The United States FlagHome | Site Index | FAQs | E-mail | Phone | Chat | Our Blog | Mobile
Español | Other Languages
1 800 FED INFO 1 800 333-4636

For Citizens SelectedFor Businesses and NonprofitsFor Government EmployeesFor Foreign Visitors

Home > Home > Free Commercial Downloads

Free Commercial Downloads

Official information and services from the U.S. government.

When you click on a link below, you will leave our site and go to a non-government website. does not endorse these sites, but these links are provided so you may obtain the free software needed to view some documents or to access audio and visual files on some websites.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Some documents on government websites are in Portable Document Format (PDF). These documents ensure that you will be able to view publications in their original format regardless of what type of computer, browser or operating system you use to access the Internet. In order to view, navigate through and print PDF documents, you must first download the free Acrobat Reader software. Instructions and a troubleshooting guide are available on the Adobe website. For best results, make sure you install version 3.0 or later of the Acrobat Reader. visitors using screenreaders or requiring alternate versions of Adobe Acrobat may find it useful to visit Adobe's alternate reader download page.

Real Video/Audio Files

These files, which have the extension (".ram", ".ra", ".rm", ".rmm", ".rp", ".rms", ".rt", ".rmj") require installation and use of the RealPlayer software. This software is available for free from RealNetworks. This file format allows you to "stream" audio and video files, which means that you begin hearing and seeing the files without having to wait for the entire file to download. To hear audio on your computer, your system must also have speakers or earphones and a sound card.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Aggregators

RSS feeds, which have the extension ".xml", ".rss", ".sfm", ".cfm", ".rdf", ".aspx" or ".php" require installation and use of RSS aggregator software. An RSS aggregator allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed. There are many aggregators available; some are free and some are available for sale. RSS feeds are commonly used on weblogs (blogs), news websites and other places with frequently updated content. An RSS aggregator gathers material from websites that you tell it to scan and it brings new information from those sites to you. It's a very convenient format because it allows you to view all the new content from multiple sources in one location on your desktop.


These files have the extension ".xml" and ".php" and require installation and use of podcatching software (a type of aggregator). This software is available for free from Juice (PC, Mac and Linux), iPodderX (Mac), iTunes (PC and Mac), and jPodder (PC). There is much more podcatching software available. Podcasting is a method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files, usually MP3s. Listeners may subscribe to feeds using podcatching software, which periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically. Any digital audio player or computer with audio-playing software can play podcasts.

Other Audio Files

Some audio files on government websites have an ".au" extension. These sound files can be played using a standard soundplayer bundled with your computer's operating system, for example, Microsoft Media Player for Windows, SoundMachine for the Macintosh and XPlayGizmo for Unix. To hear audio on your computer, your system must also have speakers or earphones and a sound card.

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Contact Government | FAQs | Website Policies | Privacy | Suggest-A-Link | Link to Us
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: May 11, 2007