Ragan Communications’ free monthly newsletter, Grapevine (“Tips and tactics from the world of corporate communications”), shares a beef of mine this issue. Among the tips in a story called “What do you want from a Web site?” is avoiding my pet peeve: downloadable PDFs. Ragan elaborates:

“If a PDF is the only sensible option — for example, to deliver a printable, multipage, graphics-laden report — make that clear, and specify how large the file is.”

I just ran across two examples of Web sites ignoring that fine advice while looking for some information.

I clicked on the links expecting the file to open in Word; instead, Acrobat launched. The first site had no indication that the document would be a PDF. The second had a tiny note at the bottom of the screen, which I didn’t see in time.

It’s a simple courtesy I wish more sites would extend!