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Plug-ins Information


Adobe Acrobat Reader
Get AcrobatAdobe Acrobat Reader is required to view
PDF (Portable Document Format) documents online. It is a free plug-in that Adobe Systems Incorporated provides. This Reader allows you to view, navigate, zoom in and out of and print PDF files across all major computing platforms.

The following links will send you to various Adobe Acrobat pages for further information.


Autodesk WHIP!
Get WHIP!The WHIP! browser plug-in may be required to view some of our maps and other
DWF (Drawing Web Format) files which were created with AutoCAD. It allows the user to zoom in or out, pan around and turn on and off drawing layers with no loss of detail quality. User may also print images at desired scale, again with no loss of detail. Right click in the image to access the WHIP! menu options.

Users can view and print offline as well by simply right-clicking the image, selecting "save image as" and saving to hard drive. From there, user may double-click on the file name when off-line and browser will open to desired image.


Document Online FAQs

Q.  Why do I need the Acrobat Reader plug-in to view some of your files?
A.  HTML (the web "language") does not yet have the flexibility to represent heavily formatted documents as they were intended. There is a very wide variety of word processing and layout programs being used and each save and format their files differently. Adobe Acrobat converts these into a common file type (PDF) and the Reader plug-in allows users to view the document as it was intended (or close to it) regardless of what platform is being used.

Q.  Why do I need the WHIP! plug-in to view some of your documents?
A.  The great majority of maps and graphics the Public Works Department produces are made using AutoCAD which creates vector based images. Most of the graphics currently seen on the web are raster images and this is the only image type browsers can support without the use of special plug-ins (or add-on software). AutoCAD files which were not converted to PDF were instead exported to a specific file type (DWF) which the WHIP! plug-in supports. In general, plug-ins allow for a much more flexible and dynamic surfing experience!

Q.  What is a PDF file?
A.  Portable Document Format.  It is a file type that Adobe Acrobat creates by converting documents from numerous word processing, page layout or graphics programs. It allows users to view documents as designed without needing the specific software the file was originally created with. All that is needed is the Acrobat Reader, which is a free download.

Q.  What is a DWF file?
A.  Drawing Web Format. It is a vector file type exported from AutoCAD for use on the web which most closely represents the original drawing file.

Q.  What is the difference between raster and vector images?
A.  Raster images are composed of lots and lots of tiny dots (pixels) of different colors arranged like a mosaic to look like a picture. Raster imaging is great for reproducing photos and other fine artwork. Curved edges in these pictures may look smooth from a distance, but when zooming in to the picture you will see its jagged edge.
Vector images are created using defined geometric primitives (shapes) such as circle and rectangles. This is the preferred way to create images that must be precise in nature such as technical construction drawings. These drawings will often need to be viewed and printed at different sizes while maintaining their true shapes and with absolutely no loss of definition. No matter how much you enlarge or reduce a vector image, the curves will always be smooth.

Q.  I installed WHIP! but am still unable to view your AutoCAD drawings. Why Not?
A.  Have you checked the WHIP! test site to verify proper installation?  If so, and the test drawing loads properly, try reloading the reference page, shutting down your browser and/or restarting your computer then trying again. If that still doesn't work, please email the Public Works web tech with an explanation of what is happening and your problem will be addressed as soon as possible. Please note that we can only check that our files are not corrupt or mis-named. Any other technical issue must be referred to Autodesk WHIP!

Q.  I tried clicking on a file name or number and all I get is the "Save File To" dialog box. I save the file, but cannot then view them from any of my programs. Why not?
A.  Autodesk's WHIP! and Acrobat Reader are required to view the DWF and PDF files, respectively. You will need these plug-ins properly installed to view our documents either online or off. If you downloaded the original AutoCAD (DWG) files, you will need Release 2000 to use them.

Clicking on a Standard number should automatically load the drawing file.  However, every once in a great while, our web host's server undergoes maintenance and the WHIP! controls are temporarily out of service. If you know WHIP! is correctly installed on your system, please notify web tech of the problem and we will address the issue with our host as soon as possible.

Q.  What is the best way to print the Standards?
A.  Click on appropriate Standard number, wait for file to load, then select "print" from file menu.  Follow your printer setup as with any other file.

Q.  I clicked on one Standard number or link, but the wrong drawing or document was loaded.
A.  Oops! Looks like our web tech had a brain bloop. Please let tech know which link is incorrect and it will be fixed as soon as possible. Thanks for the heads up.  :-)


Contact Public Works Web Tech
If you have questions regarding the Public Works site that were not addressed in the above FAQs, problems that could not be resolved by following provided links or general comments about the Public Works web site, please send them to our web tech. Work schedule permitting, tech will respond as soon as reasonable on weekdays between 8:00am - 5:00pm PST. Check back in a few days if you still haven't heard from tech - vacations happen!

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