Digital Art Preparation for ESA Journals

For all manuscripts (Version 2 and higher) accepted for publication in the ESA journals, we now require that figures be submitted separately from the text file in one of the following formats: TIFF, EPS, or PowerPoint. Information about which format is appropriate for each type of figure and other requirements for submitting digital art are below.

File Formats


The TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) format is most commonly used for photographs (grayscale or color) and any scanned images, whether in grayscale, monochrome, or color. The TIFF format is for bitmapped images, which means that the images are composed of pixels. Thus, the resolution of an image—its number of pixels per inch (PPI or DPI)—is crucial in determining how sharp and clear the image will print in the journal. It is extremely important that the proper resolution be used when submitting digital artwork. Low resolution artwork will result in fuzzy or jagged looking images and type.

Figures should be sized for either 1 or 2 columns wide in the journal; 2.83 inches (72 mm) or 5.83 inches (148 mm) wide, respectively. For Journal of Integrated Pest Management only, the figures should be sized to fit the width of 1 column (3.5 in or 89 mm) or 2 columns (7.17 in or 182 mm). This will help expedite the publication process. Figures should be no longer than 9 in or 229 mm from top to bottom.

At the above sizes, the following image resolutions should be used:

  • 1200 DPI/PPI for monochrome (black and white line art).
    This resolution applies to images that are purely black and white. Images such as line graphs or diagrams fall in this category. If your image editing program allows it, LZW file compression can be used on a monochrome image to greatly reduce its file size.
  • 300 DPI/PPI for halftones (Grayscale or CMYK color).
    This resolution is for images containing pictures only in black and white or color, and not containing text labeling and/or thin lines.
  • 600 DPI/PPI for combination halftones.
    This resolution is for images containing pictures and text labeling and/or thin lines.

If you are unsure about whether to size a figure for 1 or 2 columns wide, make it 2 columns wide. That way, if it has to be reduced later by the production editor, the resolution will remain sharp. Once an image is scanned at a certain resolution, that resolution will determine how the photo looks. For example, if you scan a photo at 300 DPI and it is 2 inches wide, if you then enlarged the photo to 6 inches wide, the resolution would become only 100 DPI, and thus not be suitable for reproduction in the printed journal because it would look jagged or pixelated. But, if you then changed the resolution on that 6-inch wide photo to 300 DPI, it would still look pixelated even though there were more pixels per inch.

Adobe Photoshop and Corel Photo-Paint are the most common application software used for scanning and working with pixel based images in the TIFF format. Photos taken with a digital camera in the JPEG format will need to be converted to TIFF for publication in the journal.


EPS stands for Encapsulated Postscript, which is a file format that supports both vector graphics and bitmap images. Vector graphics means that an image (drawing or typeface) is defined by mathematical relationships which allow for the image to be enlarged or reduced with no loss of quality, unlike a TIFF image. An EPS file is usually used for combination artwork or charts and graphs, such as having a photograph with labels or a chart with shades of gray or color. Generally, an EPS file cannot be edited except by the software program that created it.

Drawing programs such as Adobe Freehand, Corel Draw, Deneba Canvas, and Macromedia Freehand are the most common applications for creating EPS files.


If you are unable to submit your figures in either the TIFF or EPS format, then you can submit them in Microsoft PowerPoint. Although PowerPoint can accept files from a variety of other applications, such as Excel, we can accept only picture files embedded in a PowerPoint document. For example, if you created your chart in Excel, you can place it into PowerPoint by copying it from Excel and then using the command “Paste Special-Picture (Windows Metafile or Enhanced Metafile)” to paste the chart into PowerPoint. This will also allow the PowerPoint file to be converted successfully to a PDF when you submit your manuscript.

Color space requirements

All digital art submitted must be bitmap (Monochrome), grayscale, or CMYK.

Graphics in the RGB color space (or Indexed color) are not acceptable and will not color separate correctly for printing in the journal because the journal is printed using the four process ink colors cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK).

It is extremely important to check every scan/file for correct color format before saving and submitting your work, whether in TIFF, EPS, or PowerPoint.

Cropping and sizing

As noted above, all graphics submitted should be submitted at their actual size; that is, they should be 100% of their print dimensions so that no scaling is necessary. The width of one column in the journal is 2.83 inches (72 mm); two columns are 5.83 inches (148 mm).

Crop figures (or change the page size of your document) so that no unnecessary white space is left bordering the figure. This will help reduce file size and improve accuracy when placing the figure in combination with other elements on the page.

Also, check each graphic carefully for unnecessary elements (items not intended to print) around the figure and off the page (i.e. type, lines, etc.). Some unnecessary elements may not be visible because they are assigned a white fill or stroke. Items such as these, should be found and removed

Font usage

We strongly recommend using only the type fonts below in your figures because they are the most legible under a wide variety of uses and sizes and are compatible with the Cadmus production system:

§         Arial or Helvetica

§         European PI

§         Mathematical PI

§         Times New Roman or Times Roman

§         Symbol

Multi-panel figures

Make sure that any multi-panel figures (i.e., figures with parts labeled a, b, c, d, etc.) are assembled into one file.

Rather than sending four files (Fig1a, Fig1b, Fig1c, Fig1d), the four parts should be assembled into one piece and supplied as one file.

Internet graphics

Graphics downloaded or saved from Web pages are not acceptable for print products. These graphics have low resolution images (usually 72 DPI), which are fine for screen display, but far below acceptable quality standards for print because they will look jagged when printed.

Additional information can be found on the Cadmus digital art support website at