Computer and Statistics Center



This is a practical summary of some important details regarding thesis/dissertation submission.

You are required to submit your thesis/dissertation in electronic format to CEU’s ETD site. (Link also available in Infosys.) No submission = no academic degree.
After processing all electronic submissions are stored in the CEU Library ETD database.
All documents uploaded to the ETD database will be publicly available online. Worldwide. (See more details further.) 
The quality of the document – both content and outlook – matters. It will represent You in the coming years so future employers might want to see it. 
First impression = title + outlook.  A properly – even better: nicely – formatted document could be a plus. Just like with a CV.

Further below you find a summary of the basic CEU thesis submission and formatting requirements and the built-in software features you can use to fulfill them. Please check them carefully.

I. Electronic submission technical requirements
II. MS Word document formatting
III. Conversion to PDF file
IV. ETD upload & License restriction
V. Useful Links - Tutorials, Official CEU documents, support materials
VI. Thesis formatting support


I. Electronic submission technical requirements
Thesis has to be submitted in a bookmarked PDF format. It is a technical requirement. No other formats are accepted.
To have bookmarks in a PDF you need:

  • a document where the titles are in Heading styles (see further in section MS Word document formatting)
  • proper PDF conversion settings (see further in section Conversion to PDF file)


II. MS Word document formatting:
This section should be useful even if you are writing your thesis with other software than MS word. Most features are available in other software in a similar manner.

Your thesis has to be formatted with the help of the following MS Word features according to general CEU thesis guidelines:

  • Page numbering - Page numbers should be at the bottom of the page, centered
    Format has to be as follows - each section with different page numbering
    - Section I.: Title page - no page number
    - Section II.: Index pages (Table of Contents, Abstract, etc.) - small Roman numbers, starting with "i"
    - Section III.: Body of the Thesis (starting from Introduction) - Arabic numbers, starting with 1 
    To set up different page numbering first you have to use Section breaks ("Next page" type) to define the 3 sections. Then unlink the footers of the sections from each other, and apply the required page number format.
  • Heading styles - It is essential to use Heading styles to format you chapter titles and different levels of subtitles. (Chapter titles - H1, subtitles - H2, sub-subtitles - H3, etc.) 
    The default Heading style font settings should be modified to CEU standards where necessary.
    Note, without having Heading styles applied you will face difficulties with generating a Table of Contents and a bookmarked PDF – the latter is a technical requirement for the electronic submission.
  • Titles before Introduction are normally unwanted in the Table of Contents.
    • Best practice is:
      Format titles before the Introduction with Heading 1 style - this allows easy navigation within the document using the Navigation Pane/Document Map plus they will appear then in the PDF bookmarks too.
      However, in this case you will need to remove these titles from the Table of Contents manually in the very last step before converting the document to PDF.
    • Other option is NOT to set those titles to Heading styles just format them that they look the same as other titles. This way they will not appear in the TOC, neither in the PDF bookmarks.
  • Table of Contents - TOC has to be prepared using the built-in Word tool. This tool generates the TOC based on the applied Heading styles just in a few clicks. 
    Titles in the TOC should be clickable. MAC users might fail to get a clickable TOC. Re-generating the TOC on a Windows computer should solve the problem.
  • Related tutorial:
    Format your thesis with Microsoft Word
    How to get a bookmarked PDF from MS Word document (here only shortly about using Heading styles, their modification and proper PDF conversion)
  • Further practical Word document formatting suggestions:
    • Page Breaks
      Use page breaks to start a new chapter on a new page. This keeps the new chapter starting always on a new page, no matter how much you write before.
      • Turn on the Show-hide function (Home tab) to see what you are doing.
      • Click the cursor before the new chapter title and press Ctrl+Enter. (Command+Enter on Mac.) Same you find in the menu on Page layout tab >> Breaks >> Page (break)
        This will insert the next page - page break.
      • Delete all the unnecessary empty lines from the end of the previous page. Be sure not to delete the page break. ;) Turning on the Show/Hide helps to see where you have the page break.
    • Font type settings
      Times New Roman and Garamond font types are allowed. Please do not forget to set accordingly the following styles, if necessary. (Having your document already formatted this may be unnecessary.)
      • Normal
      • Heading styles (all used levels)
      • Footnote Text
      • Footnote Reference
      • Instructions on how to modify them are here at point 2.1.1.
    • Image captions, List of Figures/Tables
      Use the built-in tool to add captions to your images and tables. (Click image >> select References tab >> Insert Caption) This will allow you to generate then a List of Figures or List of Tables. (References tab >> Insert Table of Figures)  
      Note, using the same tool but different labels will allow you to captionize images and tables separately.
      Here you can find a 5 minutes video on how to do it. 

III. Conversion into a bookmarked PDF file:
The PDF file has to contain bookmarks. Without bookmarks uploading to the ETD database is not possible!
Bookmarks provide an internal navigation (clickable Table of Contents available via the PDF reader's menu) within the PDF file.
Generating bookmarks is something you have to set up manually when you are converting the Word file into PDF. (Save as >> File type: PDF >> Options: Generate bookmarks using: Headings >> Save)
Bookmarks will be based on the chapter titles and subtitles that are formatted with Heading styles, and the Table of Contents which has to be generated with the proper Word tool.

Related tutorial:
How to get a bookmarked PDF from MS Word document


IV. ETD upload & License restriction:

  • Your thesis online
    • To get your academic degree from CEU the University requires you to deposit an electronic version of your submitted thesis/dissertation in the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) collection.
    • All uploaded documents will be publicly available online.
    • In certain cases (publication in progress, life threat, confidential data) you may require a restriction for electronic availability for a limited time.
  • How to apply for thesis restriction approval
    • Apply to the Provost with your request, attaching a support letter from your Supervisor (MA thesis) / leading Supervisor and Doctoral Program Committee (PhD dissertation). (See exact requirements in Student Rights, Rules and Academic Regulations, 4.2.2 and CEU Doctoral Regulations, 7.1.e!)
      This will be the official approval.
    • While uploading your thesis to ETD you will be also required to indicate whether you have a restriction request. This will be a legal and technical issue. Technical because your request has to be acknowledged on ETD by your Coordinator. Without this you cannot upload the PDF.
  • Act in advance for a restriction approval
    Apply for an approval well before your thesis submission deadline otherwise you may be prevented from submitting on time!

Related tutorial:
Uploading thesis / dissertation to the ETD system


V. Useful Links - Tutorials, Official CEU documents, Support materials

Tutorials and support materials are available here:

Official CEU documents with details of thesis/dissertation submission are these:

VI. Thesis formatting support

  • ETD classes – available in April-June, 2019
    Mandatory or facultative as your department requires.
    Check details here.
  • Consultation
    By appointment. Please visit us if attending the ETD class did not answer your questions or you have individual difficulties.


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