PDF, also known as Portable Document Format is compatible with websites. In this piece, we intend to share important tips on how to use PDF on the web effectively. There is a need to debunk certain wrong notions that forcing internet users to browse PDF files renders usability worse compared to other formats.
1. Adjust Your Fonts
It helps to make your fonts larger so that your audience does not struggle to read the content. Though there is an option to zoom into the PDF file, this is not something all internet users can do. Make sure that your fonts are legible from the start. To confirm that the fonts are big enough, ask an older person to try reading them for you. Enlarge them further if they struggle to see or read what is on the website.
2. Small PDFs Are the Best
PDFs can be made from any word document. However, this does not mean it should be absolved from adhering to the web page’s rules of thumb. PDFs that are meant for internet users to read should always be small; do not exceed 30-40 KB. Some individuals prefer downloading content before reading it. Therefore, anything larger will take longer to download, which might increase the bounce rate. Smaller PDF files will always download faster, and this will make your readers come back for more of your content.
3. Always Show a PDF Link
Your readers are not trying to look for the PDF link on their own to download the content. Also, you should not expect them to look at the link location before they hit the “download” button. For convenience, you need to inform them upfront that the link they are about to click is a PDF file. This will give your customers a satisfying experience on your website. Since PDFs tend to have a different design compared to the website, it is courteous to let your clients known beforehand about what they are about to access.
4. Consider PDF as an Alternative
Before you learn to optimize PDF for web, it helps to understand that it works best as an alternative. Therefore, consider using them for pages that internet users might need to print. You might as well use them to ensure simpler ways for clients to look at forms or catalogues. It might be inappropriate to use PDF files as the sole way to access that form or catalogue unless you really have to. Some web owners, for instance, might have both HTML and PDF catalogues that can be delivered to customers through email. You can use an online tool such as itextsharp to convert HTML to PDF.
5. Always Use PDFs Correctly
PDFs can be used to get written content fast into a website. However, there are tools that you can use to convert word documents to HTML. After that, you can easily factor in your site functionality and navigation. Most users will not appreciate sites where only the front page is HTML, while the rest are PDFs. There are specific uses for PDFs on a website, and you should study each of them carefully.
It is imperative to understand that you won’t harm your website by using PDF files. But you should know how and when you need to use them to give your customers fantastic browsing experience. There are cases where you can give your website an edge against competitors by using PDF files, but you need to take your time and analyze the situations first. The tips shared above can help you use PDF effectively on your website.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maryn Mcdonnell is a creative content writer. She spends her days working closely with many entrepreneurs and creative thinkers internationally. Her interests include travel, self-improvement, and technology. Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell