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Artwork 3 of 3

Preparing your figures can be tricky and there are lots of areas to consider. We’ve already looked at sizing and labelling, colour and shading, this time we’ll focus on file formats …
Artwork Tips Part 3!

Supply your figures as EPS, TIFF or PDF files rather than as the ‘document’ file of the software used to create the figure (e.g. CorelDraw etc.). It is possible to 'save as' or 'export as' TIFF or EPS from most graphics applications. You can also save directly to PDF from most graphics packages by using Adobe Acrobat.

EPS a vector graphics format and generally resolution independent. EPS files are scalable and your figure will look ‘sharp’ at any size. Embed any fonts used, crop the image tightly and save it with minimal white space around the illustration. No data should be present outside the actual illustration area. 

Take care to ensure that the bounding box of any EPS file encompasses the entire visible area of the image. If this bounding box is too small, the figure will appear cropped when imported into the typesetter’s software (Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator). 

Please include a PC preview/header so that we can view your figure on screen. Scale the image to the final size at the desired aspect ratio. Supply black-and-white figures as greyscale EPS files and colour ones as RGB EPS files. Supply your figures as one figure per file and not as multi-page PS files.

TIFF a raster graphics format where your image is stored as pixels. The more pixels you have the higher the quality of the figure. Colour photos are best supplied as TIFF files at a minimum 300 dpi at the size the images are to be reproduced in the publication. Supply colour images as RGB files with the ICC profile used by the software processing the file (for example, sRGB). Black and white photos or figures containing greyscale elements and text labelling should be saved at a minimum 600 dpi at the size the image is to be reproduced in the journal or book. Save 1-bit line figures as TIFF files with a resolution of 1200 dpi. Use the LZW algorithm for compression of large TIFF files. Supply the figures as one figure per file and not as multi-page TIFF files.

PDF a vector graphics format and generally resolution independent. Do not lower the resolution of the image during the PDFing process.

Avoid JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG files: these formats are designed for viewing on the web and do not reproduce well in print. However, if that is all you have, we can use them. Do not insert figures into Word, PowerPoint or any other word processing program. We can accept figures in these programs only if they were originally created using these programs.

You can find all the information you need in the Illustrations guidelines on our website, including step-by-step instructions on how to save your graphics files in one of the three formats discussed above.

Best wishes 

The Production Team