How to Ensure That PDFs Are Optimized For Use by Your Audience through Your Website
The whole purpose of using PDF in most scenarios is to avoid compatibility or accessibility issues when it comes to viewing documents. These issues occur due to the use of different applications employed to view documents or operating systems.
When uploading or sharing PDF documents on the internet, it should be your priority to ensure that you stick to the best common practice in order to ensure that your documents are accessible and can be viewed by all.
The best practices to use should be on both the PDF document that you wish to share as well as in the website that you want to handle the PDF document. Below are the best common practices that you should ensure you are adhering to;
- Make sure that you design your PDFs well
This is easier done than it sounds. All you have to do is ensure the following.
When creating the PDF, either through conversion from a Word document or any other format, ensure that you optimize it for the web. The main purpose of this is to ensure that the file size of the entire document is as small as possible. Usually, the best size is about 40KB, but it may depend on the initial size of your document, in which case you should consider splitting the file.
To make sure that the overall file size is small, you also need to ensure that any images within the document are optimized for the web. This will ensure that when the document is being viewed, it is easy to navigate through without the need of a powerful computer.
Ensure that the font and font sizes that you use are appropriate for your intended audience. It might be a shocker to learn that most people using computer applications don’t actually know how to zoom in to increase the legibility on a PDF document. That is why it is good practice to use a font size that is larger than usual when creating your PDF.
Make sure that you include a table of contents with hyperlinks that can allow easy navigation of the PDF document. Navigation is quite simple to implement in a PDF and there is no reason why a PDF should be created without it. It makes the readers work easier and therefore the document can be readily used as a reference.
- Customize your website to handle PDFs like a champ
- Make it clear that the links that target a PDF will open up the PDF or request you to save the document in your computer. This is a common courtesy so that your audience knows what to expect when they click links on your website that have PDF documents.
If you intend for your audience to read the content on your website, you should consider putting all the content on the site in PDF format and making it downloadable. This is especially the case for pages that you intend for your audience to print.
At the end of the day, don’t overkill on the use of PDFs on your website; the tips and good practice mentioned here are just meant to help you correctly use and manage your PDFs on your website. Most people hate to see a website that is just full of PDF links.