Preparing graphics


  • If you embed figures in place in your article-text file, you will be asked to upload individual figure files if your paper is accepted for publication.
  • Number figures in the order in which they appear in text.
  • Identify all figure parts with (a), (b), etc. Avoid any large size differences of the lettering and labels used within one illustration.
  • Submit illustrations in the size and resolution you wish them to appear in print.
    • For ADV, APL Bioengineering, APL Materials, APL Photonics, BMF, JRSE, and SDY (online-only journals)
      The maximum published width of figures is 5 3/8 inches (13.65 cm). The maximum depth of figures should be 8 ¼ in. (21.1 cm). Legends or labels within figures should be a minimum of 8-point type size (2.8 mm high; 1/8 in. high). A minimum of 0.5 point width for lines.
    • For JMP (one-column journal)
      The maximum published width of figures is 6.69 inches (17 cm).
    • For APL, APR, CHA, JAP, JCP, JPCRD, Physics of Fluids, Physics of Plasmas, and RSI
      The maximum published width for a one-column figure is 3.37 inches (8.5 cm). The maximum width for a two-column figure is 6.69 inches (17 cm). Each illustration should be prepared for 100% reproduction in order to avoid problems arising from large reductions in size.
  • Ensure that lettering and lines are dark enough and thick enough to reproduce clearly, especially if reduction is necessary. Remember that fine lines tend to disappear upon reduction.
  • Color online only (RGB) is a free service; Color in Print (CMYK) will require fees on some journals (see Color Printing Charges).
  • IMPORTANT: All fonts must be embedded in your figure files.
  • For figure creation or figure redrawing services, see how we can help at

Electronic graphic formats

  • Use only these file formats: EPS (preferred format), PS, TIFF (.tif), PDF, JPEG (.jpg). Application files (e.g., Corel Draw, Microsoft Word) are not acceptable.
  • Scalable vector formats (i.e., SVG, EPS and PS) are greatly preferred. AIP Publishing suggests the use of Adobe Illustrator (Paid, OS X, Windows) or Inkscape (Freeware, OS X, Windows, Linux) for the creation of acceptable illustrations and Adobe Photoshop (Paid, OS X, Windows) or GIMP (Freeware, OS X, Windows, Linux) for the editing of acceptable photographs.
  • Submit a single file for each figure with figure parts; label each part (a), (b), etc.
  • When submitting your manuscript, include all illustrations and line art for your paper.
  • Set the correct orientation for each graphics file.
    • Set the graphic for:
    • Line art: 600 dpi resolution and black/white bitmap, not grayscale.
    • Halftones: 264 dpi resolution and grayscale, not black/white bitmap.
    • Combinations (line art + halftone): 600 dpi and grayscale, not black/white bitmap.
    • Color: 300 dpi TIFF, PS, or EPS format. If selecting a file mode, use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) for color figures in print or RGB (red, green, blue) for color figures online only.

Production-ready PDF graphics

For accepted manuscripts, PDF as the source file for illustrations is not preferred. However, properly prepared PDF illustration files may be used in the production process of your accepted manuscript if you follow these guidelines:

  • PDF should be used as the source file for illustrations only when the preferred formats (PS,EPS, or TIFF) cannot be generated
  • In the PDF illustration, the resolution of any shaded or photographic images must be 600 pixels per inch (PPI).
  • Within the PDF illustration, resolution of line art with no shading should be 1200 pixels per inch (PPI).
  • All fonts must be embedded in the PDF.
  • When creating a PDF through your application’s print command, select “High Quality Print.”

Color Printing Charges

As a service to our authors, effective 2 January 2018, illustrations will appear in color in the online journal free of charge and will be reproduced in black and white in the printed journals.
To take advantage of this free service, you must:

  • supply color graphics files (.eps, .ps, .tif, or .pdf only),
  • submit graphics files in time for utilization during the production process,
  • submit only one version of each graphics file,
  • ensure that colors chosen will reproduce well when printed in black & white and
  • ensure that descriptions of figures in text will be sufficiently clear for both print and online versions.