Publishing Electronic Documents
Since documents present several challenges for users, the decision to publish them on the web should be considered carefully. For example, the PDF user experience is usually terrible on smartphones where screen size averages just five inches. Since PDFs are often used to replace regular web content, information shared in these documents is often completely inaccessible by some users, particularly those who are blind or low vision.
Instead of sharing content in a PDF, consider how you can create accessible web content for your users. This page provides resources for reviewing and evaluating the documents currently published on your website and also presents questions to consider for future documents. You’ll also find tools and resources for making documents more accessible.
If you currently have documents published on your site that are flagged as inaccessible in Monsido, visit Review Published PDFs in Monsido for additional guidance and details.
On this page
Find tips, resources, and support for making your documents accessible including:
- Questions to Consider
- Reviewing documents for your site
- Resources for creating accessible documents
- Converting PDFs to web content
- Taking your documents to the next level with the Micro-Certification Badge!
Questions to consider…
Why am I sharing this information?
All web content is created for a specific purpose. Understanding why you are sharing the information will help you decide the best way to add the content to the website. If you are sharing the information as a printable resource for faculty or students, a PDF document may be appropriate. If you are adding a document to share information about an upcoming event, a PDF document may not be appropriate.
Is the information current?
If the information shared in the document is old, outdated, or not correct, we recommend removing the document from the website entirely.
If the document is being shared for archival purposes, it still must meet accessibility requirements. For questions on how to best share this information contact the OIT Web Accessibility Team at OITAccessibility@boisestate.edu.
Is the information shared in a webpage format?
As a general rule, you should provide content in a web format instead of in a document. Documents can be difficult for users to interact with and read while web content is more consistent and predictable for users no matter what tool they are using to access the content.
If the content is not currently provided in a webpage format
We recommend one of the two actions:
- Add content to an existing webpage or webpages
- Create a new webpage or webpages and add the content from the document
For questions or assistance converting content to from a document to a webpage, contact the OIT Web Accessibility Team at OITAccessibility@boisestate.edu.
If the content provided in the document is also provided in a webpage format
You can either remove the PDF from the site altogether or you can link to an accessible PDF to give users the option to download the file. If you choose this option, ensure the hyperlink text clearly identifies the document is a PDF.
Who created the document?
If you or someone at Boise State created the document, then you should have access to update the document’s accessibility. If the document came from an organization outside Boise State, you may or may not be able to make changes to the documents accessibility.
If you can locate the documents original author, you should request an accessible version or permission to make the document accessible.