Writing IFAC papers using LaTeX

Advice for preparing papers for IFAC scientific events using LaTeX


You should have installed an appropriate distribution of LaTeX on your computer before start using the IFAC LateX tools. Some examples are:

Make sure that your installation uses Type 1 fonts. Earlier versions of LaTeX used Type 3 (bitmapped) fonts. These fonts are not scalable and may render improperly on the screen or print.

If you do not intend to use pdflatex (included in all the above distributions, see below) you will also need one of the following tools:

LaTex style and templates

The ifacconf_latex package includes:

  • The ifacconf.cls class style file for papers
  • The ifacconf.tex sample paper file
  • Some auxiliary files


Creating PDF paper files with LateX

The best option is to use pdflatex. You can  also use bibtex to generate the bibliography. Both PDFTeX (pdflatex) and BibTeX are included in most modern LaTEX distributions.

Your are strongly advised to check that your PDF file complies with the IFAC PDF requirements. The easiest way to do it is to use the File-Properties window in Adobe Reader®.

The IFAC PDF requirements guarantee that the paper can be viewed and printed in a variety of PDF tools. Files created with recent PDFTeX versions are most likely to be compliant with these requirements.

Alternative procedures for generating compliant PDF files

If you cannot or for some reason do not want tu use pdflatex, you can use latex to generate a dvi file, and then produce a PostScript (.ps) file with dvips. The PostScript file can be converted to PDF using either ghostscript or Adobe Acrobat®.

Using dvips

In order to get the right page size and other important characteristics use the following options:

dvips -Ppdf -G0 -ta4 paper 

where paper is the name of your paper file (paper.tex, paper.dvi). You will get a file called paper.ps.

Using ghostscript

You can invoke ghostscript from the command line as follows:

ps2pdf -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dMAxSubsetPct=100 -dSubsetFonts=true -dEmbedAllFonts=true
    -sPAPERSIZE=a4 paper.ps

Another option is to use a graphic front end such as GSView or Ghostview. In that case you must set the PDF properties to the values shown in the above line.  

Using Adobe Acrobat

You can use the Distiller® tool that comes with Adobe Acrobat® to produce a PDF file. Make sure that you adjust the PDF settings as follows:

  • Page size : A4 (210 mm x 297 mm)
  • Compatibility: PDF 1.4
  • Resolution: 600 dpi
  • Fonts: embed all fonts / subset embedded fonts when percent of characters used is less than 100%
  • Mark all fonts as "always embed"