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Web Document Metadata

This page is part of the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Design Standards, which only applies to specific CDE Web sites. Visit the CDE Web Standards to determine if these standards apply to a specific Web product (Web site, Web page, Web document, or Web application) that has been developed by or for the CDE.

Most Web pages (not including Web applications) on all CDE Web sites are created using Adobe's Contribute software templates. WebNETS, which is a custom software application that was created by CDE staff, is also necessary in order to create and process most Web pages on the CDE's public Internet site. Portions of these standards, where noted, apply only to CDE users of Contribute or WebNETS software; or to Web application developers.

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Adding Titles, Descriptions and Keywords

Web pages include, page titles, descriptions, and keywords (metadata), which are entered into the <head> section of the Web pages. Search engines can then access this information to index the pages. Web documents are also indexed by search engines, but metadata for them must be entered in their "properties".

Entering Metadata in Microsoft Office Products

In Microsoft Office products (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), metadata can be entered in the File > Properties > Summary area. Enter the page title in the "Title" field, the description in the "Subject" field, the keywords in the "Keywords" field, and the Content Provider name in the "Author" field. Title, subject, and keywords are required, author is optional.

The following screenshot shows the properties dialog box for Word. The properties dialog box for other Microsoft products is similar to that shown here:

Properties - Basic

Entering Metadata in Acrobat PDF

(Note, this example uses Acrobat version 6.0.)

In Acrobat, metadata can be entered in the File > Document Properties > Description area. Enter the page title in the "Title" field, the description in the "Subject" field, the keywords in the "Keywords" field, and the Content Provider name in the "Author" field. Title, subject, and keywords are required, author is optional.

The following screenshot shows the document properties dialog box:

Properties - Advanced

For the Internet

When entering a page title into Web documents, a specific format must be used that provides the sub-sub-topic and name of the Department in the title. The reason for this is to provide additional information to users of external search engines.

For example, a page title may be "Education Budget." If the sub-sub-topic and Department name are not provided, an external search engine such as Google would simply return "Education Budget." With the appropriate additional information added, Google would return "Education Budget - Reports (CA Dept of Education)," which is a more meaningful title.

Use the following format when entering a page title into an Internet Web document.*

Page Title Text - sub-sub-topic (CA Dept of Education)

This standard must be followed precisely, with a "space-hyphen-space" combination just prior to the sub-sub-topic, because management of documents on the CDE Internet site is dependent upon this format.

*Note: Metadata standards differ for Web documents that pertain to funding, or that are posted to the State Board of Education site. See below for details about these differences.

State Board of Education Documents

The standard format for metadata page titles for Web documents posted to the State Board of Education Web site is:

Page Title Text - Sub-sub Topic (CA State Board of Education)

See the State Board Web Pages and Documents section of these Design Standards for more information.

WebNETS Issues

The information provided in the "Properties" section of a PDF or Microsoft Office document must match the information that is entered into WebNETS. Fortunately, metadata entered into these types of documents in their "Properties" sections, will be automatically copied to the appropriate fields in the WebNETS record. Unfortunately, this feature only works when the document URL is first added to WebNETS. Subsequent editing of the "Properties" section in the documents will not be automatically copied to WebNETS unless the URL is removed from WebNETS and re-added. Alternately, the metadata can be manually adjusted in WebNETS to match updated metadata in document "Properties".

Funding-Related Web Documents

Metadata help ensure that search engines find funding-related Web documents (e.g., DOC, PDF, and EXCEL files) and that visitors can browse search results more easily. See the Page Titles, Keywords, or Page Descriptions sections of these Design Standards for more information about non-funding Web Documents.)

Page Title

There are three parts of the title: identifier, name of the program, and standard CDE reference; for example: RFA-05: Even Start Family Literacy (CA Dept of Education). Note that a dash (-) and the fiscal year need to be added to the identifier; “05” represents the 2005-06 fiscal year.

  • Identifier ("RFA"), which represents the nature of the document--i.e., instructions for a request for applications--followed by a dash (-), fiscal year, colon (:), and space; e.g., RFA-05:
  • Name of the program ("Even Start Family Literacy"), which is based on the title of the document's corresponding funding profile, followed by a space.
  • CDE reference ("CA Dept of Education"), which is placed in parentheses.

Note: The title may not exceed 50 characters, which does not include the space after the program name, CDE identifier, and parentheses. Because of the character limit, you may need to shorten the title and use abbreviations.

Here is the formula for designing the title: identifier - fiscal year + colon + space + program name + space + (CA Dept of Education)

Example: RFA-05: Even Start Family Literacy (CA Dept of Education)

The identifier must be a one-word indicator of the type of document; e.g., "EligApp" for the list of eligible applicants. Whenever possible, use the identifiers in the following chart. If you have a document type which does not match up with any of the identifiers, contact the Funding Master Plan Team.

Funding-Related Documents Identifiers
Request for applications (instructions) RFA
Request for proposals (instructions) RFP
Request for data (instructions) RFD
Request for submissions (instructions) RFS
Eligible applicants EligApp
Cover letter Ltr
Letter of intent Intent
Form Form
Appendix Apnd
Attachment Att
Funding/grant recipients Recip
Frequently asked questions FAQ
PowerPoint Presentation Pres
Erratum Err

If you are posting documents that require the same identifier, such as forms or attachments, add a number or letter to the identifiers to differentiate them (e.g., Form1-05, Form2-05). Make sure that the page description indicates how the documents are different.

Page Description

The page description should be a short, easily readable summary of the document. Keep these points in mind:

  • Use the description in the funding profile to help you.
  • Spell out any abbreviation used in the page title.
  • Include the fiscal year of the funding.
  • Limit the description to 200 characters.

Example: Request for applications for Adult Basic/Secondary Education/English as a Second Language for FY 2004-05. Funding supplements adult basic skill programs and high school completion programs. (189 characters)

Key Words

Select keywords for your document that do not appear in the page title or description.

Questions About Funding Metadata

Contact the Funding Team, Fiscal and Administrative Services Division at or 916-322-5285.

For the Intranet

Use the following format when entering a page title into an Intranet Web document.

Page Title Text - sub-topic/sub-sub-topic (CDE Intranet)

Questions:   Web Services Office |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
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