Blackwell Publishing

Electronic Artwork FAQs

This guide is not intended to provide in-depth coverage of how to produce artwork or use particular software. It is intended to show how to prepare electronic artwork and manuscripts for submission and to answer common questions that may arise during the procedure. For guides to journal style, figure sizes, etc. authors are recommended to view the Author Guidelines by Journal using the box at right to select the Author Guidelines for a specific journal. 


How do I submit my manuscript? 

Blackwell Publishing can accept almost all disk formats, including 1.44 Mb floppy disks, Zip disks, CD-R and CD-RW. Files should be named informatively, where possible using the reference number given to you by the editorial office. Remember to fill in the disk submission form (available from the editorial office) and to check that the version of the file on the disk is the same as the final accepted typescript. 

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Can I use any word processor to prepare my manuscript? 


What recommendations are there for producing my electronic document? 

Try and avoid excessive formatting. Lay out your text so that the headings and sections are clearly defined. Where several levels of headings are required, ensure each is clearly styled. Use a standard font for your text, Times New Roman/Times and Arial/Helvetica are recommended. Use the Symbol font for symbols and Greek characters. Always submit a hard copy of each figure so we have something with which to compare the electronic files. 

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What should I do with tables? 

Include these at the end of your manuscript. Where available use the table function in your software. Place each table item in its own cell. Avoid using the return key to format or to add spacing to the table. 

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What should I do with figures? 

We can use your electronic figures . If you have used a computer to create your figures then please include these files in your submission. It gives you the opportunity to see your own work in print as you intended it to appear. It also helps prevent errors and enables us to reduce the time it takes to publish your paper. 

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How do I save an electronic version of a photographic image? 

Digital images (either directly from a digital camera or other imaging device or from scanned photographs) should be saved as a Tagged Image Format File (TIFF). You should save the image at the size you intend it to be reproduced and ensure that the image is of sufficient resolution. The resolution of a computer monitor is 72–96 dots per inch (dpi) and while an image may look perfect on screen it is often of insufficient resolution for print. For adequate reproduction, files should be saved at 250–300 dpi (bear in mind that if you subsequently change the size of a digital image you will also change the resolution). Do not use higher resolutions, these will not improve the quality of your image but will produce very large files. 

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I've saved my image as a TIFF but the file is very large 

Unfortunately, photographic images often produce very large files. Most software has an option to compress the file using LZW compression – this will produce smaller files, especially when the image contains large areas of single colour or repeating textures and patterns. 

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I've compressed my TIFF image but it is still too large to save on a floppy disk 

Other forms of storage media may suffice. ZIP disks will hold at least 100 Mb of data and recordable CD-R 650 Mb. Compressing the files into Zip and Stuffit archives will not reduce file sizes further. Sending files via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is another option for users with a permanent connection to the Internet. 

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Do I need to do anything different with colour images? 

Both black & white and colour images should be saved at the same 250–300 dpi resolution at the reproduction size. Colour images should be saved as CMYK and not as RGB. RGB images represent colours as seen on screen, whereas CMYK produces a more accurate representation of printed colour. Care should be taken with colour images as RGB and CMYK colour ranges are not equal and CMYK colours may appear muted in print. Colour proofs should be checked closely. Black & white images should be saved as greyscale. 

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Why shouldn't I save my images as a JPEG or GIF? 

These are attractive formats as they result in much smaller files than TIFF. Unfortunately, there are several good reasons why you should not use them for print. The compression process used by JPEG discards some of the data in your image resulting in a reduction in image quality. GIF files use a similar compression process to LZW-TIFF available in many software applications, however, this format only supports 256 colours/shades of grey, often significantly reducing the quality of your figures. These formats should be reserved for images to be viewed on screen. 

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How do I save an electronic version of my graphs and illustrations? 

Line art is best saved as encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files. These are usually far more compact than TIFF and are easily editable and independent of resolution. Illustration software and many other packages will allow you to ‘Save As' or ‘Export' your line art directly as an EPS file. 

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The software I am using for my graphs and illustrations doesn't have an option to produce EPS files 

You can still save your image as an EPS file using a PostScript printer driver which can be freely obtained and installed in a few minutes (you do not need a PostScript printer). With a PostScript printer driver installed, images can be selected and the ‘Print' option used to select the PostScript ‘printer' to produce an EPS file on disk. With multi-page documents, care should be taken to save each figure separately, by ticking either the ‘Selection', ‘Current Page' or ‘Current Slide' in the ‘Print' dialogue. How to install a PostScript printer driver

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Can I use PowerPoint or Excel? 

Excel can be used to prepare graphs and the EPS files can be produced using the ‘Print' option outlined above ( instructions). PowerPoint should be used with caution as this application is intended for producing visual presentations rather than print output, but with care can produce quality artwork ( instructions). Line art can be saved as EPS, again using the Print option. 

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Are there any tips for producing good EPS output? 

Keeping an image simple is the best way to produce good output. Try to avoid adding more to your graph or illustration than is necessary. Avoid 3D charts, excessive shading, stipples, lines and symbols (if there are several symbols, try and add them to the legend rather than a key). Size your figure correctly, resizing can often cause problems, and use a standard font – Arial and Helvetica are recommended (sans serif fonts are usually used on figures to help distinguish labels from surrounding text). Line thickness in graph axes etc. should be greater than 0.3 pt. When using shades of grey or other tints, be wary of using shades too close together – an ideal separation is 20%. 

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My figure contains both text/lines and photographic images, how do I save an electronic version? 

You can save this as either a TIFF or EPS image. TIFF images with lettering should be saved at a higher resolution than a photographic image alone to avoid the text and line art appearing jagged – 600 dpi is a recommended resolution for both black & white and colour. A more convenient option and preferable option is EPS. Photographic images (saved at the correct size and 250–300 dpi resolution) can be imported into illustration software for labelling and saved as an EPS file. This often produces a smaller file and any lettering, labels and line art will not appear jagged in print. How to do this in PowerPoint

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How do I view an EPS file that I have created? 

Native EPS files cannot easily be viewed on screen. If you have access to a PostScript printer, these files can be printed directly. Another option is to create a portable document format (PDF) file using Adobe Distiller or similar software. The free Acrobat Reader viewer will allow you to view and print PDF files. A program called GhostScript is freely available on the internet for PC, Apple Macintosh and Unix/Linux systems, and will also allow you to preview and print EPS images. 

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I've imported an EPS file into another application and the quality is very poor 

Because you cannot easily view an EPS image, some software adds a preview image to the file (you may have seen options for this if using the ‘Save As' and ‘Export' options). This is a low-resolution preview and not the actual image. Printing this on a non-PostScript printer will also result in the preview being printed, but a PostScript printer will print the correct image, and we will use the correct image. 

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How do I install a PostScript printer driver? 

Please see our guides for Windows 98/98/Me and NT/2000, or if you are Mac user go here

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