes use of portable document format (PDF) files to accelerate the production of existing documents into formats accessible by Web browsers. Typically on the King County Web site you will find manuals, reports, maps, or other large or complexly formatted documents compressed into the .pdf format.

You can download free copies of PDF readers from a variety of sources. The most popular is Adobe Reader from Adobe Systems. (external link)

You can learn more about portable document format (including other available free PDF reader software) from this reference article on Wikipedia. (external link)

If a PDF file seems to be not working, try downloading it to your computer and opening it up locally. If you're still having trouble, you might try shutting off your computer and restarting -- often that cures the problem. And if you're still having troubles, e-mail the county's Web Master.

The King County web site makes use of Windows Media files that can be accessed by using various video-playing software, such as Windows Media Player.

Windows users likely have Windows Media Player installed on their systems, butĀ can downloadĀ free updated versions from Microsoft. Versions for other operating systems are also available.

The King County web site makes use of Real Audio and Real Video files that can be accessed by using the Real Player software.

Windows users can download a free version of the RealOne player. More full-featured versions and versions for other operating systems are also available.

  • Download the fill-in Word form (see downloading for assistance on saving a file locally).
  • Using Microsoft Word, enter information in the shaded “fields” of the form.
  • Use a mouse or the Tab key to move from field to field.
  • Use a mouse or the spacebar to mark and unmark a checkbox.
  • Note that text will be cut off if the size of a fill-in area is exceeded.

Remember, the time it takes to open a file varies depending on the size of the file and your Internet connection speed. Allow sufficient time for the file to load.

If a .PDF file, Word document, Excel spreadsheet or file in another format does not seem to be working correctly:

  • Check the version of your software. Make sure you have the most recent version of the required software. For example, you'll likely meet a roadblock when opening a PDF file with Acrobat Reader 3.0, you'll need to upgrade to a newer PDF reader.

  • Fill-in Word forms may not work properly with versions of Microsoft Word older than Word 97.

  • If you're filling in a form, download the file locally. To download locally (i.e., to your computer hard drive or network):

    • Rather than opening a file, rest your mouse on the name of the file you want, then right-mouse click.
    • From the menu that pops up, select “Save Target As” (Explorer/Opera browsers) or “Save Link As” (Safari/Firefox/Chrome browsers) and save the file to a designated location on your PC or network. Be sure to note where you have saved the file.
    • Open your PDF reader (or Word for a Word document, Excel for an Excel spreadsheet, etc.) and then select “File, Open.” Find the file you saved and choose the “Open” button.

  • Browser settings. To solve downloading problems, a browser setting set to “passive” may be required.

    • For Internet Explorer browsers, select/click on Tools from the menu bar and then Internet Options. Select the Advanced tab. Under Browsing, ensure that “Use Passive FTP (for firewall and DSL modem compatibility)” is checked. Select Apply and then OK. Try to download again.
    • Optional: Check the box for “Enable folder view for FTP sites.”

If the troubleshooting tips do not work or you have questions, please e-mail Web Master with detailed information about the problem you are having, including the URL of the problematic page. Someone here will respond as quickly as possible.