Dan M. Berry's Smart Tips to avoid wasting space

Dear Authors,

 

I know, from having been an author myself, that many of you would like to have more pages to be able to take the reviewers’ comments into account. We cannot grant any additional pages and understand that there is only so much you can do to take reviewers’ comments into account.

 

PLEASE do not be tempted to adjust the parameters of the template, e.g., llncs.sty, to be able to pack more text into the same number of pages, e.g., by slightly increasing the line length or the number of lines per page, or by slightly reducing the text size. It will not work! While each author sends in his or her complete paper folder, Springer REPLACES the folder’s style files with its STANDARD style files and the paper gets typeset with the standard parameter settings, causing any compressed paper to expand to its full length. Springer would then approach the PC chairs about how to truncate the paper.

 

All is not lost however. In my previous life as a researcher in electronic publishing (See Berry, D.M., “Text Formatting,” Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Second Edition, Elsevier: Oxford UK, Article 0984, 2006), I learned all sorts of ways to squeeze more text into any number of pages WITHOUT touching the basic definitions of the page. Here are as many as I could think of. If you know of others, please send them to me and I will both send them to the other authors and add them to this list for the future.

 

I have noticed how wasteful of space LaTeX and MS Word are. It’s really annoying that in each of these formatters, your attempts to avoid wasting space are ignored.

 

Use the more compact Times family instead of Computer Modern type family. To do this in LaTeX, you say usepackage{times}.

 

Put several figures and tables together as one float to minimize the white space wasted around figures and tables. You can even build up a full page of tables and figures in another application with better control over placement, e.g., PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, etc. Then save the page as a PDF document and then include it so that it ends up as a full-page figure in your paper. Just make sure that the page has the same dimensions as the LNCS page or that it can be scaled to the correct dimensions without loss of resolution.

 

Carefully design your figures to minimize area, e.g

- by using sideways figures (with usepackage{rotating} and then the {sidewaysfigure} environment in LaTeX),

- by doing them in another application, e.g., PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator, in which more compact figures can be made and saving them as PDF figures that can be included as figures in your paper, or

- by reducing figures to the smallest still legible sizes. It helps to use fully scalable vector graphic figures, e. g., with PostScript drawing commands, and avoid using bitmaps, which do not scale well.

- by combining several figures into a single float to pack several figures into a single rectangular region with more tightly controlled spaces between them that don’t get stretched in the floating.

 

Carefully design your tables to minimize area, e.g.

- by using sideways tables (with usepackage{rotating} and then the {sidewaystable} and environment in LaTeX) or

- by doing them in another formatter, e.g., troff or Word, in which more compact tables can be made and saving them as PDF figures that can be included as figures in your paper.

- by combining several tables into a single float to pack several tables into a single rectangular region with more tightly controlled spaces between them that don’t get stretched in the floating.

 

While you may not reduce the text size of the mainline text, you may reduce the text size in figures and tables from 10 to 9 or 8. It will then help to use Helvetica, or even Helvetica Narrow, in these figures and tables because Helvetica letters are a full point taller than Times letters at the same nominal text size.

 

Eliminate subsection and subsubsection headers.


Move stuff to appendices so that it can be typeset smaller than mainline text. It will then help to use Helvetica, or even Helvetica Narrow, in this appendix because Helvetica letters are a full point taller than Times letters at the same nominal text size.


Use abbreviations aggressively in the bibliography.. e.g., CACM instead of Communications of the ACM.


Use more acronyms, but be careful of acronymitis.


Move formulae from display to inline format.


Turn on hyphenation if you do not already have it on. Note that TeX will not find hyphenation points inside the words of words that the author has already put hyphens. For example, TeX fails to break “input-output” at anywhere but after “input-”. If you see wasted space there, you should tell TeX that it can hyphenate also before each “p” by saying “in-put-out-put”. You should insert “-” at each possible hyphenation point in any hyphenated word. This might also be the situation in MS Word, but I don’t know how to indicate other hyphenation points.

/Dan