General Guidelines

  • Whenever possible, convert files to webpages for the best user experience
  • If a file must be used, the preferred format is pdf. Most browsers allow pdf files to be previewed in the browser rather than downloaded as a separate file to the user's computer.


  • Forms that must be downloaded and/or printed are inefficient to complete and gather information. Contact Computer Services to request to have your form converted to a web-based form.
  • If you have print materials such as student handbooks that have been designed by the Brand Marketing Team, that are longer than 5 pages and would add value you to the webpage or website, we can create a flash-based viewbook for you. This converts your pdf document into a web-friendly version. See the Learning & Teaching Model publication as an example. Please submit a ticket to Computer Services to request this service.

File Name Suggestions

The url of the file on the site will reflect the file location and the name of the file. If you would like the file name to be clean, rename your file prior to uploading.

  • Replace spaces in the file name with dash or underscore.
  • Replace uppercase with lowercase
  • Shorten the name when possible while keeping the name descriptive
  • The preferred file format is pdf. Limit the use of other file formats such as .doc or .xls

An Example:

Before: My File Name About Something Long DEC 2012 - My Edits.pdf

After: short-file-name.pdf

Shortening the URL of your file

The file path is usually a reflection of the file location on the server and the file name. So the path would usually be "/folder/folder/folder/file-name.pdf".

If you would like to shorten the url further, you can use third party tools such as:

There is a security risk with using shortened links, in that the user can't see where the link is pointing to before clicking on it. You may find that savvy users are less likely to click on these shortened links.