Preparing Manuscripts with Word and WordPerfect

Instructions for Preparing Manuscript Files using Microsoft Word or WordPerfect

The following instructions are necessarily detailed. By following them carefully, authors can avoid delays in the publication of their articles and can reduce the possibility of errors caused by the conversion of improperly formatted manuscripts or errors introduced if such manuscripts have to be rekeyed.

Acceptable Formats

Authors should generally use the most recent versions of the following programs; the specific instructions here will work with these versions, with exceptions noted. UCP cannot provide guidance for the use of earlier versions, nor can it guarantee that files created with earlier versions can be used without rekeying.

Highly recommended for articles containing substantial math.

The AASTeX macro package is recommended for preparing LaTeX manuscripts for PASP. Instructions for its use can be found at

UCP will accept manuscripts prepared with the following popular word processors; however, authors must note that these applications are not designed for the preparation of highly technical, math-intensive manuscripts. It is necessary to follow specific instructions to insure the accurate presentation of mathematical formulas, special characters, and tables.

Microsoft Word
Windows versions 6, 7, 8 (Word 97)
Macintosh versions 5, 6, 8 (Word 98)
Microsofts Rich Text Format (RTF)
DOS version 5.1
Windows versions 6, 7, 8
Macintosh version 3

The File

Submit the entire article as a single file, including tables and figure legends, but excluding the figures themselves.

Do not submit files that contain "links" to other files or that "subscribe" to other documents. Do not include anything in the word-processing file that was not created with the word processor itself; e.g., do not embed tables from a spreadsheet or database program into a word-processor document (unless the word processor first converts them to its native format). Exception: for embedding equations in a word-processing file, see the Special Instructions for Mathematical and Other Non-ASCII Symbols.

Submit only the final version of the article, and submit only one electronic copy: do not submit multiple copies of the same file in different word-processing formats.


If you have created any figures electronically, submit them as separate files.


The most important guideline is this: keep it simple. Do not try to achieve a "typeset" look. Be aware that most of your formatting commands will be discarded during conversion; but if they are too complex and interfere with conversion, the file itself may not be usable and the article will have to be rekeyed.

  • Use 12-point type in one of the standard fonts: Times, Helvetica, or Courier.
  • Use double-spacing.
  • Use underlining or italic, not both. Avoid boldface. Use minimal formatting on section headings. (Underlining, italic, or boldface may, of course, be used in instances where the formatting conveys a particular meaning: e.g., to distinguish mathematical variables.)
  • If you use automatic footnotes and your word processor allows you to choose between footnotes and endnotes, always choose footnotes.
  • If you use any revision or editorial tracking feature (such as Word's "Revisions" or "Track Changes" commands), be sure that the document you submit has been finalized, i.e., all changes have been accepted or rejected and the file contains only one version of the document.
  • Use the word processor's built-in superscript and subscript attributes, rather than special commands to change the font size or position. Exception: when inserting footnotes, allow the word processor to format footnote references however it will.

    WordPerfect (Windows 6, 7, 8): choose "Format > Font", then choose "Superscript" or "Subscript" from the "Position" pop-up menu. Do not use any "Format > Typesetting" commands.

    WordPerfect (Macintosh 3): choose "Style > Superscript" or "Style > Subscript".

    Word (Macintosh 5): choose "Format > Character", then select "Superscript" or "Subscript" from the list of "Styles". Do not use "Position: Raised" or "Position: Lowered".

    Word (Windows or Macintosh 6, 7, 8): choose "Format > Font", then select "Superscript" or "Subscript" from the list of "Effects". Do not use any "Character Spacing" ("Spacing" or "Position") options.
  • Use hard returns (pressing the "Return" or "Enter" key) only to end a heading or paragraph and begin a new one. Do not use hard returns to end a line early to make the right margin seem indented.
  • Use tabs only to indent the beginning of a new paragraph. Do not insert tabs after the beginning of a paragraph to create a "hanging indent" (e.g., for references). Instead, change the left and first indent settings appropriately.
  • Do not change fonts when italic or boldface is needed. Apply an italic or bold style to the font, but do not change the font itself.
  • Do not use any automatic line numbering or paragraph numbering (for lists, etc.). Any numbers that should appear in your article must be explicitly typed in.
  • Do not use "hidden text" or "comments" or nonprinting text of any kind.
  • If your article contains tables, see the Special Instructions for Tables.
  • If your article contains mathematical formulae, special math characters, foreign letters, or other non-ASCII characters, see the Special Instructions for Mathematical and Other Non-ASCII Symbols.