Print-to-PDF via PUI is not as polished as staff-generated PDF


I confirmed this using the ArchivesSpace sandbox with the most recent version of the program. The PDF generated on the public interface is not as polished, doesn't have as understandable a layout, and doesn't include as much information as the PDF generated from the Staff Interface. Is there a way to simply link this function to create an identical PDF as if from the staff side? Would there be a reason to not do this?
A comparison:

  1. Date on the front page better in SUI

  2. Header in finding aid is better in PUI it duplicated the collection ID in the staff side.

  3. Formatting of notes is generally more nuanced in the Staff side (all of the notes all having equal values can be kind of overwhelming on the PUI)

  4. A big one is that instance info on the PUI PDF is grey and is a big accessibility problem. Overall, the formatting and visual layout of the finding aid info and instance information is comparatively much easier to read from the staff PDF.
    (Sorry for the goofy finding aid, but's what I was looking at !)




September 6, 2018, 8:41 PM

I agree the note titles shouldn't be more prominent than the folder titles. The PUI version is a definite improvement though.

Lydia Tang
October 16, 2018, 2:02 PM

FYI, here is a finding aid from a popular demonstration collection: Jedidiah Horcrux Congreave.


  • The PUI PDF doesn't render text in italics well in the Collection Organization area.

  • The table of contents formatting needs to be fixed - extend the lines fully to the right.

  • The digital objects link doesn't seem to work from the PDF.

  • The file name includes .xml - is this filename helpful?

Matthew Davis
April 18, 2019, 10:53 PM

Agreed, the Staff version is much more professional. The Public version has smaller margins and seems to suffer from a word-wrap issue in the container summary section, not to mention the strange broken-box highlight around that entire section. In my opinion, if the Public version were a direct copy of the Staff version with institution specific branding it would be perfect.

Lydia Tang
May 16, 2019, 6:29 PM

Agreed, . In my personal opinion, I would've thought that it would be more efficient to invest in a single method for generating the PDF from both the PUI and SUI, this way, updates can be pushed to both more easily, and one doesn't get neglected over the other. It would be up to the program team to decide which approach to go with, but it still seems like the SUI PDF is much more polished-looking than the PUI PDF. This is a significant issue because many users prefer accessing the PDFs over navigating through the collection organization (from my observations).

In the May 2019 PDFs, I like the SUI version entirely much better. I appreciate the ability to handle &s and the italics in the title. However, I still would like to see a revision in the style sheet for font size and style. The Notes for archival objects is bold and seems to be a slightly larger font than the archival object that it describes. My personal opinion is that the Title/Description should be Bold and that font size (14, for example). The Notes should be the same size, but underlined, just as the Controlled Headings in the example. But that's just my opinion!

Lydia Tang
December 18, 2019, 9:41 PM

Thank you for your continued work on this! Here is an update comparison of the two finding aids

My personal opinions:

I still in general prefer the SUI stylesheet but there are minor pros and cons to each still.

  1. The PUI one has the phrase “Finding Aid written in [LANG]” whereas the SUI one just has LANG decontextualized. This sentence is more helpful, even though I personally question about whether having a dedicated cover sheet for the finding aid is a desired trade off for efficient printing. (Save trees, )

  2. The pagination list on the Table of Contents isn’t completely straight. Please view pg 2 or either version to see what I mean.

  3. In this particular example, the Summary Information fields are not consistent. I don’t know if that was because there are two Resources with similar names or what, but that was surprising. I actually like the presentation of the PUI info (more condensed and streamlined, less technical labels). Moving the language of materials note within the finding aid makes sense (I think?), but I would like additional feedback on whether that should be kept there.

  4. The notes are not consistently in order (Family History is before Scope & Contents in one). They should be according to the order established in the SUI.

  5. I like the lines around each text section in the SUI PDF.

  6. Line breaks should ALWAYS be observed in data entry from the SUI. The Arrangement note (and others) should maintain line breaks if they are in the entered text.

  7. I acknowledge that it is extremely challenging to represent hierarchy in the PDF export but I personally am not a fan of the faint lines around the finding aid inventory in the PUI export. It’s not very clear to demonstrate nested relationships, but I think these faint lines can be more confusing than helpful and prefer the formatting of the SUI export instead.

Thanks, again, for your hard work on this!




Lydia Tang

Epic Link

Affects versions