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Extension Publications FAQ

Submitting Files

Keep it simple. Minimally formatted manuscripts help speed up the editing process.

Manuscripts should be submitted to the EP3 Request System as Word files with very basic formatting.

Avoid using columns, images, or text boxes in the original manuscript. You may indicate locations for images, call-out boxes, graphs, and other elements by creating a comment or using text in a different color.

Minimal formatting is preferred because most formatting must be removed prior to publishing in the NC State Extension Resource Catalog.

Provide the editor with original files for photos, graphs, and charts. These objects often lose quality when they are embedded in a Word document. For print projects, images should be at least 5” x 7” at a resolution of 300 dpi. Be sure to include a list of sources, image credits and appropriate permissions for all images.

Tables can be inline in the manuscript text, but minimal formatting is preferred. If possible, try to limit the number and size of tables in publications that will be published in the NC State Extension Resource Catalog. Large tables do not display well on mobile devices.

Avoid sending images in Powerpoint or Microsoft Publisher files. See How should I send large files? for tips on sending large files and multiple files to the editor.


Extension strives to provide useful, research-based information to the public in the most accessible, easy-to-use format possible. The PDF file format presents challenges for people using screen readers and mobile devices and requires a separate workflow to make files accessible.

The Extension web format provides optimal accessibility for people with disabilities and a responsive experience for users accessing publications on various devices. The web format also improves search visibility, allowing Extension publications to appear in more keyword searches on a global scale. All web format publications are printable.

Publications with many tables and longer publications will still need to be published as PDFs as necessary. Shorter publications can be formatted as PDFs upon request. All PDF publications are subject to a graphic design fee.

Authors must obtain permission to use any content obtained from other sources, including the web. All content published on the web should be considered copyrighted material and should be treated as such. CALS Communications will not publish copyrighted material without a copyright release from the original owner.

Some images on the Internet are available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Be sure to carefully read the usage terms of images you wish to use prior to using them in your publications.

If you have Fair Use or copyright questions, contact NC State’s Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center.

NC State photographers house university-owned photos on Photoshelter. Authors are free to use these photos in Extension publications.

CALS Communications is able to procure stock images from iStock or Bigstock. Authors may select photos from these sources, and CALS Communications will purchase them using the Educational Materials budget for publications. If a large number of photos will be purchased, authors should obtain approval to use funds for this purpose.

Contact CALS Communications to work with a graphic designer if you need help selecting photos or creating graphics for your publication.

The Extension Resource Catalog’s web format offers the opportunity to make publications more interactive by linking to or embedding brief videos in Extension publications. Because the catalog is not able to host large video files, we recommend posting videos on the Extension YouTube channel and then linking to them within the publication.

Contact CALS Communications for more information about creating videos.

Contact Extension IT to have your video posted to the Extension YouTube channel prior to adding it to your publication.