On my personal website I have an "About" page. At the top of it there is a "Download CV" link.

Should I put the type of the document in the brackets like "Download CV (PDF)"? Does the lack of extension affect usability?

  • Note: The link URL which points to the file should indicate the name of the file and contain a file extension indicating the type of file. The URL for the link is displayed by most browsers when the link is hovered. That is the normal and expected method for users to determine a file type prior to clicking on a link, not text in the link. Anything displayed in the link text should not be relied upon. This doesn't mean also displaying the type in the link text is unhelpful, just that users should not rely upon it, and that they already have a normal method to determine the file type.
    – Makyen
    Jul 31, 2017 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


Yes. Just speaking as a user, please provide me with a clue as to what to expect. I don't mind the extra 3 letters.

Just speaking on my personal experience, I'm tired of pdfs opening in the browser unexpectedly. I want to know if it's a word doc or pdf.

We are in the business of clarity and context, and providing users with clues about what to expect as a result of their actions.

  • 1
    Ask Mike said, furthermore I know you're not posting two versions, or at least you don't say you are, but if you had PDF or DOCX, I'd be informed as a Mac user without MS Office. Jul 29, 2017 at 15:30
  • 1
    Just to add to Mike answer without adding another one, if you have 2 options then you could NOT add the extension, and then trigger a dropdown with the different available extensions, such as PDF and DOCX
    – Devin
    Jul 29, 2017 at 15:50
  • 2
    "I'm tired of pdfs opening in the browser unexpectedly." – This is a feature of the browser which you could disable.
    – xehpuk
    Jul 30, 2017 at 18:29

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