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Formatting Your Thesis: Tables, Figures, Illustrations

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Tables, figures, illustration requirements and tips

  • Include captions/titles/headings for tables, figures, and other illustrations as paragraph text. This allows captions and headings to be populated into the Table of Contents (ToC) or the lists that appear after the ToC.
  • The maximum width for objects on a portrait page is 6 inches (15.24 cm).
  • Text wrapping should be set to “In Line with Text” (no wrapping).
  • Consult the figure, table, caption sections of the Thesis Template Instructions and apply the appropriate styles to format:
    • captions
    • images
    • notes, if any
  • Source notes or footnotes for tables/figures/illustrations are inserted manually. Insert the note in the paragraph directly below the table or figure.

Table specifications

  • Font: Arial Narrow 11pt (default), Arial Narrow 10pt [minimum size].
  • To change the font or line spacing for tables see the Thesis Template Instructions.

Figures and other image specifications

  • Font: Text in image files should follow the overall Font Specifications and is large enough to be read when inserted into the document. The font in images should appear to be the same size as the text in your thesis.

Image resolution and formatting

  • Images should be sized to an equivalent print resolution of 300 pixels per inch/dots per inch. 
    • For example, an image 6 inches wide should be 1800 pixels wide to produce an equivalent resolution of 300 ppi.
      6 inches X 300ppi = 1800px.
  • For best results, insert images as flattened .tif, .png, or high quality .jpg files.
  • Crop as closely as possible around the image to remove blank space and maximize the size. This can be done in Word or in an image editor like Photoshop or Fireworks.
  • Landscape images on a portrait page should be rotated with the top of the image to the left.

Using images and objects from other publications

  • If your thesis incorporates images, photos, maps, diagrams, etc., not created by you, copyright permission must be obtained from the copyright holder of those works to use their content within your thesis.  A copy of each permission must be uploaded to the Thesis Registration System.

    See Copyright at SFU for instructions on how to obtain copyright permissions.