Document rendition and resolve error

This article is relevant for: 

Users with Documents Manager permission level

Document rendition

When uploading a document, 5 types of renditions are possible:

  • None: the document will keep its original format. It is recommended to use this for archives (e.g. Zip, RAR formats), codes snippets (e.g. HTML files) or graphics (e.g. AI, photoshop files).
  • PDF Rendition without Coversheet: the document will be simply converted in PDF (supported document types are PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • PDF Rendition with Coversheet: the document will be converted in PDF and the ISO Coversheet will be appended at the beginning of the document. When choosing this option, the document description will be inserted into the coverpage to give readers more context.
  • PDF Rendition with N-number stamp: the document will be converted in PDF, and its N-number will be stamped at the top right-hand corner of each page
  • Coversheet only: this option will generate a standalone Coversheet page using the document's metadata and description field (if any document is uploaded, the latter will be ignored). One could use this option to post an announcement for committee members. 

If a rendition is selected, the document will take several seconds to render. While rendering, the status of the document will be Rendition. Once rendered the status should change to To be notified. If you have a status Rendition Failed this means your selected rendition is not adapted to the document format.


PDF rendition supports PDF, Microsoft Word (docx), Excel, Powerpoint (pptx) and images

The following formats are not supported for rendition and their original format must be maintained:

  • Protected files
  • Zip files
  • Word documents with comments and/or track changes
  • Older Microsoft Word documents (.doc)
  • Other Microsoft Powerpoint formats (.pptm etc.)


The PDF conversion of Microsoft Excel files does not adjust the layout depending on the content of the file. Similar to the work necessary for printing a Microsoft Excel, there is not perfect default layout setup for all Excel files. It is therefore highly recommended to set the rendition option to None when uploading Excel files so that the downloaded document can be read properly.

Coversheet only

When selected, this option ignores any uploaded file and instead generates a PDF document based on the provided description. Just like the remaining metadata, the document is assigned a N number.

Resolve rendition error

Your document has been uploaded but there has been an issue with the PDF rendition, i.e. you uploaded a document type that is not supported by the PDF rendition such as ZIP file. To correct this, click on Edit metadata, and at the bottom of the form change the Rendition to None.

Related articles

for more information about updating the metadata of a document, please refer to the related article at the bottom of this page.

If the Rendition process has stuck for another reason, you can always restart it by clicking on the Restart rendition icon. If you still encounter a Rendition issue after having changed the Rendition type, please contact the ISO helpdesk

Disable online reading

In some particular cases when the document online reading can be misleading (i.e. Excel file not showing all columns properly), the author of a document can deactivate the online rendition to avoid confusion. Instead of the document content a message will indicate that the document should be downloaded instead.

To disable the online reading, on the document page, from the top left corner, click the Disable preview button.

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