Picto thématique

Rule n° 142 - The format of the files available for download is indicated.

For a user, the fact of immediately seeing the format of a file offered for uploading (PDF, DOC, ODS, ODT, XLS, etc.) will enable him to know whether or not he can read the file with the software he is equipped with and the computer being used.

#Accessibility #Eco-conception #Links #Development


  • Let users know, in a timely manner, whether their tools will allow them to view the downloadable files.
  • Reduce server load by avoiding needless downloads.
  • Improve the accessibility of content for people with disabilities.


At the very least, provide a help page indicating the file format offered if it is unique.

Better, indicate the format for each link used to download a file.

Find out more:


For each download link, check that it is possible to know its format using:

  • Generic information given in a help page;
  • Information given next to the link: paragraph orli listing element where it is included, title of the preceding section, table header cell associated with the relevant table;
  • The title attribute of the link taking and completing the caption of this link;
  • Information given in the wording of the link;
  • An icon with alternative text indicating the file format.

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Overview and background

The 240 Opquast rules are defined and agreed upon by an extensive community of web professionals and academics. These web quality assurance guidance rules started as a list of best practices 20 years ago. They have since been revised every five years and have been tried and tested via millions of web interactions by Opquast community’s customers, including the leading CMS communities which have developed plugins for WordPress, Drupal and Prestashop. The most recent version, v4, was established in 2020.

Each rule has individual technical sheets and the rules can be searched by project phase or various topics: e-commerce, data-privacy, internationalization, security, code, etc, or by themes: accessibility, SEO, mobile, privacy, and ecodesign. The complete checklist is available on a creative commons license BY-SA.

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The rules should be applied to your projects from the design phase through to post-implementation , and they should be understood by all professionals with web and customer experience (CX) responsibilities: from strategy to operations, marketers to project managers, and editorial to technical staff. The benefits of using this ruleset are numerous, including improving customer satisfaction, web performance, and e-commerce, and expanding your client base, while also decreasing your errors and costs.

Multidisciplinary verticles - accessiiblity, SEO, e-commerce, ecodesign etc..- starting from the foundational Opquast base.

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