Week 24 Technical Service Bulletin - How to assess a PDF

10 Jun 2019

Helen Grimbly

Helen Grimbly, Support Lead

This week, Support Lead, Helen Grimbly will be looking at how to assess a PDF.

PDFs are frequently used on websites to display an electronic un-editable version of a document. However, PDFs have their problems. They can often be poor in terms of accessibility and as they are not designed to be flexible they can require a lot of zooming in and out, and scrolling both vertically and horizontally on small devices such as mobile phones.

If you are using PDFs on your site, and want to ensure their compliance, with Sitemorse you can assess PDFs.

An assessment can be carried out on an individual PDF. Maybe the PDF has just been made live or there are some issues that have been highlighted in a larger Sitemorse report. By running an assessment on a PDF, the user can check that the PDF is accessible, such as that the title and description of the document are set which is used by search engines, or that a form in the PDF is correctly labelled, and any images with relevant information are also labelled.

There are two ways to run an assessment of a PDF in Sitemorse.

Method 1: 
- From your digital properties page, click the + plus symbol on the 'Ad hoc' tab. 
- Type in the PDF web address 
- Click checkbox 'Tick if the URL to be tested is a PDF file.' 
- Press 'Run audit' 
- The PDF will then be assessed and the results shown as a Sitemorse Report.

Method 2 (only applicable if your browser displays PDF files in the browser window): 
- Browse to a PDF page on the internet. 
- Click your 'SMARTview' bookmark. 
- Once the assessment is complete the Sitemorse Report for the PDF will then be displayed to you.