How to add a PDF to a page on your website:

  • Go to the webpage on the frontend of your website.
  • Start by creating the text or button you want to link the PDF to.
  • Highlight the text with your cursor.
  • Select the "link" button from the toolbar.
  • This will open the "Insert Link" modal. Select the file folder in the top-right hand corner to access your Novi Files.
  • Choose to upload an existing file, or select the Upload button to add a new file. 
  • Once completed, click Insert in the bottom-right of the modal.
  • Set the Target. Note, opening in a new window is recommended for PDFs and links to external websites.
  • Click the Ok button to save.

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How to update an existing PDF on your website:

  • Start by making sure the new PDF file has a different filename than the existing PDF. An easy way to do this is to add the date (e.g. Agenda-03.31.19). For more info on why this is necessary, please refer to the "Additional Information" section below.
  • Go to the page on the frontend of your website (while logged in as an admin) and highlight the PDF hyperlink/button that you'd like to update.
  • Select the "link" button from the toolbar.
  • This will open up a modal. Select the file folder in the top-right hand corner to access your Novi Files.
  • Choose to upload an existing file, or select the upload button to add a new file. NOTE: Make sure the filename (URL) is different than the file you're replacing.
  • Once completed, click Insert in the bottom-right of the modal.
  • Once all of the link settings are correct, click the Ok button to save.

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Troubleshooting: PDF Title (in the browser window)

Depending on which internet browser is being used, the "title" of a PDF file might be based on the filename, but not always. For example, Chrome appears to use the file path, but Firefox uses the Title meta-data tag. 

If a browser window is displaying an incorrect title for your PDF file when members click to open it, check the PDF File's Meta-Title. This article has more info on changing the title of a PDF in the meta-data.

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Additional Information

A Note on 301 Redirects

Novi recommends the process described above - adding the date to the PDF filename - rather than using a 301 redirect, because a 301 redirect is defined as a "permanent redirect" by the World Wide Web Consortium. It is not designed to be used as a temporary redirect to a file that may change soon. 

Therefore, if the new PDF file has the same name as the previous PDF, users will have to clear their cache to access the new file. This is a technical limitation that Novi cannot change.

Why do I need to change the filename when updating an existing PDF file?

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox use something called "caching" to drastically speed up the process of browsing the Internet. Those programs will essentially store certain files and information on your own computer so that you don't have to constantly download every file from every website. If you've ever heard someone say "clear your cache" - this is what they're referring to.

Because caching works the way that it does, simply updating a PDF's contents without changing the file's name doesn't tell the browser (Chrome, etc.) that the file has changed. So if the original file is sitting in your cache, your browser will not reach out to the Novi server to download it again, and we will not have the opportunity to display the new file.

It's important to note that different people could have different results.

  • If a user has never downloaded the original PDF file before, then his or her browser would have to download the new file that is sitting on the Novi server - the one that you updated. 
  • On the other hand, if the user has downloaded the original file in the past and the file is in their cache, the browser would not ping the Novi server, and they would see the old file. This is a technical limitation that Novi cannot change.

Therefore, we recommend changing the filename when updating a file/link on your website, because the alternative would be to tell every website visitor to clear their cache before downloading the file.

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