You must make sure that your attachment has a relevant and informative filename, title and description when you add it to Squiz Matrix.
Reasons for this web standards
- A meaningful filename, title and description makes your attachment much easier to find and helps visitors to the website decide if it contains the information they are looking for and whether to open it or not.
- Where there are similar documents available (e.g. annual reports from different years), a full and meaningful title and description will help prevent visitors downloading the wrong copy of the document.
- The description will display on any web page that includes your attachment and will help people decide whether they want to download it or not. Attachments with unclear titles and no descriptions are not helpful for visitors.
- Visitors may find your document though Google and, without having seen any of your other pages, the title and description may be all the explanation they have about it.
- Some accessibility software, e.g. screen readers, will read out the file name of the attachment (either on the page or after it has been downloaded). A meaningful file name makes the document much easier to identify.
- Attachment filename - you should save your attchment with a meaningful and unique filename that can be used to identify the file. Don't use spaces, symbols or punctuation as they can prevent the file from opening. Instead of spaces, use underscores ( _ ) or dashes as these will not cause a problems. Squiz Matrix will insert dashes instead of spaces if you forget to. The full stop separating the filename and pdf (file type extension) is also mandatory e.g. opening_times.pdf If you have a file that regularly needs updating such as a Adult Social Care Service Delivery Plan, don't just call the filename adult-social-care-service-delivery-plan.pdf and then save the updates with the same title. The updates should have a unique title to help them be recognised in the system and the best way to do that is to add the date that you intend to publish the file on the website to the filename e.g. service-delivery-plan-13-04-30.pdf It is best to add the date with day first then month and then year as that is the default format in Matrix and helps us be consistent.
- Attachment title - the title of the attachment asset can include spaces and punctuation. Make sure that the title is meaningful as it will appear on any pages that include your document. If your document is a publication, whenever possible use the full title of the publication as the title and include the date of publication. If this is not possible you should include the full title and date of publication in the description as well as the summary of the content.
- Long documents - if you have had to split a long document into sections in a number of separate files, each one should include the document title, date of publication, the part/chapter number and a summary of the contents of that particular part/chapter. The filename should also reflect the part or chapter number if possible to help identify it from the other files that make up the whole document.
- Text references - if you refer to the attachment in the text of your pages, you should be consistent. Where possible use the full title and, if applicable, the year or date of publication. For example: Full details are available in the Safer Cycling in Surrey report (2009).
- Description - don't just repeat the title of the document in the description as this isn't helpful. Instead, give a brief summary (no more than three sentences) of the document and its contents. For example, if your attachment is the minutes of a meeting, the description could include the main points discussed or decisions reached. This will help both people and search engines locate your document.
File name: Guildham_newsletter_June_2008.pdf
Document title: Guildham Village Newsletter June 2008
Description: This issue contains articles on holiday activities, a report on the village fete as well as local history articles and your letters.
File name: Surrey_geology_report_2009_part3.pdf
Document title: Surrey Geology Report 2009 part 3
Description: Part 3 of 9. This section of the report covers the chalk downlands in Tandridge and Mole Valley.
File name: Going_for_gold.pdf
Document title: Going for Gold in Surrey
Description: Going for Gold in Surrey: a preliminary report for the Surrey Partnership 2012 Olympic committee. Published 2009. An initial report into plans and preparations across Surrey for the 2012 Olympics.
Why we have this web standard
Technical, usability and accessibility - this web standard is mandatory for technical, usability and accessibility reasons.
Technical - if you include certain punctuation or symbols in a filename, in some circumstances, it can prevent some users from being able to open the attachment. This is because some punctuation or symbols have a technical function, e.g. a stop comes before a file type extension, such as .pdf .doc or .docx - so by putting a stop in the filename such as for the date, can prevent files from opening on some browsers as the file type extension cannot then be identified and the appropriate application cannot be opened to display the document.
Usability - giving an attachment a meaningful filename, title and description makes it much easier to locate and use. If you don't enter a meaningful description of the attachment, people will find it difficult to know what your attachment contains without downloading it. Your document should also include appropriate summary information known as metadata - this helps people, search engines locate and identify your document. See the standard on attachment metadata from more details.
Accessibility - Metadata is also read out by screen readers to the visually impaired to help them decide if they want to open a document.