University of Alberta

Help with Plugins

Acrobat Reader
Flash
Shockwave
Quicktime
Windows Media Player

Acrobat Reader
Acrobat Reader reads PDF files. PDF = "Portable Document File". Acrobat Reader allows you to view a document originally made in nearly any format and converted to PDF without installing the same program on your computer. PDF files can be viewed, downloaded, and printed thus allowing you to look at documents at your leisure and in the format you prefer. Adobe Acrobat creates PDF files, and Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to view PDF files. The Acrobat Reader plugin is free. When you view a PDF online, the web browser will open Acrobat Reader in itself. This may take some time if you are on an older computer. Once the Acrobat Reader plugin is opened, the document is opened. The amount of time this takes depends on the file size of the document and your modem connection speed. If you download a PDF, double-clicking on it should open it in Acrobat Reader. Otherwise, find the program and open it, then open a PDF from the File menu. IMPORTANT: you will find it easy to navigate multimple page documents if you have the bookmark tab pulled out. To do this, click the "Show/Hide Navigation Page" button (third from the left) and then click the "Bookmarks" tab. You can change the zoom using the zoom tool or choose a default magnification from the menu .

 

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Flash
The Shockwave/Flash player allows you to view Flash animations. If you download a Flash file it will have the file extention *.exe (on a PC) and is self-executable (i.e. you don't need the plugin). Thus double-clicking on it will open it in its own window which can be closed when you are finished looking at it. Also using the arrow keys will fast-forward or rewind you through the animation. If you view the Shockwave-Flash file online, you will need the plugin installed to see it. Your browser will open an HTML file with the Flash animation embedded in it.

 

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Shockwave
The Shockwave player lets you view both Shockwave movies and Flash animations. If you download a shockwave file, it will have the file extension *.exe (on a PC) and is a self-executable file (i.e. no plugin is required). Double clicking on the program icon will open the movie in its own window which can be closed when you are finished looking at the movie. If you view it online, you will need to have the plugin installed. Your web browser opens an HTML page with the Shockwave or Flash file embedded in it.

 

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Quicktime
Quicktime is a program that allows you to view digital video in the Movie (*.mov) format. You can view movies in your web browser with the plugin installed, or if you have the option you can download movies to view later. Double-clicking a downloaded Quicktime movie will open the movie in the Quicktime player. Using the Quicktime player is very easy. The download version has a large play button in the middle of the window. Drag the dimond-shaped slider to move to another point in the movie. Click the X at the top right to close. The online version has smaller controls. The button second on the left is the play/pause button. If the movie isn't playing, press the play button. Press the button on the very left to change the volume of the movie.

 

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Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player can handle audio and video that is "streamed" over the web or is local. The play and stop buttons are at the bottom left when the player is embedded. When content is embedded it will automatically launch Windows Media Player when needed. We use Windows Media Player to play the .mpg (mpeg) files that are viewed when you click on the "High Bandwidth" under the "PC" column. You can drag the box-shaped slider to move to another point in the movie. Click the X at the top right to close. If the movie doesn't play when you get to the page, try pressing the play button.

 

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Last Modified: 2002-08-15