Submitting an (LibreOffice) article to Elsevier Editorial System

If you’re preparing an article in LibreOffice planning to submit to a journal using Elsevier Editorial System (like “Expert Systems with Applications”) you should know few things in advance:

  • Open Document Text (or .odt) is not supported by the EES (Elsevier Editorial System)
  • Microsoft Open XML (Microsoft Office Word 2007-2013, .docx) format that you may produce with LibreOffice is not fully compatible with EES neither.
  • You’ll have to go down to old Microsoft Word Document format (.doc), since it seems LibreOffice can’t produce version of .docx that will work with the system

As the last article submission step EES will create a PDF document that you, as author, should confirm after review.

Once you get your first version of PDF you might learn, like I did, that some graphics are missing.

I’ve spent some hours before figured out what are the issues: some images were missing, some were included; some captions of my diagrams were partially visible, some were shown or completely gone. So, there are few tips I want to share that could save you from many re-try iterations:

Image captions

If you used “Insert Caption” function to put your title and description for the images, you probably noticed it adds an extra container around the image and the caption text.

To get it 100% visible in EES produced PDF: you have to give up the containers. Take out both image/graphics and your caption out of these containers. Place the caption like normal text.

Image color mode

The system supports RGB and CMYK 8bit per channel color modes but seems to have issues with the grayscale color mode. You’ll notice that imported images that were grayscale are not present in EES produced PDF. Therefore, replacing the grayscale inserts with multi-color versions will save your time.


When they say: “keep formatting at minimum” they really mean that (if I only listened the Guide for Authors on that). So, at the end it will save your time to keep the formatting at minimum – if you use it on your own, it will cost you extra time to put it back to simple, in order to get things look properly in the PDF produced by the system.



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