TAPS: Preparing Your Article with LaTeX


The ACM article template allows authors to use LaTeX or Microsoft Word to prepare high-quality articles for publication in the ACM Digital Library. This document provides authors with instructions on how to use the article template to prepare their work and submit it to TAPS, the ACM article production system.

The introduction of the ACM article template in 2017 was an important building block for the future of the ACM Digital Library, as it made more consistent the underlying metadata that is a part of an author's source material - the LaTeX commands and Word styles an author uses in the preparation of their article defines the various parts of their article: the title, the authors, the section headings, and so on.

An important concept for authors to understand is the separation of content and style. The input format - whether Word or LaTeX - is intentionally simple in appearance, making creation and editing simpler, as well as reviewing. Authors provide metadata - through LaTeX commands - \title{}, \section{} and so on - and associating styles with content in a Word document - "this is a paragraph, this is a subtitle," and so on. TAPS takes Word or LaTeX documents as input, and produces well-formatted, high-quality PDF and HTML5 documents for publication. More information on TAPS can be found in this document: TAPS: The ACM Production System.

The article creation process can be summed up in a few steps.

  1. Prepare your source material using Word or LaTeX, starting with the Word submission template or a LaTeX document that uses the "acmart" document class. The submission version is one column, with minimal styling of content.
  2. Submit your article for review to a conference or journal.
  3. If your article is accepted for publication, you will be asked to complete the ACM rights form, then prepare a final version of your article and submit the source to TAPS for processing.
  4. Review the PDF and HTML versions of your article generated by TAPS, correct errors necessary and, once the proceedings production editor has reviewed the material and deemed it acceptable for publication, approve your article in TAPS.

Communication between the author and ACM regarding your rights form is done via e-mail; please make that e-mail from "rightsreview@acm.org" goes to your inbox, so that you don't miss any communication from ACM.

This document explains how to use LaTeX to prepare your ACM article for submission, and for publication. If you are using Microsoft Word to prepare your ACM article, you should review this document instead. The same topics are covered, and the emphasis there is on using Microsoft Word to accomplish the task.

Back to Top


Authors who use LaTeX to prepare their articles can obtain the "acmart" class files in several ways: the files are available from this link, or they can be added to a new or existing TeX installation - MikTeX, TeX Live, etc. - by installing the "acmart" LaTeX class and its dependencies.

TeX Live users can be sure they have all of the requisite packages by doing a "full" installation, by installing the "texlive-full" package set.

An alternative to a locally-installed LaTeX application is Overleaf, an online and interactive LaTeX application that runs in your Web browser. Overleaf allows authors to share their work and collaborate on their documents. Authors who wish to use Overleaf to prepare their articles can start from the template available at this link.

The TeX User Guide, prepared by the maintainer of the "acmart" LaTeX class and available from this link, is essential reading for authors using LaTeX to prepare their article. It includes detailed documentation of the commands available to authors.

Back to Top

LaTeX Packages

ACM maintains a list of approved LaTeX packages that can be used in the preparation of your article. These packages have been approved for use by the Aptara development team with respect to the successful conversion of your LaTeX source to PDF and HTML5.

The list is available from this link. If there is a specific package you would like to see added to this list, please reach out to Aptara by e-mail at acmtexsupport@aptaracorp.com and request the package(s) to be considered.

If your article is prepared with a LaTeX package that is not on this list, it will be returned for correction.

Packages in this accepted list should not be explicitly added by the author in their LaTeX source.

Back to Top


Your article should be prepared in a one-column format. You must add the "manuscript" parameter to the \documentclass command:

when you prepare your article for submission to a conference or journal for review. Additionally, please include this command in the preamble of your document:
so that no rights information is generated.

If and when your article is accepted for publication, you must remove the "manuscript" parameter prior to delivering the source of your article to TAPS. TAPS will convert the LaTeX source into the familiar two-column article format - a PDF document - as well as a responsive HTML5 version. Both will be made available in the ACM Digital Library.

Back to Top


There are a number of differences between the version of your article submitted for review and the version submitted to TAPS for publication.

As mentioned just above, you must remove the "manuscript" parameter from the \documentclass command, in order for TAPS to generate your article in the template style for the specific ACM publication.

After acceptance, you will be directed to complete the ACM Rights Form for the publication and presentation of this content, and will need to add a set of LaTeX commands to your article's source, replacing \setcopyright{none}. These commands will be used to create the rights text and the "ACM Reference Format" text in your final article.

All figures must have \Description{} commands, defining the "alt-text" used by screen readers.

Back to Top


The majority of ACM conferences use the "sigconf" template style:

Only SIGPLAN has a specific variant on the "sigconf" template style; they use "sigplan" in place of "sigconf."

ACM journals use one of three template styles. The majority of ACM journals use the "acmsmall" template style. DGOV, DTRAP, HEALTH, IMWUT, JOCCH and TAP use "acmlarge," and TOG uses the "acmtog" template style.

PACM titles use either the "acmlarge" or "acmsmall" template styles - reach out to the Editor(s)-in-Chief of the specific PACM title for more information.

Back to Top


Please do not modify the "acmart" template or attempt to override its definitions. Changing the column and page margins, changing line spacing, and the like are not permitted. If accepted for publication, your article's source will be delivered to TAPS and the PDF and HTML versions of your final article will be prepared with an unmodified version of the article template.

Back to Top


Sponsored events and journal publications often use page counts to segregate articles into several classes - "long papers," "short papers," "abstracts" and the like. The "manuscript" input format of LaTeX documents may make it difficult to determine a correspondence between "word count" and the "page count" of a well-formatted PDF document.

The following table illustrates - in general terms - a correspondence between word count and page count. The sample documents contained no figures, tables, or other elements typically found in an article, and this was exclusive of references or appendices.

Word CountPage Count (approximate)
1,300 words2 pages of formatted, two-column output.
2,000 words3 pages of formatted, two-column output.
3,100 words4 pages of formatted, two-column output.
4,000 words5 pages of formatted, two-column output.
7,000 words8 pages of formatted, two-column output.
8,000 words9 pages of formatted, two-column output.
10,000 words11 pages of formatted, two-column output.

Back to Top


When preparing the author list for an article, please keep the following in mind:

  • Authors' full names - "Donald E. Knuth" - should be used, without abbreviation - "D. E. Knuth." (This is true of references as well; authors' full names are easier to clearly identify for citation linking.)
  • The following fields are required for each author: \email, \orcid, \institution, \city, and \country.
  • Authors who use LaTeX must not put multiple authors OR e-mail addresses in a single command. \author{Donald E. Knuth, Leslie Lamport}, for example, is not allowed, nor is \email{dave,linda,donny@network.net} or \email{firstname.lastname@network.net}. The TeX User Guide provides guidelines for grouping authors by a common affiliation, and for setting the number of columns of authors and affiliations.

The "shortauthors" command is a shortened version of the author list, and is used in the page headers. Please add this command - one of these variants, with your authors' names - after the last \author{} definition:

\renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Richard Thompson}
\renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Simon and Garfunkel}
\renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Lennon, McCartney, et al.}
\renewcommand{\shortauthors}{Medeski, et al.}

If you wish to attach a note to one or more authors' names - denoting equal contribution, for example - please use the \authornote{} command as shown in the TeX User Guide.

Back to Top


The \title{} and \subtitle{} commands are to be used to define the title (and a subtitle, if necessary) for your article. Please do not put linebreaks - "\\" - in the title or subtitle field.

If your title is lengthy, you will want to define a shorter version of it for use in the page headers:

\title[short version]{full title}

If the TAPS-generated PDF contains overlapping text in the page headers, a shorter version of the title AND/OR a modification of the \shortauthors{} command may be necessary.

Back to Top


Journal and PACM articles prepare the author and affiliation information in a different manner than do conference proceedings articles, with the authors' address information in a separate text block. This is a required element, and must not be suppressed.

Back to Top


The "ACM Reference Format" text block will be added by TAPS when your article's source is processed. This is a required element, and must not be suppressed.

Back to Top


The default citation and reference format for ACM publications is the "numbered" format. Articles presented at conferences sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH and ACM SIGPLAN use the "author year" format.

Authors who use LaTeX must add \citestyle{acmauthoryear} before \begin{document} to use the "author year" format. The absence of that \citestyle{acmauthoryear} command will result in the "numbered" format being used.

Please use BibTeX to prepare your references, and as with the authors of your article, please use authors' full names in the references.

The use of \bibitem (embedding the references in the LaTeX source file) is not permitted.

