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Hennepin County Design System

Document standards

Documents that are formatted well help users understand and use them.

PDFs, Word documents, and other downloadable files

Downloadable files are for content that someone needs to print. Since most people don't print the content, make sure files are useful as online material.

Downloadable files should meet accessibility requirements.

They should:

  • Have a clear title
  • Put headings in sequential order
  • Put key content in body text, not graphics
  • Use tables for complex data, not layout
  • Follow county writing standards

Avoid using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint files unless you convert them to PDF. Also follow accessibility standards for the PDFs.

Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat have accessibility checkers.

For help making documents accessible:

Document naming, format, size, and purpose

Label documents by file type and extension. The format is "File title (file extension)."


  • File title (PDF)
  • File title (DOC)
  • File title (DOCX)
  • File title (XLS)
  • File title (XLSX)
  • File title (PPT)

To find the file extension type, right-click on the file name and select "Properties." It will list file extension as part of "Type of file" on the "General" tab.

Include the file size for all documents and a comma after the file type.

List the size of the document only if it's at least 1 megabyte (MB). Round to the nearest MB. 1 MB = 1024 KB. Do not put spaces between the numeral and the MB.


  • File title (PDF, 6MB)
  • File title (PDF, 11MB)

Put any description of the file after the title.


Yes: Strategic Plan 2050 executive summary (PDF, 1MB)

No: Executive summary Strategic Plan 2050 (PDF, 2MB)