Frequently Asked Questions
The College of The Albemarle (COA) Marketing team relies on each department to notify us when their respective web pages require content updates.
To request a revision to COA’s employee directory, contact Colleen Woolard in Human Resources at email@example.com.
Accessibility experts recommend avoiding or minimizing the use of Portable Document Format (PDF) files as a sole source of online information due to the difficulty of making these files accessible to users with disabilities.
Potential Drawbacks of Using PDF Files
- Software requirement and knowledge: If you’re a content creator at COA, you’ll need access to the full version of Adobe Acrobat™ or knowledge of the accessibility tools in programs such as Microsoft Word™
- Accessibility errors: The process of repairing PDF files is time consuming and can lead to inconsistent results; Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the code developers use to create web pages, is far better for accessibility
- Inaccessible PDF file table formatting: A common error in PDF file formatting is the use of tables. If you insert a table in your PDF file that is missing tags, has improperly nested headings, uses color or graphics to convey information, lacks strong color contrast, or contains empty cells, you’ll be asked to reformat it using the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) PDF file accessibility checklist
- PDF files don’t appear in a database search: Although Google™ might index a PDF file, the database search feature on our website will only display results from the text of this site’s web pages
- Printing inconsistencies: PDF documents are usually formatted to print vertically, but computer monitors generally have a horizontal orientation; this causes users to scroll more, which can be difficult for those with mobility impairments
- Slow PDF file downloads: Slow downloads negatively affect user experience and hurt page load speed when the file is embedded; HTML loads quickly
- Usability problems: The interface between a browser and a PDF file can be inconsistent
- Editing limitations: If your PDF file contains grammatical errors or doesn’t comply with COA’s in-house style guide, you’ll need to fix your file; however, if we publish your information in HTML, we’ll proofread the text, fix broken links and properly format the content for accessibility
- Unless you’re required to publish a PDF form on our website, request the creation of a web page
- If a PDF file is mandatory, be sure it’s accessible by using Adobe’s PDF file accessibility guide and the HHS PDF file accessibility checklist
- Please test the hyperlinks in your PDF file.
- If a PDF file includes instructional graphics or images that contain text, type out the content so the data is accessible outside visual aids
- Never use color alone to convey information
- Avoid converting documents with multiple columns or complex tables into a PDF file because screen readers or other text-to-speech technologies may unexpectedly read text across columns and require additional scrolling
- If your department needs a basic form or survey that doesn’t collect sensitive information or require signatures, we recommend that you use Google Forms from your COA account
- To collect sensitive data (student identification or social security numbers) and/or digital signatures, create a PowerForm through your COA DocuSign™ account
After you publish your form, send the public link to Marketing through a “Website Request” Help Desk support ticket.
Note: For returning visitors, an updated PDF file might not appear for up to seven days due to the caching schedule of this website. This is one reason why Marketing asks administrators to submit updates at least one week before changes are required.
How to Clear the Cache
- Select the Chrome menu in the upper right corner
- Select “History”
- Click “Clear browsing data”
- Click the “Library” icon in the uppermost right-hand menu, select “History” and then choose “Clear Recent History”
- Select how much history you want to clear:
- Choose the drop-down menu next to “Time range to clear”
- Use the check boxes to select what information you want to clear from your history
- Click the “Clear Now” button
- Select the “Tools” button, point to “Safety” and then select “Delete browsing history”
- Select “Delete”
The alternative solution is to perform a hard reload on the PDF file page.
Note: For returning visitors, updated content might not appear for up to seven days due to the caching schedule of this website.
For details about website accessibility standards, read our statement.
If you submit a PDF file containing a scan, you’ll be asked to convert the content into text. One option is to use an OCR application.