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4.2.3. Text preparation

Typing conventions

In order to optimise working practices with a view to production (whether paper, CD/DVD, internet, etc.), it is essential to adhere to the following rules.

Use plain text (no formatting).
Do not justify the text or use word splits or hyphens at the end of a line, even for compound words.
Follow punctuation spacing rules: see Section 6.4.
Be logical and consistent when processing the text (use the same parameters for identical elements of a document).
Use the special characters available.
Avoid all transliteration (‘ss’ for ‘ß’, ‘ue’ for ‘ü’, etc.).
Always use the numbers 1 and 0 on the keyboard, not upper-case ‘l’ or ‘O’ in their place.
Ellipses (…) are obtained by typing Alt 0133 or Ctrl-Alt-full stop (.) (do not use three consecutive full stops (...)).
Numbers expressing a quantity: separate each group of three numbers by a hard (protected) space, not a point (e.g. 300 000).
Figures expressing numbering, such as years, folios, etc.: no space (e.g. 1961, p. 2064).
Decimal numbers: in English texts, use a point on the baseline (e.g. 13.6). Special rules apply for the Official Journal and multilingual texts (see Section 6.5).
Follow the rules for writing out numbers: see Section 10.5.
Protected spaces
Use to prevent elements that must stay together from being separated at the end of a line.
Use, for example, in the following cases and in the cases indicated in the rules of punctuation (see Section 6.4):
No• OJ L• 10•000
p.• OJ C• Mr C.•M. Dupont
In Word, the hard space is obtained by typing Alt 0160 or Ctrl-Shift-space bar.
images and
Supply graphics and images in separate files, in high-resolution format.
Check copyright for images and illustrations.
Clearly mark the place where the image/graphic is to be inserted using a marker (<IMAGE1>, <GRAPHIC1>, <TABLE1>, etc.).
Supply Excel files separately.
Quotation marks
Use the quotation marks appropriate to the language.
There are two levels of quotation marks in English (the Word shortcut is given in brackets):
level 1
(main quotation)
(Alt 0145/Alt 0146)
level 2
(quotation within quotation)
“…” (Alt 0147/Alt 0148)
Any further levels are repeats of levels 1 and 2.
Use the correct typographical apostrophe ( or , depending on the type of character used), obtained by typing Alt 0146, not the apostrophe of the keyboard (').
Never type a heading entirely in upper case letters. When required, the contractor can automatically capitalise a heading.
Apply upper/lower-case letters according to the rules of this style guide (see Section 10.4).
Use only the function References/Insert footnote.
It is pointless to manually reformat footnote numbers for a manuscript intended to be produced on paper. E.g.: Word generates 1 - / proofreaders apply (1). The contractor recovers only the Footnote function; it is then the responsibility of the contractor to reformat the footnote numbers correctly, following the conventions of this style guide.
Footnotes must be clearly numbered in Arabic numerals (other symbols, such as asterisks or letters, should only be used in special cases).
Avoid notes of the type ‘Idem’ or ‘Ibidem’, as the page layout of the printed work will be different to that of the original manuscript.
The reference to a footnote (including the brackets) is always composed in light roman (even in texts or titles written in italics or bold).
Use an em dash (Alt 0151) to introduce elements in a list (same rule for all languages).
Do not use manual formatting. Instead, use a style sheet.
If a particular style sheet does not exist, use Word styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal, etc.).
Never type a heading entirely in upper-case letters.
By using Word styles, a table of contents can be generated automatically when word processing is finished; when the document is converted into PDF to be put online, these headings will automatically generate hyperlinks (bookmarks), elements that play an essential role in making long PDF documents easier to consult online.

Other recommendations

When a manuscript is delivered in several batches, the originating department must supply a table of contents for the work (even if it is only provisional) along with the first section, so that proofreaders can gain an overview of the document.

The originating department must carefully check all manuscripts before sending them to the Publications Office. Revisions should be the exception and must be perfectly clear, legible and precise. Significant revisions made at the first proof stage may require parts of the document to be retyped, affect the page layout (sometimes disrupting it completely, leading to cumulative changes) and very often lead to additional proofs and rechecking, which would prolong production time and increase costs.

Finally, it is advisable wherever possible to avoid creating composite files consisting of texts produced with different software.

Last updated: 15.2.2022
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