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    Format Your Manuscript and Sample Templates

    The following guidelines and information can be found on this page:

    See also, the pages on:

    Manuscript Specifications

    • Manuscripts should be a minimum of 6 (six) single-sided pages (maximum of 20 pages). Length requirements may vary by meeting, so please see the Author/Presenter Information page for your specific conference.
    • Manuscripts containing color and submitted through the SPIE Submission System (sign in at will retain color in all of SPIE's digital publications at no charge.
    • .pdf is the preferred file type
    • The following formats are also accepted:
      • .doc (MSWord)
      • .docx (MSWord 2007)
      • .ps (PostScript)
      • .prn (PCL)
      • If you are using another software to create your manuscript, you can then convert your file to a print format by selecting the "print - to file" option with a .prn or .ps file type.
    • All text, including footnotes and author information, and illustrations must appear within a 6.75x8.75 in. (17.15 x 22.23 cm) area.
    • If you use a U.S.-standard page (8.5 x 11 in./21.59 x 27.94 cm), set margins to .875 in. (2.22 cm) left and right, 1.0 in. (2.54 cm) top and 1.25 in. (3.17 cm) bottom.
    • If you use an A4 page, set margins to 1.925 cm left and right, 2.54 cm top, and 4.94 cm bottom.
    • Use Times Roman or equivalent font for all text. Use boldface or italic for emphasis only. Single-space all text in one column, allowing extra space between paragraphs.

    Font Sizes

    The proper fonts (all Times Roman) for various elements are:

    1. Article title  is 16 pt bold   

    2. Author names, affiliations  are 12 pt

    3. SECTION HEADING  are 11 pt bold caps

    4. Subsection heading are 10 pt bold

    5. Body text  is 10 pt

    6. Figure captions  are 9 pt

    7. Footnote text  is 9 pt


    Center the paper title at the top of the page in 16-point bold type. Only the first word, proper nouns, and acronyms are capitalized. Keep titles brief and descriptive. Avoid starting with articles or prepositions, e.g., "The study of … ," "On the …." Spell out acronyms unless they are widely known.

    Authors and affiliations 

    Use 12-point type, centered. Leave extra space between authors and affiliations/address. Omit titles or degrees such as Dr., Prof., Ph.D., etc. Avoid acronyms that are not internationally known.


    Begin the abstract two lines below author affiliation(s). Type "ABSTRACT" on a line by itself, all capitals, centered, 11-point type and boldfaced. Limit abstract to 250 words.

    Keyword list

    To ensure that your paper is indexed appropriately, please insert a list of up to 10 keywords of your choice between the abstract and the body of the text.

    Principal headings

    Type on a separate line, 11-point type, centered, all capital letters, and boldfaced. Number sections sequentially (i.e., 1, 2, 3,...).


    Type on a separate line flush with the left margin. Capitalize the first letter of the first word and proper names only, and boldface the heading. Number subsections according to the following example: Sec. 3.1 is the first subsection of Sec. 3; Sec. 3.2.1 is a subsection of Sec. 3.2.


    Leave additional space between paragraphs. Indentation is optional.


    All body text, including abstract, should be 10-point type.


    For the first occurrence (other than for commonly used acronyms such as IR, CCD, MTF, etc.), spell out each word followed by the acronym in parentheses, e.g., liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) or Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE).


    Type all equations. Punctuate as a sentence. Type display equation numbers in Arabic numerals in parentheses flush with the right margin. Number display equations consecutively.

    Figures and tables

    Figures and tables should be clear and legible but sized to make economical use of space, and must fit entirely within the manuscript image area. Similar or related figures should be of uniform size with uniform lettering. All figures should be called out in the text as well as properly labeled and captioned. Number figures sequentially using Arabic numerals, and place a numbered caption near each figure or table. Figures may be positioned within the text or at the end of the manuscript.

    Figure and table captions

    Type captions in 9-point type. Number figures sequentially, and begin caption with figure or table number.


    Additional author information, such as email addresses and web site location should be given in a footnote. Footnotes must appear within the page image area.

    Reference citations

    Type reference citations within the text as superscripts.


    All acknowledgments for technical and financial support and government contract or copyright information should go in this section, which follows the text but precedes the references.


    SPIE is able to display the references section of your paper in the SPIE Digital Library, complete with links to referenced journal articles, proceedings papers, and books, when available. This added feature will bring more readers to your paper and improve the usefulness of the SPIE Digital Library for all researchers.

    Denote reference citations within the text of your paper by means of a superscript number. List references at the end of the paper in numerical order, and enclose the reference number in square brackets. Include the following information (as applicable).

    • For a book: authors (last name first, then initials), [book title], publisher, city, page or chapter numbers (year). 

    [1] Booth, N. and Smith, A. S., [Infrared Detectors], Goodwin House Publishers, New York & Boston, 241-248 (1997).

    • For a journal paper: authors (last name first, then initials), "paper title" (in quotes), journal abbreviation, volume number(issue), page numbers (year). 

