Capstone Projects

As of Spring 2016, the Library will no longer be archiving graduate capstone projects. Check with your program advisor for any requirements your department may have for filing capstone projects with the department.

How to create your PDF file

If you do not have software on your computer that can create PDF files from other documents, you can visit the Library computer lab where all the desktop computers have the full version of Adobe Acrobat that can be used to create a PDF file. Lab managers will be happy to help you with this process.

On most computers that have PDF-creation software installed, "Acrobat PDF" appears as a printer—creating a PDF file is a matter of "printing" your document to that printer. In creating your PDF file, please use the following guidelines:

Embedding Fonts
Embed all fonts. Acrobat software in the Information Commons is configured to do this automatically. If you are using another computer, go into "Preferences / Adobe PDF Settings / Edit", then open the "Fonts" folder, and put a check mark in the "Embed all fonts" box if it is not already checked. (This setting ensures that people reading your PDF file will see the same fonts you used, regardless of whether they have that font installed on their computer.)
Images
If your document contains many images, make sure the image files use some type of file compression to restrict the file size.
  1. Photographs and other images that have a continuous range of colors or shades of grey are best saved in JPEG format. Most software that saves JPEG files gives you the option to control the compression setting. Using the highest quality setting will give you a much smaller file size than an uncompressed file, with no discernible loss in quality.
  2. Charts, graphs and other computer-generated images that have sharp boundaries between different colors and/or contain a lot of text often look better and take less files space when saved in GIF format. If your software asks you which "palette" to use when saving a GIF file, choose the "Adaptive" palette.
  3. It is best to use image editing software, like Photoshop, to edit and save your images before importing the images into your word processing software, since word processing software often has crude control over image settings, and can produce unnecessarily large files.
Page Numbering
Many people find it difficult to follow the page numbering format required by their department when their thesis or dissertation is saved as one file. If your thesis or dissertation is saved as multiple files, it is not necessary to combine it into one file before creating your PDF file. Instead, just create a separate PDF file from each original file, then use Acrobat to combine the separate PDFs into a single PDF file. This is done using the Acrobat "Document > Insert Pages" menu option—start with the first file, then use "Insert Page" to add each subsequent file in order, using the "After > Last page" option.
Type 3 Fonts
After creating the PDF, make sure no Type 3 fonts are used. "Type 3" fonts are postscript fonts that can include bitmapped data. They are not recommended for use in applications such as online theses and dissertations because they are not always legible on screen at smaller sizes. To check for Type 3 fonts, open the PDF file you just created, and go to "File > Document Properties > Fonts". Scroll down through the list of fonts and make sure that none of them are Type 3 fonts. If any of them are, then go back to your original document, and try to find another font to use instead of the Type 3 font.

Submit your Capstone PDF file

Please separate multiple names with semi-colons.
Optional. If you have written an abstract for your project, paste it in here.
Optional. Please separate multiple terms with semi-colons.
Please separate multiple names with semi-colons.

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