PDFs are a straightforward approach for content material managers to shortly add content material to a web site. Sadly, this simple approach comes with a sequence of issues:
Tough cell expertise: As a result of about half of holiday makers entry the net on a cell phone, using PDFs considerably reduces their capability to learn your content material on small gadgets.
Diminished accessibility: PDFs usually violate accessibility necessities, making the content material troublesome to devour for these with imaginative and prescient, cognitive or listening to impairment.
Particularly, they lack:
- Alt tags for photos
- Studying order for display screen readers
- Colour distinction consistency
- Simple searchability for key phrases
Ideally, all essential content material (that’s, any content material price publishing) might be contained inside the webpage. Should you should add a Phrase doc or PDF, then you could additionally make it accessible.
However, be forewarned that even an “accessible” PDF has limits. The order wherein a display screen reader renders the content material isn’t the identical order a sighted person would see. The display screen reader would possibly converse the deal with first and the principle headline final. Placing the data into the positioning as dwell copy, via the CMS, creates a greater expertise for you and in your customers.
Exceptions: A PDF could also be provided as a substitute format for content material that’s in any other case offered on the positioning. “Obtain a Printable Flyer” for an occasion is okay if the occasion particulars seem as dwell content material on the positioning.
Inside your internet content material, determine the hyperlink as a PDF. Different exceptions embrace:
- Internet guests need entry offline, particularly in printed kind, like a packing guidelines.
- It’s a good looking publication, like a president’s report.
- It’s a hefty load of content material, like a white paper.
- It’s extremely technical with diagrams, charts, graphs, and so on.
In case your content material is an inventory of sources (PDFs), be certain that every hyperlink textual content gives context. Do not forget that lists ought to be three to seven objects. In case your record is greater than seven, break it into logical sections and provides every part a subhead that provides context (e.g., Full These Varieties Earlier than Your Advising Assembly, Varieties for Graduation, and so on.)
ITS provides a video workshop discussing PDF accessibility in addition to an Introduction to PDF Remediation class via the Dare to Study Academy. Acrobat Professional has an accessibility checker that will help you make the PDF accessible.
Alternate options to PDF varieties: ITS provides a number of choices on the subject of varieties together with DocuSign, Microsoft Varieties and Qualtrics, relying in your wants.