Allow viewers to download a file.
Last reviewed: May 20, 2022
Use this component whenever a file needs to be made available to your visitors, either to view in a separate tab (for common formats like images or PDFs) or downloaded onto the visitor's device. The local system decides how to handle the file, as defined by browser settings and the user’s preference. If the browser recognize the format, or does not have a way to open/display it, it usually defaults to downloading the file. If the file is loaded into a new tab, the viewer will have to download it from there.
This component has one tab.
For common formats, an icon will automatically be added in front of the filename. See examples in the right sidebar.
This includes common file types, such as:
For files that are located in the UBCMS, their size will also be provided, in parentheses after the filename.
The component automatically identifies many common file formats and adds a suitable icon and text for screen readers. It also shows the file size!
Please do not embed files larger than 50MB in size.
Click the wrench icon to 'configure' these settings.
Link text: Label the file download link. Leave the field blank to use the file's name; e.g. 'Org-Chart.pdf.'
File Location: Choose between 'UBCMS file' and 'External link.'
For a UBCMS file, select the file you wish to be downloaded. UBCMS files can be uploaded just to the current page, but for site maintenance purposes, it is often better to put them in the Digital Asset Manager (DAM) first, then pull them onto the page.
For an External link, a new field appears.
External link: Provide the complete URL to your file, including the http:// or https:// prefix; e.g. http://www.example.com/my_document.pdf.
The File Download component is specially coded with a warning that it will download a file, the file type for common formats, and if the file is in the UBCMS, the coding will also automatically indicate the file size.
However, remember that any file you link from this component must also be accessible. PDFs and other office documents are especially risky, because they require a lot of accommodations to meet accessibility guidelines.
Documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and other assets must be accessible for use with assistive technology and presented in a format that is clear and well-organized whether they are embedded or linked from your Web page (e.g. through the File Download component).
Best practice: Make sure your original document is created accessibly before you upload it or convert it to another format such as a PDF.