PDFsAdobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) can be a very useful type of multimedia file when used properly, but can hamper usability if not created carefully.
When to use PDFsPDFs were created as a standard means of sharing documents electronically. Use this format when the equivalent of a static print document is necessary.
Post a PDF when:
- The document is a formal report needed in its original form, or
- Providing a blank form that must be returned with a physical signature.
When to not use PDFs
Do not post a PDF document to take the place of creating a page on the CCBC website. PDF files used unnecessarily diminish the user experience by requiring additional navigation, creating longer load times and creating the potential for accessibility issues. In addition, PDF files do not appear as search results in the sites internal search.
Do not post a PDF when:
- The document is a brochure, poster, flyer or PowerPoint presentation.
- There is no title and/or headers and the document doesn’t include CCBC branding as outlined in the CCBC Visual Identity Guide.
- The document does not comply with the Standards for PDF Accessibility.
Be mindful of the size of your PDF
According to the founder of Kissmetrics, 40 percent of users will leave a site after just 3 seconds of waiting.
Keep the Media Library organized
It is critical that content contributors keep the library organized in a way that parallels the structure of the CCBC pages. This allows you to keep related items grouped together and organize your media content in a way that will make it easier to retrieve or update later. In addition, always keep PDFs and images in separate subfolders within a given section folder.
When uploading a new PDF into Sitecore, use the following criteria when naming your file:
- Use underscores or dashes, no spaces. Every space results in a ‘%20’ inserted into the URL.
- Keep title short and evergreen.
- Do not include the year or version of the document.
- Do not include terms like “final, “revised”, “draft”, “new”, etc.
- Do not include the initials or name of the author.
|New Campus Map 2020.PDF||Campus-Map.PDF|
Make PDFs accessible
Standards for PDF accessibility
- Apply text alternative to images with the Alt entry in PDF documents
- Create bookmarks in PDF documents
- Ensure correct tab and reading order in PDF documents
- Hide decorative images with Artifact tag in PDF documents
- Indicate required form controls in PDF forms
- Use table elements for table markup in PDF documents
- Perform OCR on a scanned PDF document to provide actual text
- Provide definitions for abbreviations via an E entry for a structure element
- Provide headings by marking content with heading tags in PDF documents
- Provide labels for interactive form controls in PDF documents
- Provide links and link text using the Link annotation and the /Link structure element in PDF documents
- Provide name, role, value information for form fields in PDF documents
- Provide replacement text using the /Alt entry for links in PDF documents
- Provide running headers and footers in PDF documents
- Provide submit buttons with the submit-form action in PDF forms
- Set the default language using the /Lang entry in the document catalog of a PDF document
- Specify consistent page numbering for PDF documents
- Specify the document title using the Title entry in the document information dictionary of a PDF document
- Specify the language for a passage or phrase with the Lang entry in PDF documents
- Use Adobe Acrobat Pro’s Table Editor to repair mistagged tables
- Use List tags for lists in PDF documents
- Indicate when user input falls outside the required format or values in PDF forms
- Provide interactive form controls in PDF documents.
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The Web Management Team has the right to decline web content submissions including PDFs.