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Document formats

Most information on this website is provided as standard web pages (HTML format). For some documents (including our official publications), a portable document format (PDF) version may also be provided as an alternative option. To read and print PDF files you'll need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader, which is available free from the Adobe website.

Some documents provided as PDF only

We occasionally publish documents on our website in PDF only. This is usually because:

  • the document is old and we don't have another source of it
  • the document was generated outside the Ministry and we don't have it in a more accessible format, or
  • the document must be published urgently and we will backfill with a web version as soon as we can.

Alternative access options (such as print or CD) will be detailed on the relevant page. If you have difficulty in accessing these documents please contact with the details and we will endeavour to help you.

PDFs won't display?

Sometimes people try to open PDFs from our website and get the error message "The file is damaged and could not be repaired".

We've found that this error is most likely to happen when opening a new-format PDF with an old-format reader. That means our first suggestion when this happens is to upgrade your PDF reader, for instance by going to the Adobe website.

If this doesn't work or isn't an option for you, please contact us to discuss other ways of getting the information in the document to you.

Information held on external websites

When linking to information on other websites we endeavour to link to standard web pages. If this is not possible we may link directly to a PDF or Word document. These links will include the document format and file size in the link text.


How do I use a ZIP file?

A ZIP file is a format used for compressing data (reducing the file size) or for archiving files. Multiple files can be stored within a single ZIP file, each individually compressed for easier retrieval and quicker download.

Download and install a ZIP utility

A ZIP file is created and its contents are extracted using a compression utility.

The  Info-ZIP compression utility is a free, high-quality utility available for download.

Many other compression utilities also exist. Please note that both Windows XP Professional and Home editions have a basic built-in ZIP compression utility, so downloading and installing another utility is not necessary.

ZIP files carry the .zip suffix. In general, the basic operation of extracting the contents of a ZIP file (or "unzipping") using a compression utility involves the following steps:

  1. Specify which ZIP file you want to unzip
  2. Specify which of the individual files within the ZIP file you want to extract (usually the default is to extract all files and this may be necessary for some programs to run if they depend on other files stored with it in the ZIP file)
  3. Specify a location to store the extracted files
  4. Complete the process by confirming the extraction

Please read the Help file of your chosen utility for specific instructions.


Last updated: 26 November 2012