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Correct and Incorrect Uses of PDF's

PDF documents are a digital representation of a printed documents. PDF's should be use appropriately and not as a replacement of an HTML web page.

When to use a PDF

  • Material is meant solely for print purposes rather than being read on a mobile device. PDFs should serve more as "handouts and printable material" than consumable information.
  • Document is extremely long and cannot be made web friendly (ex. multipage policies, handbooks, legal policies, etc.)
  • Document is intended to be faxed or mailed.

When NOT to use a PDF

  • Documents intended to be regularly and frequently updated. There are other sources as Google Docs that have great revision control that do not need to be constantly re-uploaded to the site.
  • Site content that should be maintained on the site. If it is consumable, readable content, it should be on the web, not in a PDF.
  • As a replacement of design. Not sure how to convert the information into a webpage? Ask the web team. That's what we are here for!

PDF naming conventions:

Recommended standard: trinityu-filename.pdf

Not recommended: filename_version1_final_final_no_seriously_this_is_final1-2-4-year-2015.pdf; filename-2015.pdf

Please do not include the year in the file name. If the document requires that you include the version or last updated date, include it within the text or footer of the actual pdf. 

How to upload a file:

Acceptable file formats for images: .pdf, .doc , .docx
Note: .doc or .docx files are not recommended unless they are in a protective format. Please convert all .docx or .doc files into PDFs

  1. Navigate to the page where you would like to place the image or document.
  2. Select the Edit Tab
  3. Under File Attachments, select Choose File. It should open up your desktop navigator.
  4. Before submitting the image or document, please rename the file to something meaningful. No spaces, special characters, avoid capital letters. Dashes and underscores are acceptable.
    Bad: 23597762-3696093%578.pdf, This is my file.pdf, This%is%my$file.pdf
    Good: student-handbook.pdf, adddrop_form.pdf
  5. Select Upload

Note: if your file image is too large, please compress it first by using Adobe Acrobat.

How to insert a file into the content area

  1. Make sure you've uploaded the document using File Attachments.
  2. In the description field below your selected attachment, enter the text that you want to be linked to the document. 
  3.  Scroll up to the body area and place your cursor where you would like the file to be inserted.
  4. Scroll back down to File Attachments and select Insert.
  5. Save the page.

Documents behind a Login (Google Drive): 

If your document needs to be behind a t-mail login in, please use Google Drive, and share it with all people in T-Mail. To learn how to add a google drive to a page, please visit the adding a link section, and follow the instructions there with the sharable link from google drive. 

Deleting Files: Remove does not DELETE

Every time you upload a document or image using File Attachments, it is attach to that page and that page only. If you click remove, it will not permanently delete the file. It will disassociate itself from the page, and will float around in Drupal space. It will not appear in the list of File Attachments. What is Drupal space? The file will move into a directory that is still searchable by Google. A place unknown until you realize that the file is linked elsewhere and is discovered by search.

Updating / Replacing Files

To REPLACE an existing file, download the live version from File Attachments to your machine, make your edits, and upload the new version with the same file name. After approximately 1 hour, the new file should show on the website. If you need assistance, please submit a web request.

Remember to check web links in existing PDFs. PDFs are static documents, links are not, and website architectures are bound to change based off the business need. Before uploading a new version of your PDF into Drupal, please check your links and correct as needed. The Web Team can certainly help locate a missing link, but we are not liable for maintaining links in PDFs uploaded by Web Champions.

What are the total number of PDFs on my office/department website?

Great question! You can view the total number of PDFs on your site by taking advantage of our SiteImprove program. Check the number of PDFs by logging into > Quality Assurance > Inventory > Documents > PDFs. If you do not have access to SiteImprove, please send a web request to web-request [at]