2012/06/27

Rant: Format This!

Submitting papers for publication is a painful process in many many many ways.  One of the most common modes of torture is having to reformat your manuscript from one set of guidelines to another.  Here I feature one shiny bit of ludicrousness that really makes me wonder where journal editors priorities are.

Math Equations and DOCX

If your manuscript is or will be in DOCX and contains equations, you must follow the instructions below to make sure that your equations are editable when the file enters production.
If you have not yet composed your article, you can ensure that the equations in your DOCX file remain editable in DOC by enabling “Compatibility Mode” before you begin. To do this, open a new document and save as Word 97-2003 (*.doc). Several features of Word 2007/10 will now be inactive, including the built-in equation editing tool. You can insert equations in one of the two ways listed below.
If you have already composed your article as DOCX and used its built-in equation editing tool, your equations will become images when the file is saved down to DOC. To resolve this problem, re-key your equations in one of the two following ways.
  1. Use MathType to create the equation. MathType is the recommended method for creating equations.
  2. Go to Insert > Object > Microsoft Equation 3.0 and create the equation.
If, when saving your final document, you see a message saying “Equations will be converted to images,” your equations are no longer editable and PLoS will not be able to accept your file.

Seriously folks.  It's 2012.  Let *.doc and Microsoft Equation 3.0 die already.  While your at it, let's figure out a universal formatting guideline to submit with.  All of science will thank you.