Forms, Graphics, Charts, File Size & Linking

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Forms

HTML Forms

HTML forms are easy to maintain and make accessible. Therefore, HTML forms are preferred over PDF fillable forms in most circumstances.

However, HTML online forms can pose a unique security risk if not coded properly. For that reason, all HTML forms will be created and maintained by the Web Team. Please submit a Web Services Request to ISD-ServiceDesk.

PDF Forms

PDF forms are preferred only if the expectation is for the completed form to be printed and delivered by fax or U.S. Mail.

Complex fillable forms need extensive work to be made accessible

Graphics

Image File Size

Once your graphics have been created, you will need to use software tools to reduce the size of graphics to the screen resolution (72 pixels per inch) to improve download speed and improve picture quality for the screen.

Extremely detailed graphics (particularly photographs) should be optimized using a product such as Photoshop or Fireworks. This type of software will allow you to modify the display size as well as reduce the file size of the graphic to improve download times.

Graphics need to be sized prior to inserting into a web page. Do not resize your graphics by changing the width and height attributes of the image tag. Resizing your images in this way does not reduce the file size and will blur or pixilate the image online and present problems when the page is printed.

If you insert images into documents that have not been properly sized it might also cause your file to be several Mebabytes instead of a few kilobytes.

Alt Text/Tags

Make sure each image has an alternate (alt) text included within the image tag whenever the "meaning" of the image is not available in text adjacent to the image.

Linking to Images

There may be instances when you would want to link a thumbnail image to a larger representative image, or link to a large image that could be printed.

Do not link directly to an image file. All images should be placed in an HTML page even if the larger image is the only purpose to the page.

Links to External Sites and Opening New Windows

It is best practices to open all links and documents in the same window. This practice is more accessible and usable than opening a new window without the visitor´s permission.

  • Allows the user's browser preferences to govern whether links open in new tabs, windows.
  • Allows the browser's back button to function
  • Eliminates the confusion and frustration caused by looking for the new window or tab whether using a desktop or mobile device

This standard of opening within the same window applies to all links: PDFs and links to external sites.

     

    Tool

    FILEminimizer Suite

    Compress PowerPoint, Word, Excel, PDF files, images and photos. Optimize these files by 50-90% without zipping. Including integration with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.

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