ACM Word Authoring Templates AND Publication Workflow

  1. 2019 ACM Master Article Word Template

  2. The Workflow

  3. Expanding your Audience: How to Write Alt Text and Why

  4. Guide for Estimating the Formatted Page Count


2019 ACM Master Article Word Template

ACM has been taking steps to expand our accessibility initiative to our publications program. We are committed to providing accessibility for all and are in the process of retooling the production process to achieve our goal of having our publications portfolio available in flexible formats with accessible features.

Working with volunteers from both the SIG and journal communities, ACM has developed a new, easy to use Word authoring template and workflow which will allow authors to concentrate on their content rather than focus on print output formatting, and alleviate the time needed to prepare the text for submission.


The Workflow

STEP 1:  Write your paper using the [Submission Template.] Follow the embedded instructions to apply the paragraph styles to your various text elements. The text is in single-column format at this stage and no additional formatting is required at this point.

STEP 2:  Submit your paper for review.

STEP 3:  Upon acceptance, you will receive an email notification to download the [Enhanced Template.] Follow [these instructions] to attach the Enhanced Template to your accepted submission version and prepare your paper (still in single-column format) for validation.

STEP 4:  Submit your validated paper The ACM Publishing System (TAPS) by following [these instructions.] (You will also receive an email notification detailing how to submit your file to the publishing system.) TAPS will process your paper and auto-generate proofs of your article for your review.

The output formats (the traditional PDF proof and a new HTML version) provide enhanced accessibility, responsive formatting and reusable components (i.e., extractable math) within the HTML output.


Expanding your Audience: How to Write Alt Text and Why

ACM is committed to publishing in an accessible friendly format ( that permits all its readers to have the content presented to them in a thorough and useful way. To carry out this mandate (, ACM needs the assistance of its authors to help achieve this goal. Authors are strongly encouraged to provide “alt text” (alternate text) for floats (images, tables, etc.), in their content so that those with disabilities can be given descriptive information for these figures that are important to the work. This benefits the author as well as it broadens the reader base for the author’s work. The descriptive text will be displayed in place of an image if an image cannot be loaded, and the alt text provides in-depth float descriptions to search engine crawlers, which helps to properly index the images.

To provide access to floats, the author must create the alt text for these elements in their document. Every float should have alt text provided unless it is solely decorative.


How to write alt text (Adopted from:

  1. Do not duplicate float caption text as it detracts from the normal flow of your article and can, potentially, confuse the reader.
  2. Describe the float as specifically as possible. Alt text is, first and foremost, designed to provide text explanations of float images for users who are unable to see them.
  3. Keep it (relatively) short. The most popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters, so it's advisable to keep it to that character count or less.
  4. Use your keywords. Alt text provides you another opportunity to include your target keyword on a page, and thus another opportunity to signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to a particular search query. While your first priority should be describing and providing context to the image, if it makes sense to do so, include your keyword in the alt text of at least one float on the page.
  5. Avoid keyword stuffing. Focus on writing descriptive alt text that provides context to the float and if possible, includes your target keyword, and leave it at that.
  6. Don't include “image of,” “picture of,” etc. in your alt text. It’s already assumed your alt text is referring to a float , so there’s no need to specify it.
  7. Don’t forget longdesc= "". Explore using the longdesc="" tag for more complex images that require a longer description.

Additional Resources

Resources for how authors should describe their image to create the “alt text” for their float elements: 


Insert alt text in Word (Adopted from

In MS Word: Add your image to the Word document. Now, choose Format > Picture from the dropdown menu (or right click on the image and select “Format picture” from the menu). Click “Alt text”, one of the options on the side bar. You will want to add the full alt text in the Description field and a shorter title in the Title field. The title can help the reader decide whether or not they want to read the full description.

Please see our instructions within the Submission Template for version-specific instructions for Windows and MAC.


How to write alt text in TeX

 Neeraj: We need you to provide the text for this section


Guide for Estimating the Formatted Page Count

To estimate the formatted page count, please use the following as a guide:

Estimated Word Count

Number of Figures

Number of Tables

Estimated Formatted

Page Count

























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