Get your reports noticed!

These overlooked steps are critical to having your documents found and easily consumed online.

The most over-looked area in creating a document is ---- the Document Properties box. 

Document Properties box, blank

I noticed recently that a report I was posting online for a Department did not look at this information and therefore the Author was listed as "fieldtec". Obviously, this is not what they wanted. I would recommend filling out the Title, Subject, Author, Company and as many Keywords as you can as the minimum for each document that goes online.

This information is the basis for all the information on a Google search page. I s anyone going to read a report written by Fieldtec?

As I also received several reports from external vendors with this batch of documents, I looked to see what they had in their properties box:

Document Properties

See the difference.

 

The next part is not so easy. It has to do with how you structure your document for easy readability by machines and people. Blackboard has a nice write up of this concern here. The key is making use of the formatting tags (h1, h2 and h3) to set hierarchy on the page, use alternative text when using images, and using tables with column headers for presenting data only - not page layout. Another concern is making sure you use informative text for links instead of either a complex URL (you've seen those 2-3 line url links before) or Click here.

Going forward, the District will only be posting documents that are PDFs that have been checked and verified for Accessibility concerns.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can still follow the instructions from Blackboard on creating Accessible documents - you just will not be able to verify them. If you have any issues, concerns or questions, I am always available to help you. If there is an interest, we can do a training session in the summer for District staff.