U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

PDFs

EERE has requirements for creating and linking to PDFs, as well as best practices for creating, finalizing, and optimizing them.

Requirements

The following elements are required on all PDFs.

Accessibility

PDFs should be made as accessible as possible either through native document tagging or the "Make Accessible" plug-in in Adobe Acrobat.

Compatibility

Create PDFs to be compatible with Adobe Reader XI or lower.

Meta Fields

Fill out the title and subject meta fields. Learn about best practices for filling out PDF meta fields.

Naming your PDF File

Follow the file naming conventions when creating your PDF.

Open View

PDFs should be set to open as follows:

  1. Magnification — Fit Width
  2. Page Layout — Single page
  3. Navigation Tab — For PDFs with 15 or fewer pages, select "Pages Panel and Page." For PDFs with more than 15 pages, select "Bookmarks Panel and Page."

Scanned PDFs

Scanned PDFs, where the entire content of the PDF is an image, cannot be read by screen readers. If you post a scanned PDF, you must include a text version.

Thumbnails and Bookmarks

To enhance usability, embedded thumbnails are required on PDFs that are two or more pages. Bookmarks are strongly recommended for documents that are more than 16 pages.

Best Practices

Learn more about: