Having trouble linking downloadable files in Assets (DAM)

Reviewed June 3, 2022

The Issue

Your links to a downloadable file (e.g. a PDF) are not showing up on your published site.


There may be several reasons for this unexpected behavior. 

  • Unlike pictures, downloadable files (e.g. PDF files, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) cannot be linked directly using the built-in UBCMS link tools in components like the List Builder or within Body Text. You cannot use a relative link for a downloadable file in any List Builder component (e.g. /content/dam/www/eub/about_ub/UB-org-chart.pdf).
    1. If possible, use a separate File Download component instead.
    2. Alternately, use an absolute link directly to the file in the DAM;
      e.g. http://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/eub/about_ub/UB-org-chart.pdf
    3. Alternately, create a redirect page that points to the file (or upload the file directly into that redirect page). Then include a link to that redirect page in lieu of the direct link to the file itself. Note, the title of the page, not the file name of the file, will be used as the default link name.
  • DAM file names cannot have spaces (e.g. "UB org chart.pdf") and will likely break your link so the file cannot be found. We also prefer that you use hyphens instead of spaces or underscores ("_") for usability reasons since underscores get hidden by the underlining browsers use to mark the presence of a hyperlink.
  • Ensure that the relative link does not have a ".html" appended at the end of the ".pdf."
Note about Redirects - Vanity URLs

It is not possible to apply a shorter URL or redirect an existing URL to a file in the DAM. To get around this limitation, create a regular website page using the Redirect Template. Then input your file's location into the page's dialog box; e.g. /content/dam/www/eub/about_ub/UB-org-chart.pdf.