Tables and figures

General principles

Use a common word processor and put your manuscript in one file. Embed tables and illustrations in your word processor file for creation of a PDF file for online submission at After acceptance of your paper, a new upload of the revised manuscript illustrations will be required.
Please save illustrations as separate files, e.g. EPS, TIFF or PSD. You should embed your illustrations in your Word file, but should later be able to submit the original clean files on request.


Use a graphics program that can export EPS-file for electronic submission. At first submission, embed your graphs in the word processor file, but save the EPS-files for final submission after acceptance. Note that Harward Business Graphics and some other programs cannot export EPS and Microsoft EXCEL produces graphs that are fragmented and hard to convert to printable diagrams although they are good for display purposes.

Avoid frames around diagrams and diagrams with perspective drawing. Symbols should be consistent throughout a series of figures. Different types of connecting lines can also be used. Make diagrams in black-and-white or colors but avoid complex patterns.

Axes should be equal in length to make the diagrams square. Each axis should be horizontally labeled with a description of the variable it represents. Use capitals only for the first letter in the first word. Use SI units. Make liberal use of scale markings, directed outwards, but identify only a few with numbers. Axes should not extend beyond the last numeral and never be terminated by arrows. If an axis is not continuous, this must be indicated by a clearly demarcated interruption. The axes print well when they are 9 cm long and 1 p wide and the scale markings 0.5 p wide. Labels should be sans serif letters (Arial or Helvetica) in 18 p. Numbers at the scale markings should then be 14 p.

If black-and white drawings or graphs are originally on paper only, scan them using bitmap (1 bit TIFF) and if appropriate aim at a 70 x 70 mm scan with at least 800 dpi resolution. File size will be >600 KiB but can be LZ compressed without quality loss.


Digital illustrations should be used. Color illustrations should be used when available; the cost of color will be borne by Acta. A scanned picture or digital photo should usually be about 85 mm wide with a resolution of 300 dpi, which gives an uncompressed file size of 4.5 MiB in color and 1 MiB in gray-scale. Save them as TIFF or PSD files with CMYK colors. The resolution of WEB illustrations (gif) is usually too poor. A too small file/picture or a highly JPEG compressed file may look acceptable on screen but can never be restored and thus prints poorly. If a photo needs to be highlighted with marks, letters and arrows it is better to do this in the production step. You may show this on a temporary illustration keeping the original clean for later use. If you would like to add highlights to your pictures, we recommend doing it in Adobe Photoshop, keeping the text and marks in a separate layer and saving it as an PSD file. It can also be done in the word processor and this will be used as a guide for production.


Radiographs and other photographs should be cropped to present only what is essential. It is rarely necessary to show normal radiographs, even for purposes of comparison. Frontal and lateral projections should be in the same scale and density. Corresponding details—e.g., the joint space—should be at the same level. Radiological illustrations should be electronic. Aim at a picture size of approximately 50 x 70 mm with 300 dpi which gives an uncompressed file size of 500 KiB. Save this file for final submission after acceptance. Highlights, arrows and letters may be added but keep a clean version of the photo for the layout process. Acta prefers to add these as a separate layer.

Copyright (C) 2012
webmaster at actaorthop org