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CRYPTO 2008

Guidelines for Preparing
Electronic Submissions

 

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Electronic submissions to CRYPTO 2008 must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). If at all possible, the submission should be in US letter paper size (rather than A4), and should use Type 1 fonts (rather than Type 3 fonts).

This web page gives a few instructions and tips on preparing your submission document. On many platforms, it is fairly easy to prepare a document in a wide variety of formats, and then convert it to PDF. Most authors will be using LaTeX to prepare their submissions. While this approach is not strictly required, it is strongly recommended; moreover, papers accepted to the conference must be prepared using LaTeX (different instructions for preparing final versions of accepted papers will be sent to authors of accepted papers). The remainder of this web page deals only with LaTeX (and in fact, only with LaTeX 2e, the "modern" version of LaTeX), and is geared towards Unix and Unix-like platforms.

Fonts: Type 1 vs. Type 3

Type 3 fonts are the culprits behind those ugly, fuzzy looking PDF files you sometimes see on the web (although they usually print OK). Type 1 fonts yield PDF files that display well on screen. Take a look:

Type 1 fonts Type 3 fonts

Some PDF viewers deal with Type 3 fonts better than others, but it is better to simply avoid them in the first place. Unfortunately, some traditional methods of producing PDF files using LaTeX often yield PDF files with Type 3 fonts. However, most relatively modern distributions of LaTeX make it easy to produce PDF (and PS) with Type 1 fonts: sometimes the system defaults may be set up to do this automatically, and sometimes not. The instructions below should guarantee that you get Type 1 fonts, regardless of the default configuration.

Paper Size: Letter vs. A4

A document with an A4 paper size tends to get cropped when printed on US letter printers, whereas a document with a US letter paper size does not tend to get cropped when printed on an A4 printer (although it will not look particularly beautiful, either). For this reason, the US letter is the preferred paper size for submissions. The instructions below should guarantee that you get US letter paper size, regardless of your system's default configuration.

Preparing the LaTeX File

To get 11 point fonts, reasonable margins, and US letter paper size, you should make the first two lines of your LaTeX file look like this:
   \documentclass[11pt]{article}
   \usepackage[letterpaper,hmargin=1in,vmargin=1.25in]{geometry}

You don't need to use any other commands to set the margins. If you want to adjust the margins on the sides, change the hmargin amount, and if you want to adjust the margins on top and bottom, change the vmargin amount. Larger margins may make the paper more readable, and should be used if they don't make your paper exceed the page limits (setting hmargin=1.5in,vmargin=1.75in would produce a more pleasant looking paper); smaller margins are not acceptable.

Generating PDF Files

There are several common approaches to generating PDF files with LaTeX. Assume that your LaTeX file is paper.tex.

Method 1: pdflatex

The simplest approach is to use the command pdflatex. Simply execute the command:
   $ pdflatex paper

Now you have a file paper.pdf, and you are done! If you prepare the LaTeX file as described above, and follow these steps, the file paper.pdf will have 11 point, Type 1 fonts, reasonable margins, and US letter paper size.

If you use an integrated TeX development environment, such as MikTeX, WinEdt, or TexShop, these are (usually) configured to use pdflatex, and so if you use these tools, you should be in good shape.

Note: The use of the geometry package, as described above, should guarantee that the paper size is set correctly, even if your system happens to be configured to produce A4 paper size by default.

Method 2: latex + dvipdfm

This pair of commands does the job:
   $ latex paper
   $ dvipdfm -p letter paper

The first command produces the file paper.dvi, and the second command converts paper.dvi to paper.pdf. If you prepare the LaTeX file as described above, and follow these steps, the file paper.pdf will have 11 point, Type 1 fonts, reasonable margins, and US letter paper size.

Note: The use of the geometry package by itself may not ensure that the paper size is right. The option "-p letter" to dvipdfm will do the job.

Method 3: latex + dvips + ps2pdf

This sequence of commands does the job:
   $ latex paper
   $ dvips -t letterSize -Ppdf -G0 paper
   $ ps2pdf -sPAPERSIZE=letter paper.ps

The first command produces the file paper.dvi, the second converts paper.dvi to paper.ps, and the third converts paper.ps to paper.pdf. If you prepare the LaTeX file as described above, and follow these steps, the file paper.pdf will have 11 point, Type 1 fonts, reasonable margins, and US letter paper size.

Notes:
  • The "-Ppdf" option to dvips ensures that we get Type 1 fonts; the "-G0" option works around a bug in some older versions of dvips that can mess up "ligatures" (i.e., double letters, like "ff").
  • On some older LaTeX installations, you may have to invoke dvips as follows:
       $ dvips -t letterSize -o -Pcmz -Pamz -G0 paper
    
  • It is generally better to invoke dvips with "-t letterSize", rather than "-t letter", as some A4 printers may refuse to print PS files created with the latter option. However, when this is done, we have to tell ps2pdf the paper size again.
  • The use of the geometry package as described above is not enough to ensure correct paper size.
  • To get Type 1 fonts, you need version 6 of GhostScript, or above. Check this information with
       $ gs --version
    
  • Some folks recommend passing the following additional arguments to ps2pdf:
       -dSubsetFonts=true -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dMaxSubsetPct=100 -dCompatibilityLevel=1.3
    
    However, in most situations, these don't seem to be necessary: the default settings are usually OK.

Checking your PDF files

If you open your PDF file with Acrobat Reader, the text should not appear fuzzy; you should see the paper size in the lower left hand corner: it should be 8.5 x 11 in (or 215.9 x 279.4 mm, or 612 x 792 pts). If you look under File -> Document Properties -> Fonts, you should see all the fonts that are used in the document, and their type. You should see lines of the form "Type 1" (or "Type 1C"), and not "Type 3". The text should not appear fuzzy when you open your PDF file with gv.

You can also get information about your PDF file from the command line (assuming the appropriate commands are installed):

   $ pdfinfo paper.pdf
prints general information, including paper size, and
   $ pdffonts paper.pdf
prints detailed font information.

Advanced Topics and Trouble Shooting

Caveat Emptor

These tips and tricks are based on experience and experimentation on particular systems, as well as on information culled from the web. Your mileage may vary (depending on your operating system, your LaTeX installation, etc.).

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