Word Guidelines

Submissions to the AAS Journals can be made either in LaTeX using the AASTeX package, or in Microsoft Word. We recommend the use of LaTeX, since LaTeX as extended by the AASTeX macros contains many features for handling complicated mathematics and tables, and for laying out figures in the correct way. If you wish to submit a manuscript in Microsoft Word format, we ask you to read the following guidelines carefully.

You should not attempt to make your Word submission look like a typeset paper – rather, follow the layout guidelines below. When your manuscript is accepted, the final typesetting will be done by IOP Publishing; during the peer-review process there is no need to mimic the appearance of published papers.


Please submit the text of your manuscript as a single Word file, including all tables and figure captions, but excluding the figures themselves. Either .doc or .docx file types are accepted.

Figures should be supplied as separate EPS or PDF files with appropriate names. See the separate Graphics Guidelines for more information.


The Word file should not contain document links to other files. Please send us only the latest version of your submission (so if you are submitting a revised version, do not send us the original version again),and if you have used the 'Track Changes' feature, ensure that all changes have been accepted.

The text should be in 12-point type, in one of the common fonts such as Times, Helvetica or Courier, and should be double-spaced. For emphasis in paragraphs use underlining or italics (but not both). Start a new paragraph by using a return character; do not use a return character merely to shorten a line.

It is permissible to use footnotes (not endnotes) where appropriate; these should be implemented using Word's footnote feature. Do not implement authors' affiliations as footnotes to the authors' names: this would place the affiliations at the bottom of the page.

Do not use Word's automatic numbering features to number lists, etc. Any numbers in such contexts should actually be typed by the author.


Superscripts and subscripts in paragraphs should be obtained by using Word's dedicated commands – choose Format -> Font and check either Superscript or Subscript. Do not use the 'Character Spacing' tab in the Format -> Font menu to create superscripts or subscripts.

In paragraphs, avoid using Word's 'Insert -> Symbol' function, as this often generates characters which drop out when the document is converted to PDF. Instead, for example, to type Greek characters, type the corresponding Latin character (e.g., 'a' for α) and manually change the font to Symbol by using Format -> Font and selecting 'Symbol'.

Word's Equation Editor should be used for any mathematics other than very simple inline maths. If you have it installed, you can use MathType, a fuller-featured version of Equation Editor sold by Design Science, Inc., to create such mathematics.


Tables should be properly formatted using Word's features for creating tables; do not fake the appearance of a table by using space or tab characters to position table entries horizontally and return characters to start a new line. Each row of data should be in a separate row of table cells, and you should let Word put page breaks in tables where it thinks best – do not break a large table into several smaller tables so as to spread it across several pages. Similarly, let Word break lines where it wants to. Empty cells are acceptable where appropriate, as are cells that span multiple columns or rows.

Table entries should be in a Roman font