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2017 Paper Formatting Guidelines

All regular papers, short papers, and workshop papers must be submitted as PDF files. There are two natural ways to produce these files.

Microsoft Word and other word processors

There are a number of word processors that could be used to create papers, with Microsoft Word being the most obvious. A high-quality free alternative is Apache OpenOffice. If you plan to use a word processor, please start by downloading the .docx template file below, and looking at the PDF that we generated from it. If your word processor generates comparable PDF output, then it should be a fine tool for writing your Bridges paper.


LaTeX is a standard document preparation system that is available for free on all platforms. It has a steeper learning curve, but it is considered the standard for scholarly writing in STEM fields. It is particularly good at typesetting mathematical notation and working with vector graphics (e.g., mathematical diagrams). If you want to use LaTeX, please start with the template files below, and compare the output against the provided PDF.

If you plan to use some other system, the PDFs linked above can still be used as a guide—they describe correct formatting for Bridges. If you have any suggestions for the templates offered here, feel free to contact us.

Checklist for final submission

Here is a summary of our formatting requirements in checklist form. We ask that you use this list to double-check the formatting of the final version of your paper before you submit it, to avoid any problems.


  • File size is less than 10 Mb.
  • Paper size is US Letter: 8.5 inches × 11 inches
  • The number of pages is even, with no blank space on the last page


  • The font is Times New Roman
  • Title is bold, 16 pt font, centered, capitalized, one space down from the top margin.
  • Author information is 12 pt font centered.
  • Abstract is in a 9 pt font.
  • Section titles are bold 12 pt font, centered capitalized. With two spaces before and one space after.
  • Subsection titles are Bold 11 pt font. In line at the beginning of a paragraph, not indented.
  • The main text is 11 pt font.

Margins and Indentation

  • Margins are 1 inch on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Abstract margins are inset even more from the main margins.
  • The first paragraph of every section is not indented. Subsequent paragraphs are indented.
  • The abstract, the bibliography and all the paragraphs in the main text should be fully justified.
  • For multi-line bibliography entries, subsequent lines are indented to match the first line.


  • Every figure has a caption. It’s a bold Figure<space>Number<nospace>: followed by an italicized Caption<period>.  It looks like this:
    Figure 5: Description of figure here.
  • All figure captions are centered below the figure.
  • Multiline captions are centered, or have full justification with the first line of the caption.
  • All Figures are referred to in the text, and that Figures appear on the same page or before the first mention in the text. When referring to a figure in the paper, the word "Figure" should be capitalized and not abbreviated.


  • Abstracts shall not contain references to the bibliography (nor to any figures, or footnotes for that matter)
  • All bibliography entries are referred to within the text.