Using PDF Documents

PDF documents are electronic representations of printed documents. They’re not as convenient to use as a web page, so use them sparingly. A regular web page is often a better choice. They are useful for:

  • Documents that require a signature
  • Forms that should be mailed in (perhaps with payment attached)
  • Large manuals that should be preserved in their formatting and pagination
  • Posters you intend for people to print and hang up

PDFs can simply be attached to a page. You make a link to the PDF using the link button in the toolbar.

Can I attach a Word document?

You can, but we strongly discourage it. Not everyone owns Microsoft Word and not all Word documents are compatible with all versions of Word. Also, with a Word document, people may be missing the same fonts you used, they might change the form, or it may not print with the spacing you intended.

We have permitted Word documents in only a handful of cases. When in doubt, opt for a PDF.

How do you configure a PDF to always open with the the Bookmark view on left?

In Adobe Acrobat (not Reader), open your PDF and click File and then Properties. A Document Properties box will pop up. Click the Initial View tab. Set your Navigation Tab to “Bookmarks Panel and Page,” click OK, and then save the document. Now you’ve set the PDF so that the bookmarks panel will open on the left by default.