Writing IFAC papers using Word

Advice for preparing papers for IFAC scientific meetings using Microsoft Word®


First of all, you need to have a working copy of Microsoft Word®. If you have Microsoft Office Word 2007 with an appropriate add-in,  or Microsoft Office for Mac, you can directly produce a PDF file from your Word file. Otherwise you may need one of the following tools in order to produce a PDF file:

  • Adobe Acrobat® 5.0 or higher. This is a commercial tool that can be used to create a PDF file directly from Word.
  • PDFCreator. This is an open source tool that installs a virtual printer which produces a PDF file when printing to it.
  • Ghostscript and the GSview front end. These tools can be used to  create a PDF file from a PostScript (ps) file. A PostScript printer driver is needed to produce the PostScript driver. You can either install a driver for a PostScript printer from the list available in your operating system or download a generic PostScript driver for free from the Adobe site.

Word template files

The ifacconf_office package includes:
  • The ifaconf.doc file, which can be used as a template for IFAC paper files.
  • The ifaconf_sample_office PDF file.


Creating PDF paper files from Word

There are several ways to produce a PDF file from a Word document, depending of which tools you use. Please notice that the IFAC PDF requirements must be fulfilled in order to guarantee that the file can be viewed and printed everywhere. You can check the properties of your PDF file using the File → Properties window in Adobe Reader®.

Using native Word facilities

If you have Word 2007 with an appropriate add-in, you can save your file as PDF in the "File" menu. Be sure to use the appropriate PDF settings, especially embedding and subsetting all fonts.

Using Word for Mac

If you are using Word in Mac OS, print your file to any printer and choose "Save as PDF" in the PDF menu that appears in the expanded print window.

Using Adobe Acrobat

You can use Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF file directly from your Word document. See the Acrobat documentation for guidelines for your particular version of Word and Acrobat.

Be sure that you use the appropriate settings so that your PDF file complies with the IFAC PDF requirements. Use the Adobe PDF → Change PDF settings → Advanced settings window in order to adjust the settings if necessary.

Using a PostScript driver to create a PostScript file

If you have a PostScript printer driver, you can use it to produce a PostScript (ps) file from your Word  document. Print the document to the associate printer, selecting "print to file" in the print dialogue window.  You can use a choice of tools to convert ps files to PDF. The most common ones are Ghostscript/GSview and Acrobat Distiller.

Using GSView to convert a PostScript file to PDF

Ghostscript is a PostScript interpreter that can be used to convert a ps file to PDF. It can be used from a command line window, but is better to use the GSview graphical front end. Be sure to select the PDF appropriate conversion settings in order to comply with the IFAC PDF requirements.

Using Acrobat Distiller to convert a PostScript file to PDF

You can use the Distiller® tool that comes with Adobe Acrobat to produce a PDF file. Again, make sure that you adjust the PDF settings so as to comply with the IFAC PDF requirements.