Submitting to IEEE/ACM conferences - Lessons Learned

Recently I faced a few problems for a paper written using ACM conference template. The problems were related to Bibliography, IEEE PDF eXpress and Bookmarks! Here are the details and how I solved them with the help of different materials available across the Internet.

Problem 1: Referencing Online Websites in Bibliography

Luckily this was solved in ACM Author Guideline. As mentioned in their website, the structure should be:

    author ={Harry Thornburg},
    year = {2001},
    title ={Introduction to Bayesian Statistics},
    url ={},
    month ={mar},
    lastaccessed ={March 2, 2005},

Problem 2: URL too long and crosses references margin

For dual column papers, the URL references may be too long, thus ending up crossing the column margin. In ideal scenario, the URL should break to the next line without crossing the margin. To achieve so, I followed instructions from blog. In short, these packages should be included like so:


Sometimes URL contains many dashes ‘-‘ , so he took care of it like so:


As a result, the URL will be broken at an appropriate ‘-‘ when necessary.

Well, this was a awkward problem, since I was using the default ACM conference template provided through Overleaf. By default, the template produces PDF files which contain bookmarks. Additionally, each citation becomes hyperlink to references! Whats more, in case the references are to online resources, those references become External Hyperlinks! After digging around, I found the answer by Stefan is useful. Particularly, these two options worked for me:


Otherwise, the failsafe approach is to use the combination of pdf2ps and ps2pdf. For example,

  pdf2ps paper.pdf

This should convert the PDF to PostScript at first, later converting it to PDF again while removing all annotations and bookmarks in the process. Please note that the size of the converted PDF may not match with the original PDF. However, it should still be acceptable to IEEE PDF eXpress.

Good luck with your submissions!

Written on March 20, 2018