The following list outlines the different types of graphics published in IEEE journals. They are categorized based on their construction, and use of color / shades of gray:
Figures that are meant to appear in color, or shades of black/gray. Such figures may include photographs,
illustrations, multicolor graphs, and flowcharts.
Figures that are composed of only black lines and shapes. These figures should have no shades or half-tones of gray. Only black and white.
Head and shoulders shots of authors which appear at the end of papers. Not allowed for papers in TMI.
Tables Data charts which are typically black and white, but sometimes include color.
Figures compiled of more than one sub-figure presented side-by-side, or stacked. If a multipart figure is made up of multiple figure types (one part is lineart, and another is grayscale or color) the figure should meet the stricter guidelines.
Format and save your graphics using a suitable graphics processing program that will allow you to create the images as PostScript (PS), Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS), Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF), Portable Document Format (.PDF), or Portable Network Graphics (.PNG) sizes them, and adjusts the resolution settings. If you created your source files in one of the following programs you will be able to submit the graphics without converting to a PS, EPS, TIFF, PDF, or PNG file: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Microsoft Excel. Though it is not required, it is recommended that these files be saved in PDF format rather than DOC, XLS, or PPT. Doing so will protect your figures from common font and arrow stroke issues that occur when working on the files across multiple platforms. When submitting the final files for your paper once it is accepted, the graphics should all be submitted individually in one of these formats along with the manuscript.
Sizing of Graphics
Most charts, graphs, and tables are one column wide (3.5 inches / 88 millimeters / 21 picas) or page wide (7.16 inches / 181 millimeters / 43 picas). The maximum depth a graphic can be is 8.5 inches (216 millimeters / 54 picas). When choosing the depth of a graphic, please allow space for a caption. Figures can be sized between column and page widths if the author chooses, however it is recommended that figures are not sized less than column width unless when necessary.
The proper resolution of your figures will depend on the type of figure it is as defined in the “Types of Figures” section. Color and grayscale figures should be at least 300 dpi. Lineart, including tables should be a minimum of 600 dpi.
While IEEE does accept, and even recommends that authors submit artwork in vector format, it is our policy is to rasterize all figures for publication. This is done in order to preserve the figures’ integrity across multiple computer platforms.
The term color space refers to the entire sum of colors that can be represented within the said medium. For our purposes, the three main color spaces are Grayscale, RGB (red/green/blue) and CMYK (cyan/magenta/yellow/black). RGB is generally used with on-screen graphics, whereas CMYK is used for printing purposes.
All color figures should be generated in RGB or CMYK color space. Grayscale images should be submitted in Grayscale color space. Lineart may be provided in grayscale OR bitmap color space. Note that “bitmap color space” and “bitmap file format” are not the same thing. When bitmap color space is selected, .TIF/.TIFF is the recommended file format.
Accepted Fonts Within Figures
When preparing your graphics IEEE suggests that you use of one of the following Open Type fonts: Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, Cambria, and Symbol. If you are supplying EPS, PS, or PDF files all fonts must be embedded. Some fonts may only be native to your operating system; without the fonts embedded, parts of the graphic may be distorted or missing.
A safe option when finalizing figures is to strip out the fonts before you save the files, creating “outline” type. This converts fonts to artwork that appear uniformly on any screen.
Figure axis labels are often a source of confusion. Use words rather than symbols. As an example, write the quantity “Magnetization,” or “Magnetization M,” not just “M.” Put units in parentheses. Do not label axes only with units. As in Fig. 1, for example, write “Magnetization (A/m)” or “Magnetization (Am1),” not just “A/m.” Do not label axes with a ratio of quantities and units. For example, write “Temperature (K),” not “Temperature/K.”
Multipliers can be especially confusing. Write “Magnetization (kA/m)” or “Magnetization (103 A/m).” Do not write “Magnetization (A/m) 1000” because the reader would not know whether the top axis label in Fig. 1 meant 16000 A/m or 0.016 A/m. Figure labels should be legible, approximately 8 to 10 point type.