We have a new standard for PDFs: PDFs must now be created to be compatible with Adobe Acrobat Reader 6. Complete PDF guidelines and a PDF Creation Checklist is available with step-by-step guidance to create accessible PDFs.

As we roll out this new standard, we would like to take the opportunity to reinforce other standards for creating PDFs.


  • Thumbnails or bookmarks are required for PDFs of 2 or more pages. Acrobat 6 creates thumbnails for a PDF on the fly, however this can add significant size to the file. We recommend embedding thumbnails for documents more than 16 pages or better yet, using bookmarks.


  • If possible, PDFs should be created with tags to allow for logical read order, alternate text descriptions for images, and standard font encoding.

Open View

  • For small documents, open view should be set to Pages Panel and Page or Bookmarks Panel and page.
  • Magnification should be set to fit width if the document begins with a text page. If the first page is a cover, the PDF will open to fit to page, and then change to fit width on the second page.
  • Page Layout should be single page

Meta Fields

  • The title field and subject field are required for all PDFs. These are used in search engine rankings and display in search results.

Thanks in advance for your careful attention to these standards. Otherwise the EERE Web quality assurance process could be delayed on your new pages.