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Instructions for preparing CERN Reports

Documents marked up in LaTeX are preferred. However, if using LaTeX is impractical in your case, we also accept Microsoft Word.

Instructions, templates/class files and example contributions for CERN Reports (also called Yellow Reports) are thus available in two formats: LaTeX and Microsoft Word.


Contributors should use the class file cernyrep.cls for preparing their contribution. This class file, together with a few support packages, is available in a zip file which, together with the instructions and an example, can be downloaded here:

  • set of LaTeX class files and packages: cernrep.zip (to be installed in your working directory or in your local TeX tree);
  • instructions: LaTeX source file (cernrep.tex), typeset result (PDF);
  • example report (default one-column mode): LaTeX source file (cernrepexa.tex), typeset result (PDF).


  1. The example contains Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) figures. Therefore, to allow you to run them as-such, these EPS files are included at the beginning of the example files inside filecontents environments (a standard way of distributing LaTeX sources and a few EPS files). You can find the actual LaTeX code of the examples (for you to re-use) at the end of the files after the last filecontents environment.
  2. On the Linux lxplus systems at CERN, we advise you to run with the latest version of LaTeX (see LaTeX at CERN), to which you get access by adding the directory
    at the beginning of your PATH variable (do not append it at the end since that will most probably make you use the older default version that comes with the operating system). In this configuration you will load the CERN-specific class files automatically.
  3. The LaTeX at CERN page also has some information about the use of LaTeX.

Microsoft Word

You can use the example or instructions file as a template for preparing your contribution. It  should be readable on all platforms. You should use Microsoft Word 2001 or later with the following files and for preparing your contribution.

  • instructions: Word template source file (cernrep.dot), typeset result (PDF);
  • example report: Word template source file (cernrepexa.dot), typeset result (PDF).
  • If you have to generate a PDF file from your doc source, e.g., for inclusion into a larger document such as a CERN Report, make sure that all fonts are embedded. On the MacIntosh saving as "PDF" seems to be sufficient. However, with Microsoft Word 2007 (or later) on Microsoft Windows you must apply the procedure outlined below:
    1. In the "Save As" pull-down menu, choose "Adobe PDF";
    2. In the "Save Adobe PDF File As" pop-up window, push the "Options..." button at the lower right;
    3. In the "Acrobat PDFMaker" pop-up window, check the "Create PDF/A-1a:2005 compliant file" tick box and hit the "OK" button at the bottom. This "archive" format should ensure that all fonts referenced in the Word source file are included (note that there is no guarantee that fonts referenced but not included in imported material, e.g. graphics images, will be part of the PDF, since these fonts might not be available on the system on which you work). 

Procedure for generating PDF files with fonts embedded

Guidelines for working with Word files

We have found the use of Word files in production to be problematic. To minimize possible problems, please observe the following guidelines.

1.       Do not embed graphics in the text. We require separate electronic figure files (EPS, TIFF, PNG, PDF, and JPEG) for all your graphics inclusions. A ‘place holder’ may indicate where the images should be inserted in the text.

2.       Use Word 2001 or later.

3.      Use MathType for both displayed (stand-alone) equations and mathematics run into the text, including individual mathematical symbols, Greek letters, and other special characters not found on the keyboard.

4.       Please, keep it simple. Do not change fonts or try to achieve a ‘typeset’ look. Use exclusively the styles implemented in the templates cernrep.dot or cernrepexa.dot (see above).

5.       Do the references "by hand", without using an external program. Citation of references shows how to present references. The entry Journal abbreviations list correct abbreviations for names of journals quoted in the references.

6.       Do not hide text or insert comments into the text.

7.       For tables, use the Word table editor. Do not create ‘by hand’ using tab stop or spaces.

 8.      Do not use Rich Text Format.

You can send us comments by email.

Feedback: MG
Last update: Monday, 14. November 2011 10:30
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