Share This Page o

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 LaTeX and Microsoft Word versions of the template will be discussed, as well as pointers to useful resources, and a list of "dos and don'ts" for preparing documentation.

New! A preflight checklist can help you better prepare your final content for publication.

The ACM Article Template

ACM released their current "consolidated" article template in early 2017 at http://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template, 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.

LaTeX and Microsoft Word versions of the template are available:

Documentation provided by the vendors is also available from ACM:

The vendor has also provided "walk-through" video documentation of the Word document creation process.


ACM has also partnered with Overleaf to offer a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" LaTeX document creation experience, available at https://www.overleaf.com/gallery/tagged/acm-official#.WOuOk2e1taQ.

The use of LaTeX is strongly recommended for article preparation. It is far easier to prepare an acceptable document with LaTeX.

Each formatted article, regardless of length and how it was prepared, must have, at a minimum, these elements:

  • title
  • author(s) and affiliation(s)
  • user-defined keywords
  • CCS concepts (from http://dl.acm.org/ccs/ccs.cfm)
  • 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)

If your formatted article is missing any of these elements, it is not complete and is not ready for publication. The sample documents (see below) have all of these elements, and can serve as visual examples of well-formatted articles.

Preparing Documentation for SIGGRAPH-sponsored Events

The ACM article template can be used to prepare documentation for the majority of programs at conferences sponsored by SIGGRAPH. This section will explain the different variations on the basic article, and which programs' documentation is not prepared with this template.

The vast majority of authors will use the "sigconf" article type to prepare their final documentation:

  • LaTeX: \documentclass[sigconf]{acmart}
  • Word: selecting the "sigconf" article type from the "ACM Templates" menu

If you are preparing a short or long paper for a conference, workshop, or symposium, or a two-page abstract, you will use this article type. Programs that fall into this category include, and are not limited to:

  • "Technical Briefs" at the SIGGRAPH Asia conference.
  • Documentation of your work accepted to the Emerging Technologies program at the SIGGRAPH conference.
  • Poster abstracts at a sponsored event.
  • A short or full-length paper accepted to the Web3D conference.

Authors who have had a technical paper accepted to the SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia annual conferences will use the "acmtog" article type to prepare their final documentation:

  • LaTeX: \documentclass[acmtog]{acmart}
  • Word: selecting the "acmtog" article type from the "ACM Templates" menu because those articles are published in an issue of the ACM Transactions on Graphics journal.

Documentation of work accepted to the following annual conference programs do not necessarily use this template:

  • Courses
  • Art Gallery and Art Papers
  • Computer Animation Festival

Course notes can be prepared as the organizers see fit, including Powerpoint presentations, with the requirement that the organizer include the appropriate rights text (see below) on the first page of the notes. Art Gallery, Art Papers, and Computer Animation Festival documentation is professionally formatted.

Using LaTeX to Prepare An Article

The ACM article template - "acmart" - can be used for all phases of submission, from the initial version submitted for review, to the final version intended for publication, and the author-held version for personal distribution.

The article template can be installed on your computer in two different ways:

  • If you are using one of the better-known TeX systems - MikTeX, MacTeX, or TeX Live 2016 - you can install the "acmart" style and its prerequisites through the system's own package installation and update functions.
  • If you are maintaining your own LaTeX package installation, you will need to download the "acmart-master.zip" file (see above), unpack it, and then generate the "acmart.cls" file with this command: "latex acmart.ins." You will also need to install the dependent packages listed in the user guide.

Once installed, the article template is used in your document through the \documentclass command:
\documentclass[ options ]{acmart}
The "options" section is filled with one or more keywords that invoke (or suppress) various features of the template:

  • "sigconf" is used to format an abstract or conference paper
  • "acmtog" is used to format an ACM TOG article
  • "review=true" (or just "review") prepares a "review-ready" version of the article
  • "authorversion" prepares a version of the article for personal distribution - a "preprint"

Table 1 in the TeX User Guide - http://www.acm.org/binaries/content/assets/publications/consolidated-tex-template/acmart.pdf - provides a complete list of the options.

Using Microsoft Word to Prepare an Article

Preparing an abstract or article with Microsoft Word and the appropriate ACM article template - Windows, Mac 2011 or Mac 2016 - involves the identification of each of the elements of your document, cross-linking references, and then selecting a particular template style - "sigconf" or "acmtog" - and letting the template format your document.

The user guides provide additional information and examples:

Authors and Affiliations

Authors and their affiliations are to be carefully defined in the article, regardless of the system used to prepare your article. Each author and their affiliation must be declared separately, so that the article’s metadata accurately describes the authorship of the article.


LaTeX users must use a separate \author{} command for each of the authors in the article:

\author{John DeJohnette}
\department{Department of Computer Science and Engineering}
\institution{University of Minnesota}}

\author{Revinu J. Drofnats}
\institution{Stanford University}}

Please do not put multiple authors in a single \author{} command - \author{David Smith, Joan Kraft, Bill Turner} - and do not abbreviate authors’ first names - \author{D. Smith} - both first and surnames need to be complete and not abbreviated.

Adjusting the number of authors per row in the formatted article can be done with this command (which resides in the preamble of the document, before \begin{document}):
The default of ’N’ is 2, but other values can be used in an effort to more efficiently typeset multiple authors.

