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Instructions for Authors


This document explains how to prepare documentation of the work presented at a SIGGRAPH-sponsored event. The majority of the documentation will use ACM’s article template, and so this document will focus on that template and its use.

The ACM Article Template

ACM released their current "consolidated" article template in early 2017, seeking to unify the many variations on older ACM templates in use by ACM and its special-interest groups, and to lay the groundwork for the future of electronic document delivery through the ACM Digital Library.

The template, user guides, and other documentation (including "how-to" videos for working with the Microsoft Word version of the template) are available from this ACM page. LaTeX users will find that this template - named "acmart" - and all of the other necessary packages can be found in any of the major TeX systems: TeX Live, or MikTeX, or MacTeX. Installation of one of these packages, or a complete update of installed packages, will install what is needed.

A SIGGRAPH-focused user guide has been prepared. It is essential reading, and an excellent companion to ACM's documentation.

Of special note is ACM's partnership with Overleaf to offer an online, collaborative, and interactive documentation preparation option. This option is available here.

Note: Based on author feedback, it is FAR simpler to prepare an acceptable document with LaTeX than with Microsoft Word, and the Overleaf option is well worth investigating, even if you don't know LaTeX at all.

Required Elements

Whether you are preparing a two-page abstract or a full-length technical paper, your documentation must have these required elements:

  • title
  • author(s) and affiliation(s)
  • user-defined keywords
  • CCS concepts
  • ACM Reference format text (generated by the template)
  • rights management text (generated by the template)
  • template-generated headers on the second and subsequent pages
  • template-generated footers (ACM TOG articles only)

The sample documents (see below) provide visual examples of these required elements.

If you are preparing a full-length paper for the SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia Technical Papers program, use the "acmtog" template style. If you are preparing a paper or abstract for any other SIGGRAPH-sponsored event, use the "sigconf" template style.

Preflight Checklist

Before you submit your final documentation, please look at your PDF with this checklist in mind. If you can't answer "Yes" to all of these questions, you need to make revisions to your document.

Sample Documents

The following articles have been prepared using the ACM article template and these instructions. They contain a wide variety of the elements found in a well-formatted document: figures, tables, equations, etc. The only difference between them is that the first example is prepared with the "sigconf" template style, and the second with the "acmtog" style. The appropriate template style keyword and several definitions in the preamble are the ONLY differences in the LaTeX source documents.

  • Article, using "sigconf": PDF, ZIP
  • Article, using "acmtog": PDF, ZIP (only for SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia Technical Papers program)
  • Course Notes, Sample #1: Patané
  • Course Notes, Sample #2: Bailey
  • Course Notes, Sample #3: McNamara

Please note that these older course notes samples do not have the now-required rights management text on the first page of the notes.

There are sample documents available on ACM’s page but keep in mind that (a) there are numerous other template styles in use across ACM, and (b) the majority of SIGs and journals specify the numbered citation and reference style, not the "author year" style used by SIGGRAPH.

Rights Management

You must complete an ACM rights form after your material is accepted for publication and before you deliver your final documentation of the work. The rights management text you include in your documentation comes from ACM, upon receipt of the completed form.

Third-party material

If you are using any material in your documentation OR in your presentation that you did not create, you need to identify it as third-party material, and provide documentation of the permission you received to use that work, or rationale for using it without permission. (A public-domain work, or a "fair use" claim are examples of re-use without permission.)

Authors have many questions about third-party material, and a collection of those questions and answers to them are available.

Useful Tips

Here are some useful tips for the successful preparation of your documentation.

  • The following packages should NOT be included in your LaTeX source: parskip, times, or lmodern. "parskip" redefines how a paragraph looks, and "times" and "lmodern" redefine the typefaces used in the document.
  • Please do not override the vertical spacing definitions in the article template with negative \vspace{} commands.
  • Please don’t suppress the "ACM Reference block" text with a \settopmatter{} command.
  • Preparing your SIGGRAPH paper for review? Make sure to add these three parameters to the \documentclass command: anonymous, timestamp, review - and also use the \acmSubmissionID{} command.
  • If you’ve used the PDF/A method of embedding typefaces in your PDF, please disable PDF/A mode before delivering your final document.
  • If you are using Overleaf and have issues with unembedded typefaces, please read this document.
  • Please make sure you’ve installed the requisite typefaces. (If you are using Microsoft Word, please install all of the typefaces that came with the Word template file.)
  • If you’re curious about capitalization, this article - http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/capital.asp - may help.
  • Looking for CC-licensed images? Try http://search.creativecommons.org/. Please to remember that "NC"-licensed images require specific permission from the owner of the image.
  • Your PDF will be examined once you’ve submitted the final version. If it needs to be edited to correct formatting errors, you will be notified of the issue(s) to be resolved and how to resolve them.
  • If you see an error about "pdfendlink ended up in different nesting level than pdfstartlink", it means that a citation is split across a page or column boundary, and you should look at this resource for resolution.
  • If you find that your LaTeX-prepared document has words that overflow into the gutter or page margin because either (a) LaTeX does not know where to insert a hyphen, or (b) the word is already hyphenated. You can define the hyphenation to be used for certain words with the \hyphenation command in the preamble - \hyphenation{he-lio-trope opos-sum}. LaTeX does not hyphenate words that include a hyphen, and so adding an explicit hyphen - finite-diff\-erence, or Ba\-den-Würt\-tem\-berg - may help.

Need More Help?

I’m happy to serve as the "first responder" for issues with preparing articles; feel free to reach out by e-mail to spencer@siggraph.org and I’ll do my best to help. I may recommend that your inquiry is more able to be resolved through other channels (see below), but I have a lot of experience with the process and the templates and am happy to help.

If you have questions about using the LaTeX or Word templates, please contact Aptara Technical Support by e-mail at acmtexsupport@aptaracorp.com.

Other issues, especially with the LaTeX version of the template, can be reported via this link: https://github.com/borisveytsman/acmart/issues.