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Course & Subject Guides

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Support Guide

Visual Elements in your ETD

Visual elements are often a vital part of your electronic thesis or dissertation. This guide is designed to provide advice on how to choose the right file format, understand the difference between resolution and size, and be aware of accessibility issues with your images.

Points to consider:

  1. Consider your intent and content
  2. Be mindful of color
  3. Don't be misleading by using the wrong format
  4. Keep it clear
  5. Substance over style
  6. Choose your tool wisely


FIgures and Tables in ETDs


Figures in your ETD need to be legible and reproducible on microfilm. To minimize any loss of information in the figures, be sure to use a digitally born file whenever possible. If you are scanning from a print resource, be sure to scan at a minimum of 600 dpi and use an archival file format. Your image should be resized prior to inserting it into your template. If the format is better suited to a size larger than 8.5" X 11", you should create a thumbnail of your figure and upload the full-size image as a supplementary file to your ETD.


The word “table” is used for tabulated numerical data in the body of the thesis or dissertation and in the appendices. (ETD Guidelines, 2020)

Much like figures, tables need to be legible and if possible be composed of tabular data, rather than an image of a data table. There aren't strict demands for the font to be the same as the body text, but the numbers and text need to be in a font that will translate properly when made into a PDF.  Thought it isn't always easy to format a table in Word, we would refer you first to Microsoft's guide on Formatting a Table.