      [2] Davis, A. R., Bush, C., Harvey, J. C. and Foley, M. F., "Fresnel lenses in rear projection displays," SID Int. Symp. Digest Tech. Papers 32(1), 934-937 (2001). 
    • For a proceedings paper: authors (last name first, then initials), "paper title" (in quotes), proceedings volume name and/or number, page numbers or CID (year).

      [3] Van Derlofske, J. F., "Computer modeling of LED light pipe systems for uniform display illumination," Proc. SPIE 4445, 119-129 (2001).

      [4] Seo, G., Ok, J., Lee, C., "Fast implementation for neural network classification," Proc. SPIE 8871, 887107 (2013).

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    Multimedia File Specifications

    SPIE is now able to publish multimedia files along with your Conference Proceedings paper. You may associate a video or audio file with your research paper to better communicate your paper's main points. A video or animation, published online with your manuscript, can show how data changes over time, conveying more to your audience than is possible through a static paper alone.

    1. Choose from 1 to 10 short files you believe would enhance the reader's understanding of your paper's main points.
    2. Multimedia files must be one of the following types:
      • Video: mpeg, mov (Quicktime), or wmv (Windows Media Player) file formats
      • Audio: wav, mp3 file formats
      • Each file should be less than 5 MB in size.
    3. Create a representative screenshot for each video or audio file and place them in your paper as you would a regular figure
      • Include a descriptive caption beginning with Video 1, Audio 3, etc.
      • At the end of the caption, include this line:
      • SPIE staff will edit this text and link it to the archived multimedia file

    Your multimedia files will be submitted through the SPIE manuscript submission wizard along with your manuscript. See the Submit Your Manuscript, Multimedia, or Manuscript Revisions page for instructions.


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    Sample Manuscripts in PDF Format

    Download samples of SPIE's manuscript format and layout for letter and A4 paper sizes at the links below. The text of these samples detail SPIE's format preferences.

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    Microsoft Word Template Downloads

    Save the appropriate template to your directory by right-clicking and choosing "Save Target As..." and open the file.

    If you download the blank template, input your content directly. Margins are pre-set and style pull-down menus are available in the Word toolbar.

    If you download the file containing sample content, input your content over the sample content. Margins are pre-set and style pull-down menus are available in the Word toolbar.

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    Using LaTeX

    Style files are available to authors who are preparing manuscripts with LaTeX here: SPIE Proceedings Paper LaTeX Style Files.

    You can also use the Overleaf authoring tool explained below.

    Print-To-File ImageThe SPIE Proceedings template is now available in the Overleaf authoring tool. Originally developed to simplify LaTeX authorship, this free online tool has numerous benefits, including:

    • real-time collaboration between authors
    • an intuitive user interface
    • easy document sharing and security options
    • real-time preview of formatting and equations
    • inline error warnings
    • a rich-text mode that will look familiar to collaborators who are more comfortable authoring in Microsoft Word
    • quick submission to SPIE proceedings by following the link "Submit to SPIE Proceedings" at the top of the Overleaf template.

    The SPIE Proceedings template can be found on Overleaf, along with helpful LaTeX tutorials and a free introductory course for authors who are new to Overleaf and LaTeX.

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    To create a PostScript file from your word-processing program

    • Open your manuscript in the Word Processing program in which it was created. 
    • From the File menu, choose Print and select the PostScript printer from your list of available printers and click on OK. (Note: if you do not have a PostScript printer driver installed on your computer or computer network, you must first install a PostScript printer driver before proceeding.)
    • A box should then pop up with Print to File in the title bar and a box for you to type in the name of a file. The name it wants is the name of a temporary output file where it will put the text and codes that would normally be sent directly to the printer. Do not put in the name of the file that you are printing or you will overwrite it. If, for example, the file that you are printing is called manuscript.doc, then it is a useful convention to call the output file
    • If the Print to File box does not give you the option to navigate to where you would like the output file to go, you will need to give the full pathname, like this:


    • Click on OK and the output file will be created. To confirm, navigate to the folder where you sent the output file (C:\TEMP in the example above), and find your file - it should be called but you may find that Windows has added an extra .prn suffix, making it

    Confirm and upload

    • This is the file that you will upload to SPIE through the SPIE Submission System. To sign in, go to If you wish to check it before submitting, right click on the file and choose Open With... from the context menu. You can either open it with Notepad to view the PostScript code, or if you wish to view the Manuscript in the PostScript file as it will appear in PDF open it with GhostView.
    • Upload this PostScript file to SPIE at (File size must be 45MB or smaller)

    To create a PostScript file from a PDF file

    • To create a PostScript file from a PDF file, you can either:
    1. print to file following the same steps outlined above for word processing programs, or
    2. if you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat (not Reader), you can simply go to File/Save As… and save as a .ps file.

    **Note: there is a higher likelihood of fonts and symbols dropping or substituting when printing to file from PDF.

    • Follow the Confirm and upload instructions.

    To create a PostScript file from LaTeX style files

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