Picto thématique

Rule n° 144 - The language of downloadable files is mentioned when it differs from the original page.

It is impossible for a web user to consult a file before having uploaded it. Consequently, it is essential to provide them with as much information as possible before downloading. Language is of course one of the important pieces of information.

#Accessibility #Eco-conception #Links #Editorial


  • Avoid pointless downloads for users.
  • Inform users about the files they’re going to download.
  • Improve the accessibility of content for people with disabilities.


Indicate the language of the document content:

  • Either in the link wording;
  • Or by the title attribute of the link.

Find out more:


For each download link leading to a document written in a different language, check that the language of the file to download can be known:

  • By information given in the wording of the link;
  • By the title attribute of the link containing and completing the caption of this link;
  • By information given in the context of the link: paragraph or li listing element where it is included, title of the preceding section, header cell of the table associated with the relevant table;
  • Or by generic information on a help page.

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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.

To learn more about the Opquast approach, read this article published at Smashing Magazine

Broad application and benefits

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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