Report File Format Guidance

  • Font: Times New Roman, Times, and standard Word or WordPerfect symbol fonts (or equivalent) typeface.
  • Distribution Statement: Eight-point, italics and centered
  • Report Title: 14-point, centered
  • Remainder of Document: 12-point, left aligned (exception for pictures or graphics titles as follows)
  • All Header Information: (Distribution statement, title, author info, etc.) centered; all other text should be left aligned (NOT justified)
  • Section Headings: All upper case and bold
  • Picture or Graphic Titles and Captions: Bold, italics and centered. (To meet accessibility requirements, text must be part of the report text and not part of the picture or graphic. If the caption does not adequately describe the picture or graphic content, include a brief description in brackets for the benefit of 'digital text' readers. Also, it should not be a 'floating text box', which can lead to production order/alignment problems.) Note: If graphics are numbered, 'manually' number them, as 'automatic' numbering can lead to unexpected results during the conversion to PDF in some cases.
  • Page Numbering: Optional (will be added by our support personnel). If used, 12-point font, centered, 0.5 inches from bottom edge.


  • 0.8 inches for top, left and right
  • 1.0 inch for bottom
  • Standard letter (8.5" x 11.0") paper, NOT 'A-4' (metric standard)

Word Processors

This is for the Reports File only, see enclosure (3) for the Statistics File.

  • MS Word: Use .doc with no unique macros
  • If using LATEX from a UNIX computer, THEN AND ONLY THEN: Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf). If you use this option, you must be available by email and ready to incorporate edits/reformatting if requested, and resubmit in a timely manner. Use the following Adobe Acrobat Distiller settings (which will produce better resolution than needed for onscreen viewing and very acceptable resolution for local printing while keeping files sizes reasonably smaller):
  • In the Distiller program, select Menu Item: "Settings" >> "Job Options"/"Edit Adobe PDF Settings…" (depending on Acrobat Distiller version used):
    • Tab "General": Check "Optimize for Fast Web View"; set "Resolution" to 300 dpi; "Compatibility" to version 6.0
    • Tab "Compression"/"Images": Set all six "dpi" boxes to 300; check "Compress Text and Line Art" (older versions only)
    • Tab "Fonts": Check "Embed All Fonts"; Check "Subset" and set to 100 percent; set "When Embedding Fails" to "Cancel Job"
    • Tab "Color": Set "Settings File" drop-down list to "None"; set "Color Management Policies" drop-down list to "Leave Color Unchanged"
  • Regarding the Statistics File: None of the options above apply to the associated Statistics File. The associated Statistics File must be in elementary ASCII text format. Use a basic ‘text’ editor, such as ‘Notepad’ or a word processor. Be careful to “save as” in an ‘ASCII TXT’ or ‘Plain Text’ format.


It is recommended you use the standard MS Word Equation Editor to add equations to your documents. If you use the standards provided with MS Word, then you can be confident they will be translated properly in the PDF conversion process and will read as intended on any computer. If you use other than standard MS Word fonts or equation editor, and you fail to embed the equation fonts into your document, they will not display as intended on computers that do not have your ‘unique’ font installed.

If you must use other fonts or programs to create your equations:

MS Word: Can embed only True Type fonts into your document, thus ensuring they are available to all viewers. Failure to embed fonts used may result in other computers “substituting” its own ‘best match’ font for yours, with unpredictable (and usually incorrect) results. For example, in MS Word 2007, on the 'Office Button' (upper left most corner), select the lower right tab 'Word Options', then 'Save' to reveal the 'Embed fonts in the file' check-box. Note: Some proprietary fonts will not allow their embedding into Word documents.

PDF: Confirm the equation font is embedded in the PDF file. For example, with your document opened in Acrobat 9, from the menus, select File >> Properties >> Fonts, and confirm that all equation fonts are annotated as “Embedded” or "Embedded Subset." If not embedded, then correct display will be dependent on viewer’s computers (i.e., other than the one used to create the file) having that particular font locally installed. Otherwise Acrobat will ‘substitute’ a ‘likely’ font with unpredictable results. Those equations will still display correctly on the ‘creating’ computer, as that computer has the not-embedded font locally available. Note: Some proprietary fonts will not allow their embedding into PDF documents.


You are highly encouraged to include figures in your reports.

"Title" and "Caption" must be 'document text' and not solely part of the 'graphic image' to comply with accessibility requirements of the amended Rehabilitation Act. This enables viewers requiring "text only" readers to understand the purpose/point of the graphic ("text readers" cannot read words that are part of the graphic).

Centering graphics vertically BETWEEN paragraphs and not adjacent to paragraphs yields consistently good conversion to PDF format (PDF is the format used for all reports on the final CD-ROM product).

MAC Users: DO NOT use MAC unique formats (such as PICT or TIFF(MAC)). MAC imaging/graphic programs typically default to PICT or TIFF(MAC) formats. Usually JPG, GIF or PNG are normally “save as” options. The MAC unique formats are incompatible with PC CD-ROM development platforms and yield unpredictable or, more usually, unacceptable results when viewed on non-MAC computers.

When ‘embedding’ a picture ‘object’ into the document, the embedded picture retains the format of the creating application and may not be viewable on, or printable from, all platforms. The preferred (and common) file formats of JPG (photo-like) and GIF (flat-color areas) generally embed nicely and are highly recommended. TIFF(PC) (but NOT TIFF(MAC)), WMF and PNG formats generally work well, although TIFF(PC) file sizes are usually much larger than their JPG or GIF equivalents. If we encounter conversion problems, we may have to solicit original pictures on short notice, so please keep copies of them readily available until you receive your production CD-ROM.

Page Limits

Reports should not exceed five pages excluding figures and all text commencing with the paragraph "TRANSITIONS" (i.e., 'Transitions,' 'Related Projects,' 'References,' 'Publications,' 'Patents' and 'Honors/Awards/Prizes'). Please DO NOT modify margins, font size, line spacing, etc., to meet the five-page limit as these will be reformatted to 'standard' manually upon receipt.

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