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Notes on figures

For more specific notes for books prepared in Word or LaTeX, please see the relevant section:

Submitting a manuscript prepared in Word

Submitting a manuscript prepared in LaTeX

All figures should be supplied as separate electronic files in their original file formats. Do not embed the figures in Word documents or any other word processing file, or in PowerPoint. This reduces the resolution of the images and makes them unsuitable for printing in the book.

You should complete an Illustration checklist. This will make it easier for us to identify your figures. You can also use it to specify what size you want your figures to be, to make any notes about the figures, and to keep track of permissions.

If a figure needs elements removing, or needs to be cropped in any way, please mark this up clearly on a hard copy printout of the figure.


Any figures obtained/reproduced from another source (i.e. not drawn by you or your co-authors specifically for this publication) may be under copyright. This includes your own material if it has been previously published elsewhere, and materials taken from the web.

Permission must be sought from the copyright holder to reproduce any materials under copyright. We will not be able to begin producing your book until all permissions have been cleared. Details on how to obtain permission are given in the Permissions section.

Use of colour

Your book will not include colour unless it is specifically stated in the Schedule in your contract, or it has otherwise been agreed with your Press editor. Do not submit colour originals under other circumstances.

If your book is black and white only then you will need to convert all colour figures to black and white or greyscale. Our typesetters can do this if you are unable to, but you must be sure that the figure will still show what it needs to once it has been converted as many colours are indistinguishable when converted to shades of grey.


Please ensure that the material you submit is of the best possible quality. We cannot improve the resolution of images, we can only use them at the resolution they are supplied. If your figure is blurred or pixelated due to being low resolution, this is how it will appear in your book.

The minimum resolutions are:

  • 1200 dpi for line figures
  • 300 dpi for photographs/halftones

Suitable file formats

Wherever possible, always supply the original rather than a copy scanned from the original artwork. Figures supplied as TIFF, EPS or JPG files are preferable, and GIFF and BMP files should be avoided. If you intend to supply figures in any other format then please check with your Press editor first.

Line illustrations

  • Ideally these should be supplied in TIFF or EPS format.
  • They should be at a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi at the size they are to be reproduced in the book.
  • Do not use line weights that will be less than 0.5 points at final size.
  • Set figure labels in 9pt Arial, Helvetica or a similar sans-serif font. Labels should be set in lower case with an initial capital (e.g. 'Energy levels').
  • All fonts should be embedded.
  • Maths labels should be typed exactly as they appear in the text of the book. If a symbol is italic in the text or equation, it should be italic in the figure.
  • If the figure includes several parts labelled (a), (b) etc., please make sure the parts are clearly marked.

Black and white line illustrations

  • If your book is black and white only, prepare all black and white illustrations in black and white or greyscale, not colour.
  • The range of tones (tints) in greyscale illustrations should not be less than 15%, and not more than 85%. When creating a scale or using different shades to highlight areas in the figure, it is best to use increments of 15 or 20%. Any increments less than this may be hard to differentiate on the printed page.

Colour line illustrations

  • Colour illustrations must be saved in CMYK, not RGB.


  • Ideally these should be supplied in TIFF or JPEG format.
  • They should be at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at the size they are to be reproduced in the book.
  • For images such as CT and MRI scans, please supply the original copies where possible.
  • If your book is black and white only, prepare all black and white halftones in black and white or greyscale, not colour.
  • Colour photographs and halftones must be saved in CMYK, not RGB.

Photographs taken with a digital camera

  • Most digital cameras produce JPEG images as their standard format, but some can be set to TIFF. If your camera can be set to produce TIFF format, please select this option when taking photographs.
  • If your camera does not allow TIFF as a setting, please set it to produce the highest resolution JPEG possible.
  • Save the images immediately to TIFF when they have been downloaded from the camera. To avoid loss of detail from the photograph, do not change the JPEG in any way before saving to TIFF.

Scanned images

  • It is always better to supply the original artwork rather than scan from a printed copy, where possible.
  • If you are providing scanned copies of the original image, make sure they are scanned at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at the size they are to be reproduced in the book.
  • A high resolution scan of a low resolution original will not improve the quality in any way.

Unsuitable files

Do not copy figures into Word, PowerPoint or any other word processing program. We can only accept figures in these programs if they were originally created using these programs.

Figures downloaded from the web are usually too low resolution. If you want to use a figure from the web, contact the website administrator and ask for a high resolution version. The fact that an image appears on a website does not necessarily mean that it is copyright-free. Permission may be required from the copyright holder before it can be reproduced in your book (see Permissions).


It is best to provide your figures in the same size or larger than you expect them to be in the printed book to allow for any resizing that may occur when your book is typeset. If you supply figures smaller in size than they will appear in the finished book, they may lose some clarity and detail when enlarged.

Figure numbering

Please number the figures decimally by chapter (e.g. Figure 1.1, 1.2, etc.)

If the figures are not to be numbered, please use a logical or descriptive naming convention so that it is easy to tie them in with their corresponding citations, captions, and other instructions.

Illustration checklist

You must provide an Illustration checklist when submitting your final manuscript. On it you will need to:

  • List each figure and figure part as a separate entry on the checklist, even if some form part of the same figure (e.g. Figure 2.1a, 2.1b, etc.)
  • List the filename against the figure entry on the checklist. It is important to ensure that the figure can be identified correctly and linked to the correct file.
  • State if the figure is to be reproduced in colour or black and white.
  • Specify the preferred final size of each figure in terms of a quarter, half, two-thirds or full width of the text area. Note that this refers to the page width, not height, so if your book is 120mm wide, then a half page figure would be 60mm wide. If the text design chosen for your book has two columns, please specify the width in terms of one column wide, two-thirds of two columns wide, or two full columns wide. Please contact your Press editor if you are unsure what size your pages will be or if they will have columns.
  • Note any special instructions, such as figures which should appear at the same size, or opposite each other.
  • When you are expecting the Press to reuse figures from a previous edition of the book, please indicate clearly both the figure number in the old edition and the figure number in the new edition if these have changed.
  • Give details of whether permission is required and if so whether it has been obtained. We cannot proceed with production of your book until all permissions are in place.