Many conferences and journals place no page limits on the references in articles, and to that end, please do not minimize the number of fields used to identify a reference in order to save space. A robust reference is essential for the reader.

The bibliography style and BibTeX file are identified with these two commands, placed after the last section or the Acknowledgments, and before any appendices:


Back to Top


ACM's Computing Classification System (CCS) is a taxonomy for the computing field. Authors are expected to select one or more descriptors (or "concepts") from the CCS and add them to your document.

A list of CCS descriptors can be built for your article from https://dl.acm.org/ccs/ccs.cfm. Authors can select one or more descriptors and assign a priority to them.

When a list of CCS descriptors has been built, that information must be added to your document. Select "view CCS TeX Code," copy the commands, and paste into your LaTeX source document.

Here is a simple example of a single selection from the CCS. All of this would be copied and pasted into your article's LaTeX source:

<concept_desc>Computer systems organization~Real-time operating systems</concept_desc>

\ccsdesc[500]{Computer systems organization~Real-time operating systems}

Users may augment the ACM taxonomy with user-defined keywords. the \keywords{} command accepts a list of comma-separated words as parameters:

\keywords{ray tracing,global illumination,GPU,real-time graphics}

CCS concepts and keywords are required for all articles that are three pages in length or greater, and optional for one- and two-page articles.

Back to Top


A column-spanning figure centered underneath the author and affiliation information and before the body of the article is called a "teaser" figure, and can be added to your LaTeX source immediately before the \maketitle command:

\caption{figure caption}
\Description{figure description}

The \caption{} command defines the figure's caption. The \Description{} command defines a description - one or two sentences - used by screen readers to make the document more accessible.

Back to Top


Your article should begin with a short - one or two paragraphs - abstract, providing an overview of the work to be presented. The abstract environment is used to define the abstract.

Back to Top


There are four different sectioning levels available to authors: \section{}, \subsection{}, \subsubsection{}, and \paragraph{} (in hierarchy order).

Please use these "as is," - do not add styling to the parameters to these commands - and do not remove the numbering - \section*{} - from the command. Additionally, do not create your own "faux" sectioning by making the first word(s) of a paragraph bold, or in other ways. (This includes the use of \textbf{} and \textit{} in this context.) The built-in sectioning commands provide consistent format and style information, and add metadata to the document that is not present in other commands that authors may wish to use to simulate sectioning.

Back to Top


The first paragraph of a section will not be indented, and subsequent paragraphs are indented. This is built into the "acmart" template.

The proper way to separate paragraphs is with a single blank line. The use of "\\" to force vertical spacing between "paragraphs" is not allowed. Similarly, the "parskip" package is not approved for use.

Back to Top


Equations can be presented in three separate styles: inline, numbered, and non-numbered.

  • Inline equations are part of the text of the article, and are enclosed with the \begin{math} ... \end{math} environment, often abbreviated with "$" characters before and after the math symbols.
  • Numbered equations are enclosed with the \begin{equation} ... \end{equation} environment.
  • Un-numbered equations are enclosed with the \begin{displaymath} ... \end{displaymath} environment.

Back to Top


There are a number of LaTeX packages which can be used to typeset your algorithms. Several of them - algorithm, algorithmic, algorithm2e, and listings - are on the list of approved packages, and you are welcome to include one of them and use its commands in your article.

Back to Top


Figures and tables which are intended to span multiple columns should be created with the starred versions of the "figure" and "table" environments:

\begin{figure*} ... \end{figure*}
\begin{table*} ... \end{table*}

Figures and tables should include \Description{} commands, one or two sentences which describe the figure or table for screen reader applications.

Back to Top


LaTeX provides several list environments which can be used in your article: the "itemize" environment for a bulleted list, the "enumerate" environment for a numbered list, and the "description" environment for a descriptive list. Please keep modifications of the various list environments to a minimum.

Back to Top


Acknowledgments are placed before the references, and should include any required or desired mention of support, sponsorship, or funding.

You must use the "acks" environment for this section: \begin{acks} ... \end{acks} and not a numbered or unnumbered \section{} command.

Back to Top


Appendices follow the references, and are started with the \appendix command. The same sectioning commands are to be used in the appendices as in the body of your article, and section numbering begins with a letter in the appendices.

Back to Top