Section 2.3 of the TeX User Guide - http://www.acm.org/binaries/content/assets/publications/consolidated-tex-template/acmart.pdf - provides additional information regarding the proper formatting of authors and their affiliations.

The \renewcommand{\shortauthors} command is used to define the author identification string used in running heads:

  • The basic syntax: \renewcommand{\shortauthors}{author list}
  • An article with one or several co-authors can list each author: \renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Smith, Jones, and Drofnats}
  • An article with many co-authors may need some abbreviation: \renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Smith, et al.}


Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word users should put all of the information about a single author on its own line of the source document, and follow the instructions in the appropriate user guide for tagging each of the elements of each author line:

John Dejohnette, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, johnd@umn.edu
Revinu J. Drofnats, Stanford University, rjd@stanford.edu

Figures and Tables

Figures and tables should be numbered, and can be referred to from within the article.

Captions appear above the table, and below the figure.

The "teaserfigure" environment in LaTeX can be used to place a column-spanning figure between the authors / affiliations and the body of the document.

Sections, Subsections, and Lists

Please use the standard sectioning and list environments to organize the various sections of your document.

Please do not use the "bold paragraph hack" to simulate a new section of your article - that is, starting a new paragraph with a word or words that have a bold type style applied to them. The underlying metadata of your document will not accurately depict this as a new section, only as another paragraph.


Use \section{}, \subsection{}, \subsubsection{}, and \paragraph{} for sectioning.
Use the \enumerate and \itemize environments for lists.


Use the "Heading 1" through "Heading 4" tags for sectioning.
Use the "List Paragraph" tag for lists.

Citations and References

Articles prepared for SIGGRAPH-sponsored events must use the "author year" citation and reference style. This style is supported by, but is not the default style in the ACM article template. (The default style is numbered citations and references.)


These two commands, in the preamble section of your source document, will invoke the proper citation and reference style when the document is formatted:

Additionally, this command should be place just before the \bibliography command: \bibliographystyle{ACM-Reference-Format} Authors and editors in references should be listed with their full names, not abbreviations.

Microsoft Word

Please follow the guidance and examples found in this document - http://www.acm.org/publications/authors/reference-formatting - when preparing your references in Microsoft Word.

The appropriate user guide contains information on identifying and tagging each of your references, and each of the distinct elements within each reference.

The template-generated label for each reference must be used as the citation - "[Jones et al., 1998]" - in your document, so that cross-linking of citations and references is successful.

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.

Articles (LaTeX, using "sigconf")

Articles (LaTeX, using "acmtog")

Course Notes

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 - http://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template - 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 and Third-Party Material

If your content is accepted for presentation and publication, you'll be asked to complete the ACM rights management form. Learn more about ACM's rights management policy at http://author.acm.org.

Third-Party Material

Using someone else's material in your content? Make sure you have permission to use it, and clearly identify it in your content and on your rights management form. ACM's policy on third-party material can be found at http://www.acm.org/publications/third-party-material.

"Fair use" is an option in some cases, and ACM has prepared a useful document on this subject at http://www.acm.org/publications/authors/guidance-for-authors-on-fair-use.

The process of acquiring permissions to use material, even from your own employer, may be time-consuming. Please work on this part of your submission early in the process; don't wait until your content has been accepted.

Useful Tips and Warnings

A number of useful, small items are collected here, and may prove useful in the preparation of your document.

  • (LaTeX) Please don’t use \usepackage{parskip} as it alters the default paragraph formatting.
  • (LaTeX) Please don’t use negative \vspace{} commands anywhere in your document.
  • (LaTeX) Please don't use \usepackage{lmodern} or \usepackage{times}.
  • (LaTeX) Please don’t suppress the “ACM Reference block” text with a \settopmatter{} command.
  • (Word) If you’ve used the PDF/A method of embedding typefaces in your PDF, please disable PDF/A mode before delivering your final document.
  • (LaTeX) If you are using Overleaf and have issues with unembedded typefaces, please read this document: https://www.overleaf.com/help/235-my-submission-was-rejected-by-the-journal-because-font-xyz-is-not-embedded-what-can-i-do.
  • Please make sure you’ve installed the requisite typefaces.
  • 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.

Preflight Checklist

Please look at your formatted PDF document before final submission, and make sure you've done all of these steps.


  • Did you use the ACM article template and the "sigconf" template style (or "acmtog" if you're preparing an article for publication in an issue of TOG)?
  • Are you using the correct typefaces? "Linux Biolinum" and "Linux Libertine" are two of them. "Times Roman" and "Helvetica" are not.
  • Did you include CCS concepts?
  • Did you include a set of user-defined keywords?
  • Is the "ACM Reference format" text present?
  • Did you define each author separately?
  • Did you include the rights information from the completed form?
  • Did you use the "author year" citation and reference style, rather than numbered citations and references?
  • Did you use appropriate sectioning commands - section, subsection, and subsubsection - rather than highlighting words at the start of a paragraph?

If you didn't, or think you can't do any of these things, please ask for help. Your article or abstract isn't ready for publication without answering "Yes" to all of these.

Need 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.