Web Standard: PDF Links


A PDF is a document in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF); the filename extension is .pdf

Content Requirements

  • When linking to PDFs, follow this format: <link>PDF Title (PDF)</link> (xx pp, yy K, About PDF)
  • Include the title of the document and the acronym "PDF" in parentheses in the link text.
  • After the link, show the PDF file information in parentheses, listing the number of pages and file size of the PDF as unlinked text, separated by commas.
    • For the number of pages, use "1 pg" for a single page. For multiple pages, use "XX pp" with a space between the number and "pp".
    • For file size, use "K" for files smaller than 1000 K and "MB" for files larger than 1000 K. For MB, use at most one decimal place. Put a space between the number and "K" or "MB."
    • You may code the file information in parentheses to appear in a smaller font by using the File Info disclaimer (class="fileinfo").
  • Provide a link to EPA’s “About PDF” page ( http://www2.epa.gov/webguide/pdf-files ) on any Web page that links to PDFs. There are two ways to do this:
    • Use the right-aligned PDF disclaimer box:
      • at the top of a page that includes many PDFs, right before a paragraph or list of PDFs, or
      • immediately before the first reference to a PDF
    • Use the inline disclaimer:
      • when the long version is problematic, or where you have only a few PDFs linked, you may use the File Info disclaimer to link to the “About PDF” page. The "About PDF" link is only required once per page.
  • If you are posting a non-accessible PDF and you are not posting the same content in some other accessible format (e.g. HTML or text), provide contact information. (If you include an email address, follow the EPA standard for linking to email addresses.)
    • You may provide contact information in the same box or paragraph as the long disclaimer.
    • Contact information is a phone number or an email address where a person could get help with a document, primarily for purposes of accessibility. Possible contacts include your library, public information center, public affairs office or the person who created the document. Whatever information you provide, the document should be traceable back to the program office which produced it.

Examples and Details

  • Do not add the file type of PDF, the file size, or the page number when linking to a document page.  The document page is not a PDF file.  It is inappropriate to include PDF in the link and the file size and page number when linking to a document page.
  • The Drupal WebCMS adds the PDF link standard requirements (PDF disclaimer, PDF in the link, file size and page number after the link) automatically on the document page.
  • Style Guide: PDF Disclaimer
  • Style Guide: File Info

About this Standard

Effective date: 07/12/2006
Date approved: 09/12/2012
Web Council review by: 09/02/2014 (or earlier if deemed necessary by the Web Council)