The format guidelines presented in this document have been developed to provide a common framework for all WCRP publications. It is a best practice guideline to authors and editors, but it is understood that not all publications can follow the exact format described here. Please send any feedback to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most WCRP publications are produced in Microsoft Word, in order to produce a standard product we have provided a publication template (see downloads). Sometimes, for aesthetic purposes, we use Adobe InDesign or other typesetting software. In these cases the look of the report may differ slightly for a specific purpose. In these cases please liaise with the WCRP Communication Officer.

The WCRP cover page background image will be provided to you as part of a dotx Word template. The title and other publication information is in white over the background image and includes:

  • Title – 22 points and can be 1 or 2 lines
  • Date and location of associated meeting or event, if applicable
  • Publication month and year
  • WCRP publication number

It is preferred that an image be placed over the circle in the background image. This image should be 15cm in diameter, have between a 150 and 300 dpi resolution and be a .png (to preserve transparency outside the circle). Note that it is best to place the image inside the header and footer on top of the background image. There is also a back cover that does not require any changes.

publication cover with no image
1. Publication cover without image
publication cover with image
2. Publication cover with image added

Standard WCRP publications should have sections listed in the order given below:

- Disclaimer
- Table of contents
- Body of report:
  • Report Section 1
  • Report Section 2
- Annexes (as required)

Please note: Documents containing WCRP information or guidelines that are not extensive enough to require official WCRP publication status (such as these guidelines, conference agendas etc.) can use the above corner image on one or more pages (see downloadable template).

Throughout the publication please use the following fonts, in order of preference:

  • Body font: Source Sans Pro, Helvetica, Tahoma, Geneva, Arial, Sans-Serif
  • Title font: Lato, Helvetica, Tahoma, Geneva, Arial, Sans-Serif

For convenience, we will refer just to Helvetica in this guide.

Font sizes

  • Font size should be 11 point, Helvetica.
  • Language should be US English.
  • Font size for graphs, tables, or figures should be between 6 and 10 points.
  • Bullet points should be black dots (as illustrated here).

Font colors

Use black font throughout the report. If you need another font color for contrast, use WCRP teal (#009b90), such as used in the title of the first page of this document.

  • Left justification (alignment) is preferred
  • First line of a paragraph can be flush left or slightly indented
  • Text should be single spaced
  • Text should be double spaced between paragraphs

Title format

  • Title fonts should be 16 point, bold, Helvetica
  • Titles should be numbered with Arabic numerals starting with “1”
  • Font colour should be black

Subtitle format

  • Subtitle fonts should be 14 point, bold, Helvetica
  • Subtitles should be numbered with Arabic numerals starting with “1” combined with a corresponding heading number. For example: 1.1, 1.2, etc
  • Font colour should be black.

Although most publications are now in digital format, we prepare WCRP publications in such a way that if they were to be printed that they would use the minimum amount of paper possible. As such we assume double-sided printing is possible and we set up publications to print even and odd page footers and margins


  • Top – 3.0 cm
  • Bottom – 2.5 cm
  • Inside – 2.5 cm
  • Outside – 2.1 cm

Page numbers

  • Pages must be numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3…).
  • The number “1” should be at the bottom outside corner of the first page of the report body and subsequent pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the entire report. This means that the disclaimer and table of contents pages are not numbered.

Where appropriate other header and footer images or text (such as the WCRP logo or Core Project logos) may be added. Please make sure that it respects even and odd pagination.

  • Table of contents fonts should be 11 point, bold, Helvetica (can be all caps)
  • Table of contents title font should be 16 point, bold, Helvetica

Please provide an Executive Summary at the beginning of the publication. This should be no more than one page in length, but can be a single paragraph.

Number tables and figures consecutively

Keep abbreviations and acronyms to a minimum. All acronyms must be listed in an annex.


Annexes are listed at the back of a publication. All annexes should begin on a right hand side page (where the report is considered as an open book). For publications that are associated with a meeting or session, please include the following annexes:

  • Annex 1: List of participants
  • Annex 2: Agenda
  • Annex 3: List of decisions and agreed actions (mandatory for meeting publications)

In addition, please include an annex listing all abbreviations and acronyms used in the publication.

Footnotes and references

  • Footnotes can be used for notes or for references
  • If you prefer, a reference list can be placed at the rear of the publication, before the annexes.
  • Footnote font should be 9 point, Helvetica
  • Numbers under 10 are generally expressed in words: six, not 6; two-thirds, not 2/3.
  • Numbers above 10 are expressed in figures.
  • Ordinals are expressed in figures: 2nd and 3rd meetings, 100th session
  • Dates - the day is always followed by the month and year: 27 April 2010

The final file size of the .pdf of the publication should be no more than 10 MB. This is to facilitate its download from the website.

Project logos may be added to the cover page of the publication. They should be the same size as the WCRP logo.

WCRP generally follows World Meteorological Organization (WMO) guidelines for writing styles. You can find a useful guide here:

WMO guide (2019): WMO Style and Writing Guide