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Help: FAQs on downloading

On this Page:

How do I download a file?
How do I download a PDF publication?
How do I download Time Series Spreadsheets?
What should I do if I am having trouble downloading a file?
How do I download the latest version of a spreadsheet or a data cube when I already have a file of the same name?
How can I confirm that I have the latest version of a file?

How do I download a file?

You can use either of the following methods to download a file:

  • Left click on the 'Free Download' link which can be found under the 'Download' tab. This will open the file and will also allow you to save the file.
  • Right click on the 'Free Download' link and from the context menu that pops up, select, 'Save Target As...'. This will save the file to a location that you choose and then give you the option of opening it.

Graphic: Example of how to select the 'Save Target As...' menu item

Figure 1: Second method of downloading a file; Right click on the file icon and select 'Save Target As...' from the context menu.
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How do I download a PDF publication?

For answers to common questions about downloading PDF publications, please refer to How do I download a PDF publication?
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How do I download time series spreadsheets?

Time series spreadsheets are available as an Excel (xls) or zipped Excel file. To open a time series spreadsheet, click the Excel icon beside the file you want and select either 'Open' or 'Save'.

Graphic: example of a 'File Download' prompt

Figure 1: Shows the download options of 'Open' or 'Save'

Time series files can be viewed in Microsoft Excel. If you do not have Excel installed, you can use the free Excel Viewer to open and view an Excel file. Microsoft offers Excel Viewer as a free download from the Microsoft web site,

You can also access the files using the spreadsheet program Calc, which is part of the free productivity suite OpenOffice, available at
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What should I do if I am having trouble downloading a file?

The table below lists some possible causes and suggested actions to take if your file download is unsuccessful, or if you get a blank document when you open the file you have downloaded.

Possible cause of unsuccessful downloadSuggested action
The file size may be too large for your network connection. As a result it may time out or not download completely. File download times depend on both your connection speed and Internet traffic at the time you are downloading.
    • Check the size of the file you have downloaded against the file size indicated on our web site to see if you have downloaded the complete file.
    • If the file size is smaller than expected, delete the file you have downloaded and try again.
    • If you have access to a faster connection try using that instead.
    • You might also try to download the file again when traffic is lighter.
    • Software programs called "download managers" let you resume interrupted downloads. If you continue having trouble downloading large files, you might consider using a "download manager". A number of good ones are freely available on the web.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be experiencing a temporary problem
    • Try your download again later.
You are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6.0 and downloaded zip files are not saved to your computer. URL:
Your download limit may have been exceeded
    • To check if this is the possible cause, try a test download of another document which has a smaller file size.
    • If your download is still unsuccessful contact your ISP to check your download limit.
Your organisation may not allow you to download certain types of files
    • Contact your IT support to confirm this.

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How do I download the latest version of a spreadsheet or a data cube when I already have a file of the same name?

Most file names remain the same for each release of a spreadsheet or a data cube. When you download a spreadsheet, data cube or publication from the ABS web site you may be presented with a pop up dialogue box stating, 'A file with this name already exists, do you want to replace it?' This indicates that you have previously downloaded a file of the same name. Click 'Yes' to overwrite the existing file in this location with the latest file. If you wish to retain both files, click "No" and you will be returned to the "Save As" dialogue box where you can either change the file name (for example, you can add the release month to the existing file name) or select another location to save the file.

Graphic: Example of a 'Save As...' prompt window
Figure 2: Image shows the pop up dialogue box, click on the 'Yes' button to overwrite an existing file having the same file name.

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How can I confirm that I have the latest version of a file - spreadsheet, data cube or publication?

There are a number of ways in which you can ensure that you have the latest version of a spreadsheet, data cube or publication.

1. Check the release date and time which can be found below the catalogue number and title on every release page.
2. Check if the release is the, 'Latest Issue', 'Previous Issue' or 'First Issue'.

Graphic: Parts of a product that provide information on its currency
Figure 3: Image shows the details to look for before downloading.
    3. You can cross check that you are looking at the latest issue by clicking on the 'Past & Future Releases' tab and selecting the latest issue from there.
    4. On opening the downloaded file, you can verify that the file includes data for the release date specified.

    NOTE: Some users have reported receiving previously released files when they thought they were downloading the latest release. This can be due to caching problems, most likely with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Please contact them to discuss this.
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