How to download and view files

Information about how to save and view the various files available on our websites.

There are a number of different file formats available for download on the Department for Communities and Local Government website. All downloads feature the name of the format and the file size within the link title.

To download a document:

If you are using a Windows PC right click on the link and select:

'Save target as' - Internet explorer, Netscape, Opera

'Save link as' - Mozilla Firefox

If you are using a Mac:

With mouse over the link use the "command" or "apple key" and "s" to save the page/link - Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.

File formats

You can download free viewers for each of the downloadable formats from the sites linked to on the right.

Adobe Acrobat

PDF files - created using Adobe Acrobat - retain the formatting of the printed version of a document in an easy to download, single file. To view PDF files you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader, the latest version can be freely downloaded.

Viewers with visual difficulties may also find it useful to investigate services provided to improve the accessibility of Acrobat documents.


For Windows users who don't have Microsoft Word, the Word Viewer 2003 allows them to view MS Word files.


For Windows users who don't have Microsoft Excel, the Excel Viewer 2003 allows them to view Excel files.


For users who don't have Microsoft PowerPoint, the PowerPoint Viewer 2003 allows them to view PowerPoint files.


A zip file is a compressed (or "zipped") store of either a single document or a collection of files, making it easy to group files together for transporting, copying and saving disk space.

You need a zip-compatible decompression program to "unzip" the files. WinZip is a commercial application available for a trial period after which a small fee is charged.

CSV (Comma Separated Values)

A CSV file is the simplest way in which tabular data can be saved for importing spreadsheet applications such as Excel or database applications such as Access. No special reader is required for this format.

RTF (Rich Text Format)

A RTF file is a format that lets you exchange text files between different word processors in different operating systems, for example, a document created in Word 97 on Windows 95, saved as an RTF file, can be opened using WordPerfect 6.0 on Windows.

RDF (Resource Description Framework)

RDF is a set of rules for encoding data in a machine-readable format. Files can be viewed using the W3C RDF validator: www.w3.org/RDF/Validator/ (external link).

Have your say

My favourites