Instructions for submission in Word format

Providing a document in Word format is problematic for a few reasons.

  1. Translating from the proprietary .doc format into LaTeX is not straightforward. Copy and pasting from Word into a LaTeX editor loses all formatting, formulas, and structure. Currently, our method is to convert the .doc file into .docx using a recent version of Word, and then process the resulting collection of slightly less proprietary XML files into a single .tex file, using this application: Even with the preprocessing step, making the LaTeX look like the original Word document is arduous.
  2. Word encourages using a variety of colors, font-faces, and font-varieties, like boldface, small-caps, sans-serif, etc. Reducing those into a subset suitable for S&P is hard, because it’s sometimes hard to tell what the different styles signify.
  3. Word does not enforce bibliographic or referential consistency. It’s easy to change an example and not realize that a reference to that example didn’t get updated. And it’s easy to introduce a citation in the main text while forgetting to include the full reference in the bibliography. Errors like these become apparent when converting to LaTeX, which enforces correctness of all references, but hard to resolve in many cases, where it is unclear which example the broken link was meant to refer to, or which article an author and year refer to.

Nevertheless, we will accept submissions of any typesetting choice, and will work with you to make sure the final product is up to both S&P’s and your standards. Just note that turnaround time on Word submissions is a great deal longer than LaTeX, due to these additional complications.

Requirements and guidelines

The following pointers will ensure that the automatic conversion step goes more smoothly.

Where I specify explicit steps below, I’m referring to Word for Mac 2011, which is the version I happen to have on my computer. Modern versions of Word all write to the same .docx “Office Open XML” format, so your version may have slightly different steps, but will end up in the same format.

Some of the steps below may incorporate psuedo–LaTeX markup, but all of these steps are meant to be performed in Word. Your Word document may not look as pretty after this process, but a lot of pretty is inevitably lost and has to be recreated in the Word → LaTeX conversion; the following helps ensure that none of the semantics are lost. At this stage, correctness of document structure is always preferable to visual appearance within Word.

All aesthetic requirements in the style guidelines apply to Word documents as well, with preference given to the directives on this page if there are any conflicts.

Automatic validation

There is an online validator in the works. When it is ready, there will be a link to it here, and it will help you work through the preceding guidelines.