File Download Component

Allow viewers to download a file.

On this page:

  • This is coded for accessibility.
  • Documents must be accessible.

> Read more about making this component accessible.

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.

Using This Component

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:

  • MS Office documents -- ppt(x), xls(x), doc(x),
  • Generic file types -- txt, zip
  • Adobe Acrobat -- pdf
  • Image formats -- jpg, gif, tiff, png, eps
  • Media formats -- mp3

For files that are located in the UBCMS, their size will also be provided, in parentheses after the filename.

No need to state file format or size

The component automatically identifies many common file formats and adds a suitable icon and text for screen readers. It also shows the file size!

Technical Restrictions

  1. You are not able to upload multiple files at once with one File Download component. If you would like to add multiple files that your visitors can download, you must use a separate File Download component for each file.
  2. This component will not play multimedia files: use the Audio Player or Video (YouTube) component instead.
  3. All file types are accepted but only common file formats will have matching icons.
  4. An icon will automatically be added in front of the filename, to indicate the format of standard file types: doc/x, ppt/x, txt, xls/x, jpg, gif. (See examples in the right sidebar.)
  5. For files that are located in the UBCMS, their size will also be provided, in parentheses after the filename.
  6. Do not add files over 50MB in size.
  7. State and federal rules require documents to be ADA compliant.  > read more on accessible documents
No Super-Sized Files

Please do not embed files larger than 50MB in size.

Configure - Main Settings

Click the wrench icon to 'configure' these settings.

Settings Tab

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 a file in the DAM, locate it using the Content Finder and then drag it across into the rectangular area (delineated by a dotted line) that says Drop an asset or click to upload.
  • For a file on your desktop, click within the rectangular area and then click the Browse button to select the file and then upload it to the UBCMS. (Your file will not be stored in the DAM if you choose this method.)
  • Because these files are located in the UBCMS, their size will also be provided in parentheses after the filename.

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.

Accessibility Concerns

See an Example

Watch a Training Video

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