Published content is not presented from external formats such as Google documents (slides, spreadsheets, edt), Microsoft documents, and PDF.

Web content is never ideally saved in any other format than HTML. However, some cases exist for other file extensions. use these sparingly, and always prefer HTML over any other file type. Well formatted HTML is the absolute most accessible content delivery format.

Portable Document File (PDF)

This is intended to retain a printing arrangement, specifically for sharing a document in a fixed state and specifically for printing onto physical paper. The only purpose of this file existing on the website is to access it for printing. Examples might be floor plans specifically intended to be handouts, and newsletters, although newsletters and floor plans are both arguably far better served as real web documents (i.e. HTML). If a file is deemed to be PDF, it must be formatted accessibly, which requires tagging all the content.

Google Suite

Google Suite is a set of editing tools for creating content, not for web content distribution. It’s set up for use as editing applications, and so puts a person into a different environment that is intended for content creation, not for content consumption. It affects the ability to navigate, and makes it unclear what their role is with the content. As a consumer, content is expected in a published format.

Google Slides

Often used for sharing presentations. Ensure slides are accessible and consider only including them if to reference an archived event where a more accessible format isn’t feasible.

Google Docs

In no situation are Google Docs the recommended medium for content.

Google Sheets

When sharing large amounts of data, sheets may be a preferred method. In this case, enter the data into a digital repository such as the Digital Repository of the U of M (DRUM) and refer to the repository entry rather than directly to the file.

Google Forms

Basic forms are moderately accessible but not preferred. Refer to form guidelines to create appropriate forms and determine what platform is best to capture data.

Microsoft Suite

Similar to Google suite, these formats are intended for editing. They are additionally written in proprietary software that some people may not have access to, and when converted to an open format version may not retain the layouts of the original.