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Etd standards: minimum specifications

[Document format]  [File size and name]  [PDF security]  [Names of faculties, schools and departments

Minimum specifications apply to

  • Document format
  • File size and name
  • PDF security
  • Names of faculties, schools and departments

Theses/Dissertations which do not meet these basic standards will not be made available outside the UP domain.

Document Format

Every student should submit

  • One copy of the thesis/dissertation in PDF format. This is the copy that will be archived on the web. You have to produce this copy yourself by using the Adobe Distiller software or other suitable software such as CutePDF. For detailed information on how to do this, download the relevant tutorials from

  • One copy of the thesis/dissertation in Word/WordPerfect format. This copy will be used to copy your abstract, title etc into the submission form.

As a format PDF has many advantages namely :

  • it is relatively easy to convert documents
  • it is readily accessible, cross platform, using the freely available high quality Acrobat Reader viewer
  • it offers high levels of document security
  • it is suitable for the necessary archival purposes 
  • it is stable and translatable into possible future archival standards.


File Size and Name

Your files should preferably be smaller than 5MB after conversion for easy downloading. Conversion to PDF tends to diminish file size. If your entire etd is bigger than 6MB before conversion it should be split according to the following standard:

  1. Create one PDF file containing title page; abstract (and keywords); ekserp/opsomming (en sleutelwoorde); table of contents; list of tables; list of graphics; acknowledgements, preface and any other introductory text that is not part of the main body of the thesis (you may not necessarily have all these items as part of your etd). Call this 00front.pdf
  2. Create another file containing the chapters and call this 01thesis.pdf or 01dissertation (as the case may be). If the file 01thesis.pdf is bigger than 6MB before conversion split it into smaller files containing one chapter each and maintain a relevant filename structure such as 01chapter1.pdf; 02chapter2.pdf. DO NOT SPLIT INDIVIDUAL CHAPTERS EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE BIGGER THAN 6MB.
  3. Create one file containing the bibliography/references and all appendices and call this 03back.pdf. Keep the relevant numbering structure if the body was split into chapters. You may also create  separate files for your references/bibliography and for appendices.
  4. Multimedia files may be kept separately and should be named according to the convention of its type.

Example 1: (when the entire document is smaller than 6MB)


Example 2


Example 3


This standard will allow viewers to easily identify the relevant parts of the etd via a common filename structure.  It will also allow viewers to quickly look at the table of contents and other introductory information without having to wait for the whole thesis to download, or to better determine if they want to see the whole thesis in the first place.  The standard is also an effective and simple way to present an introductory view of a thesis at the outset.

Hint: Alternatively you may first convert the entire thesis/dissertation to PDF and divide the file afterwards.  This is strongly recommended for for documents where the table of contents is linked to the rest of the file.


PDF Security

Security on all UPeTD documents will be set  to allow for reading and printing only.

Please do not activate security settings before submission.  It  will be done by the administrator when the document is approved for public view.


Names of faculties, schools and departments

The current name of the faculty, school or department as it appears in the latest issue of the yearbook should be used. 


Your etd will be accessible on the UPeTD system as well as through the library catalogue.
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