Micscape Magazine submission guidelines

Here are some general guidelines, please contact us to clarify any aspect.

Please don't feel you are not experienced enough or old enough to contribute, we welcome enthusiasts of any age and skill level to share their experiences. Beginners can often relate well to a fellow beginner's shared successes and problems!

Articles sent as text file / images: A word processing file is fine, but please save the file in the cross-platform 'rtf' format rather than the software's native format (e.g. 'doc', 'wp') which we may not be able to read properly. Please send the images separately rather than embedded in a word processing document as images have to be manually extracted, possibly incorrectly for web page use.

Acrobat pdf files: We are pleased to share articles, illustrated if desired, in Acrobat pdf format which can be linked to within a web page for direct viewing in Acrobat Reader. Note that the Micscape Editor doesn't have any Acrobat editing software so the article needs to be in ready to share form.

Web ready articles in html format: If familiar with basic web page editing, an article sent in web page html format allows you to present the page in the style you wish, we have no 'house style' as such; we can add the site footers. Please add an email contact which we can encode to prevent spam software using it. A good free web page editor is built into the Mozilla 'SeaMonkey' browser (from File / Edit in menu, it's not in the Mozilla 'Firefox' browser). The software is used very much in the same way as a word processing package and the html coding is transparent.

Please don't use Microsoft Frontpage if possible, it creates unnecessarily complex script for even a simple page layout that is difficult to edit. If familiar with web page editing please use '%' rather than absolute pixels for layouts (e.g. for table widths) to ensure the layout is retained for different screen sizes.

Images: Images can be sent as jpegs (uncompressed tiffs or bmp are too large), although drawings and diagrams with low colour are better as gifs. Please resize the images to the final web page size, up to ca. 500x500 pixels is fine for in-page use. Before resize it's best to crop out any 'space' around a subject if a photomicrograph and to save using a medium to high jpeg quality (i.e. low to medium compression) as over compression can corrupt the image. If small details need to be shown, sending a larger image to be linked to an in-page image is fine.

Multimedia: We are pleased to include videos, animations etc. Please use a commonly available video codec; DivX is proving popular. To keep a video file size down to less than a few Mbytes, a short loop 5-10 seconds, up to 320x240 pixels with say 5 frames a second can work well. Editing long video sequences (e.g. on tape or CD) is very time consuming for us and best done by the originator, so we can only accept edited digital video clips. An excellent free, easy to use and powerful video editor is VirtualDub.

Article size: Email attachments either in a single or multiple emails are fine. As a guideline the total article size with in-page images should be less than 1 Mbyte (exc. multimedia and larger clickable images) otherwise it will be difficult to access for readers with slower connections. The attachment limit on the editor's email box set by my ISP is 5 Mbyte. If a slow connection we're pleased to receive an article by post on floppy disc or CD. Please contact editor for an address.

Thank you and look forward to contributions.

David Walker

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