Workflow for Conference Proceedings

Step 1

Write your paper using the Submission Template (.docx). It is imperative that authors follow the embedded instructions in the sample text itself to apply the paragraph styles to the various text elements. It is also imperative that authors use the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) to select their relevant terms. The text is in single-column format at this stage and no additional formatting is required at this point. Additionally, ACM has endeavored to provide an environment to all who wish to participate. To this end, we encourage all authors to add meaningful alt-text to all figures and tables in your article. With the alt-text added, you will ensure that qualified, but visually impaired reviewers will be able to provide a critical review of your paper. Note: For easier use, change “List: All styles” to “List: In current document” in the dropdown menu at the bottom of the style pane. This enables the author to only see and use the styles used by ACM.

Step 2

Submit your paper for review to the Program Committee via your “author” role in EasyChair by the submission deadline. The Program Committee will confirm receipt of the submission and then send the manuscript out for review. Note: The Program Committee reserves the right to reject outright any submission that does not attempt to follow the formatting guidelines embedded within the Submission Template.

Step 3

Upon acceptance, authors will receive an email notification to download the ACM Master Article Template (Microsoft Word). This is not a new document but rather a template/add-in to apply to the submission document you sent for review. Please choose the correct template version based on your platform [MAC 2011, MAC 2016, or Windows] and save the .zip file to your local machine. Open the .zip file and save the template file (acm_mat_word_v1.dotm) to your machine. Then, follow these instructions to attach the ACM Article Template to your accepted submission version and prepare your paper (still in single-column format) for validation.

Step 4

Authors will receive an email notification with instructions to upload their Camera Ready (finalized) source file set to The ACM Publishing System (TAPS). Download these instructions for the information on how to use TAPS. See also the page on TAPS best practices. TAPS will process your paper and auto-generate proofs of your article for your review. Final review and approval of your paper rests with the Program Committee. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the publication process, papers that do not follow the ACM template guidelines or that do not attend to accessibility are susceptible to rejection (even after peer review). Note: To make corrections to your paper, you may revise your locally-saved version of the paper and re-upload to TAPS. You do not need to revise the TAPS source file. 

Digital Accessibility

The SIGDOC Program Committee asks all authors to work on improving the accessibility of their submissions. For more information, please consider using SIGCHI’s Guide to an Accessible Submission.

How to Write Alt Text and Why

ACM is committed to publishing in an accessible format (see ACM’s statement on accessibility) that permits all its readers to have the content presented to them in a thorough and useful way. To carry out this mandate, ACM needs the assistance of its authors to help achieve this goal. Authors are required to provide “alt text” (alternate text) for floats (images) in their content so that those with disabilities can be given descriptive information for these figures that are important to the work. This benefits the author as well as it broadens the reader base for the author’s work. The descriptive text will be displayed in place of an image if an image cannot be loaded, and the alt text provides in-depth float descriptions to search engine crawlers, which helps to properly index the images.

To provide access to floats, the author must create the alt text for these elements in their document. Every float should have alt text provided unless it is solely decorative (decorative images still require alt text but authors can use null alt text (“”) or the check the decorative box).

How to Write Alt Text

(Adopted from article on

  1. Do not duplicate float caption text as it detracts from the normal flow of your article and can, potentially, confuse the reader.
  2. Describe the float as specifically as possible without going over 125 characters. Note: Focus on context and purpose. You can’t describe everything so let the context and function of the image guide your description. Alt text is, first and foremost, designed to provide text explanations of float images for users who are unable to see them.
  3. Keep it (relatively) short. The most popular screen readers pause alt text at around 125 characters, so it’s advisable to keep it to that character count or less (source:
  4. Use your keywords. Alt text provides you another opportunity to include your target keyword on a page, and thus another opportunity to signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to a particular search query. While your first priority should be describing and providing context to the image, if it makes sense to do so, include your keywords in the alt text of at least one float on the page.
  5. Avoid keyword stuffing. Focus on writing descriptive alt text that provides context to the float and if possible, includes your target keyword, and leave it at that.
  6. Don’t include “image of,” “picture of,” etc. in your alt text. It’s already assumed your alt text is referring to a float, so there’s no need to specify it.

Additional Resources

Resources for how authors should describe their image to create the “alt text” for their float elements:

  • Image Description Guidelines
  • MathML Cloud is an open source tool that creates math content that is accessible to all readers. MathML makes mathematical equations accessible to everyone by eliminating the ambiguity of a verbal description of a picture.

Insert Alt Text in Microsoft Word

(Adopted from The University of Minnesota’s Accessible U):

In Microsoft Word: Add your image to the Microsoft Word document. Now, choose Format > Picture from the dropdown menu (or right click on the image and select “Format picture” from the menu). Click “Alt text”, one of the options on the side bar. You will want to add the full alt text in the Description field and a shorter title in the Title field. The title can help the reader decide whether or not they want to read the full description.

Please see our instructions within the ACM Master Submission Template for version-specific instructions for Windows and MAC.