How do I prepare documents for uploading to Drupal
Posted by on 24 January 2013 02:39 PM

Where possible, convert it to a web page in Drupal

In most cases, it's best practice to convert Microsoft Office documents to web pages within the DCU Drupal system rather than upload the document as a downloadable file. This

  • makes for quicker and easier changes to documents.
  • allows multiple people in the same Faculty, School or Department edit the same document without having to check if they have the latest version
  • presents a more consistent user experience - the information will look the same to all users, regardless of the software on their computer
  • allows forms to be submitted electronically and automatically emailed, rather than printed, filled in and posted/faxed


If it must be a document - make it a PDF

In some cases, however, it's necessary to upload a downloadable document file, e.g. where a document is too large or formatting it too complex to be converted to a single web page, or where a physical signature is required on a document. In these cases, the document should be converted from a Microsoft Office document to PDF file as this will ensure compatibility amongst all users. If your document is a form that you require users to be able to type into, you should consider creating a webform instead.

Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Office 2010, OpenOffice and LibreOffice all allow you to save documents as a PDF without any additional software. For users of older versions of Microsoft Office (e.g. 2007 or 2003), it is recommended that you upgrade to at least Microsoft Office 2010 in order to take advantage of this feature. You can request this through the ISS ServiceDesk.

Setting the Meta Data correctly

When you upload a document to the DCU website, the search engine on the DCU website as well as external search engines such as Google index certain data in the file, such as the title, description, author and keywords of the document. This data is known as Meta Data. It's important to set this correctly, as incorrectly set data can cause search results to appear incorrectly - e.g. a file might be named registry-form-r40-jan-2013.pdf and contain the 2012/2013 contents, but if the title in the meta data is set to Registry Form R40 2011/12, then when a user searches the DCU website for "Registry Form R40", they will see Registry Form R40 2011/12 in the search results - even though the search result actually links to the 2012/13 file, registry-form-r40-jan-2013.pdf. A user may also search for "Registry Form R40 2013/13" and receive no relevant search result because the search engine doesn't see a file with the title Registry Form R40 2013/13.

You should set the meta data on your document before you convert it to a PDF file. The meta data can generally be edited in the Properties section of your word processor / spreadsheet / presentation program. Below you'll find instructions on how to create/edit the meta data in Microsoft Word.

Setting meta data in Microsoft Word 2013 / 2010

Microsoft Word 2013

Microsoft Word 2010
  1. Click File, followed Info on the blue bar at the left of the screen.
  2. Add appropriate information in the Title and Subject fields in the Properties section on the right of the screen (shown above).
  3. Add tags if appropriate in the Tags field, each tag separated by a comma.
  4. Click Save.

Naming your file

The filename of your document should:

  • be short, relevant, descriptive and easy to read
  • use lower case letters only
  • use hyphens instead of spaces and underscores
  • include a month/year in the filename where a file has previous revisions or is likely to be revised occasionally or frequently.


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registry-form-r40-jan-2013.pdf form r40.pdf
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