PDF Files


OFA is now, when possible, issuing certificates and reports through email in PDF format, rather than traditional printing and postal mailing.

The benefits of PDF and Email are considerable.

  • You receive your certificates and reports much more quickly, particularly to locations outside the continental USA.
  • You may reprint your own replacements if you have misplaced it or damaged it, or received a damaged one in the post.
  • PDF files are used everywhere and are supported by all modern devices.
  • PDF files are high quality and do not degrade like copies of printed forms.
  • PDF files may be secured against alteration.


A valid and current email address.

  • Please use the online application forms at https://www.ofa.org/application-forms. We directly import the form and do not have to interpret handwriting or risk keying errors.
  • If handwriting paper forms, write clearly and carefully. We can only type what we see. There is a great chance to misinterpret ones or el-s, zeros or oh-s, fives or esses-s, or twos or zee-s, please write each character distinctly or add notes in the margin if you think it will help us read your handwriting.
  • If you have changed your email address recently and think you may have given one in the past that is no longer valid, please add a margin note for *NEW EMAIL* just so we don’t overlook it and use the prior address on your account.

You will need a PDF-viewer application for your device.

  • The customary viewing application is Acrobat Reader (Also known as Adobe Reader DC) available at no cost from Adobe
  • There are alternatives to Adobe that are smaller, load more quickly, and don’t seem to need updating as often. Search the internet for alternate PDF viewers.
  • The full version of Adobe Acrobat. This one is not free and adds some complexity to the opening process, but it will work.
  • Tablets and mobile devices may already have a PDF-viewing application built in or you may find other apps through your app-store.


The attachments should show up in your email along with some general information in the body of the email naming the dog, the registry, and the report date.

Saving the attachment to your device.

  • Usually you may just click or tap on the attachment and see the file. If not, please follow the instructions in the Troubleshooting section below.
  • For tablets and mobile devices, it depends upon your device and email application. Sometimes a long press on the attachment icon/name will trigger a save dialog.
  • For Web-based email viewers, generally right-clicking and choosing “save link as…” or something similar will allow you to download the PDF file to your computer.
  • For traditional email client applications, it should be evident what steps you need to use to save the attachments.
  • If your computer seems to be lacking a right-click button, you may be an apple zealot. God have mercy on your soul.

Once you have saved your certificate or report to your device, close or minimize your browser or email client and then open the file directly from your desktop, downloads folder, or wherever you have saved it to.

Opening and printing the certificate

  • You will usually have the best success by saving the PDF attachment file to your device and opening it from there.
  • If the odds are always in your favor, you may be able open it directly from your email browser or application.
  • If you are trying to open the attachment from within the browser or email application and are having difficulties, try to save the attachment instead and follow the instructions in the Troubleshooting section below.
  • OFA Certificates are exactly 1/2 of an 8×11″ sheet of US-Letter-sized paper and use a 24-pound stock, though plain paper will look just fine. Print onto a full page then fold or cut halfway down.
  • OFA Certificates are color coded depending upon the registry type. Use a color printer for a traditional look.


Email is always challenging. The following suggestions are just the beginning of a process. Try these. Enlist help from family, friends, fellow professionals if necessary. This list is by no means complete.

  • Check your spam filter. The sending address will be results@offa.org. Add that address to your white-list. Please do not reply to that address as it is not monitored.
  • Make sure your inbox isn’t full.
  • Save the attachment(s) as a file to your own device instead of opening it from within a browser or email application as the browser or email application may intercept the file and have trouble showing it to you properly. Saving it to your device’s file system and using the proper app to open it may save you some difficulty viewing the attachment.
  • Use Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, it will try to open the file in “editing” mode. That is not possible with the security lock we put on certificates to guard against editing the results or the dog on the certificate. If you are being asked to provide a password to open the file, your device is trying to open the file with the full version of Adobe Acrobat. Close the password prompt and you should be able to view and print the document. If that is not working for you, instead, right-click on the file name and choose “Open With …” from the context menu and choose Acrobat Reader instead of Acrobat. (If you don’t have a right-click button, ghmoys. See above).
  • Try opening from a different device. Full computers have more capabilities than phones and tablets.

Additional Hints

  • OFA Certificates are suitable for framing.
  • OFA Certificates may be converted into other graphic formats like JPG or PNG with a variety of programs. Photoshop, of course, or GIMP. Choose 300-dpi resolution when you open or the text will have jagged edges when you save and post onto your own website or share with friends.
  • QR Barcode. This is new for emailed OFA certificates. Most modern mobile devices will show a web-link if you use the camera app. The web-link will take you directly to your pet’s home page on the OFA website.

The adaptation of 21st century technology is an improvement that we at the OFA are very proud of and want this transition to be a pleasant experience for everyone. Should you have difficulties with this new method and have tried all of the suggestions listed here. Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

If there is a spelling error or a necessary correction in an item of fact, like birth date or permanent ID number, please email corrections@offa.org with the revisions. Please do not use this for other issues such as the results of the radiographic evaluation.