How to choose the layout for your thesis?

After the first conversation with your personal designer it is time to actually start the layout of your dissertation. You will determine your thesis lay-out with the help of a layout proof. In this article, we will explain what we mean by such a layout proof and what is important for you to know when you will check this PDF document. If you would like to know more about getting to know your designer, we would like to refer you to this article about the first conversation you will have with your Personal Thesis designer.

What is a layout proof of your dissertation?

A layout proof is a selection of several pages out of your dissertation. These pages will consist of all possible lay-out elements that will occur in your final thesis. In general, this will result in a test of the font type and design of:

  • All paragraph types
  • Several headers
  • Captions
  • Texts in the header of the page
  • Tabs
  • Tables
  • Figures
  • Page numbers

Your designer will send you a layout proof as a PDF file. We recommend opening this file using Adobe Acrobat Reader, as this programme will give you the most accurate display of the PDF document. Please do not open the PDF file in the Preview window of your Finder (Mac), Explorer (Windows) or an internet browser, as these renderings are often incorrect or incomplete. Furthermore, Acrobat Reader makes it possible for you to add notes and mark corrections in the layout proof which will turn out to be very useful in a later stadium of the lay-out process of your thesis.

[Important: To be able to make a layout proof, we will just need one definitive chapter in which no more changes will be made. Your designer will only need the rest of the chapters at a later time. Therefore, it is not a problem to already start your thesis lay-out while your texts are not definitive or still incomplete (for example when the committee is still checking them).]

How do I correct the lay-out of my dissertation?

After you have received the layout proof of your thesis from us, you have the opportunity to make some corrections. Usually, this first version is not yet perfect and it might even look quite different to what you expected. This is not a problem at all; that is why we always have a couple of adjustment rounds. You can add your corrections as notes in the PDF file of the layout proof that your designer has send you. On our website, you can find another article in which we will explain to you how you can discuss corrections on the lay-out of your dissertation using Adobe Acrobat with your designer.

We would like to give you some tips to make the check of your layout test as effective as possible. Please bear in mind that your dissertation will both be looked at and be read by colleagues. Therefore, structure and readability are just as important as the design of your thesis. We will tell you more about the readability of your thesis in this article. On top of that, more information on the structure of a dissertation can be found in our knowledge base.

Because of the correction rounds we have embedded in the process, you are able to change your thesis lay-out based on the layout proof. Besides corrections regarding the design, you might also like to adjust something within in the content of your thesis (for example some corrections in the text). In this case, we would like you to make those corrections yourself in your own documents (Word files, separate figures etc.). After doing this, these updated documents can be send to your designer together with the corrections in the PDF of the layout proof. Once you have fully approved your layout proof, we will continue with the layout of your complete dissertation. It is possible to ask for some content corrections in these versions.

How to give your approval on your layout proof?

Once you are completely satisfied with your layout proof, your designer will sent you conformation of the final design. This can be done very easily; you will receive an email from which you can download the layout proof once more. In this email, you will also be given a confirmation that the lay-out is considered definitive from that moment on. The layout of the rest of the inside of your thesis will start directly. If you are satisfied with the lay-out of your dissertation as presented in the layout test, you are not required to answer this email.

Once you are happy with the layout proof, your designer will start the layout of both the cover and the inside of your dissertation. One step closer to receiving a beautiful dissertation which will make the day of your defence even more memorable!

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