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Art Instructions


It is a good idea to check out the draw programs you have available to you before you start drawing the figures for your article. Make sure that you can create an EPS file; that you can control the fonts and line weight; that you can change the line style (dotted, dashed, etc.); and that you can control color. All of these issues affect whether or not your figures will be usable. Do not draw figures in Word (or any other word processor), MacPaint, Windows Paint or any other similar program. These programs are intended for home use, not for publishing books.

If at all possible, figures should be sent in PostScript (PS) or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format. It is best to embed all fonts in the figure file: if your printer driver does not give you that option, please go to and download (for free) the latest PostScript printer driver for your system. If your fonts are not embedded, your labels will translate as outlines, not fonts, and they will not look as crisp when printed. Even if you cannot get an EPS file from the program that produced the drawing, e.g., Excel, you may be able to get one another way. We have had success taking Excel graphs and copying and pasting them into a regular draw program. In the draw program we then adjust the line weight, color, etc. and export the file as an EPS. This should work in many other Windows programs. Word is a notable exception: drawings taken from Word tend to lose lines when you move them and patterns will likely be lost. Most draw programs can put labels on figures. Choose Times at 9 pt as the font used in your figures (axes labels are frequently smaller — 8 pt). Figure labels should be in the same style as the corresponding letters in the text — italic, bold, etc.

Many draw programs set the default line weight at .2 pts. This is rather odd since at high resolution these lines all but disappear. Please be sure that the line weight is set to 1 pt. No line should ever be less than .5 pt.

We can use color in figures in the e-versions.  If you want to use color, please submit both color and grayscale versions of your figures.  The grayscale version will be used in print.  It is very important to note that if the compositor has to do an auto conversion of your color files to grayscale many colors end up as the same shade of gray.  This means that, in grayscale, your red and blue lines will likely look exactly the same.  You need to manually choose different shades of gray (preferably at least 10% difference in shade).  

Please draw the figures at the size you would like them to appear. You should try to draw them as small as possible while still retaining clarity. Please note the text width of the journals before drawing large figures. All three journals are 5 x 8 inches.

Bitmapped formats (BMP, TIF, etc.) should only be sent for photos. Please note that the standard dpi (72) for web figures is not sufficient for print media.  Bitmap formats are not appropriate for line drawings.  If you cannot give us PostScript files for your line art figures, let us know and we will help you choose a format that will give us the best possible resolution.

We do not accept hand drawn figures.  We also do not accept figures done with any type of LaTeX coding, this includes tikz.  ALL figures must be in separate files.


Photos can be either color or grayscale (again color will be used in the e-versions).  Please note that the standard dpi (72) for web photographs/illustrations is not sufficient for print media. All artwork should be saved at 300 dpi. Either TIF or JPG files are fine.  PNG also works as long as you are sure the files are high resolution (at least 300 dpi). PNG is intended for the web and the default is to save it at low resolution.

Graphics Generated by Computer Algebra Systems

If you are using a computer algebra system like Maple or Mathematica to generate graphics, generating the graphics using grayscale colors will usually produce better results than if you generate them in color and they are subsequently converted to grayscale. This can be accomplished in Mathematica using "ColorOutput -> GrayLevel" as a graphing option. In Maple, set plotoptions to "color=gray". Also, if you are generating complex three-dimensional graphics, it is preferable to turn off the rendering of nonvisible faces. In Mathematica you can do this by setting "RenderAll -> False". By generating only the visible portions of your figure, you will substantially reduce the file size of your graphics, and any subsequent editing of the figures will be much easier.

Naming Conventions

Please name your files the way the figures are numbered in the text. If you number your figures straight through the article, then the figure files should be: fig1.eps, fig2.eps, etc. This avoids confusion on our part and saves us time.