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Formatting Consent Documents for ARROW

How do consent documents need to be formatted?

When consent documents are approved in ARROW, they receive an approval stamp and are converted by ARROW to PDF documents. When ARROW converts a document from Microsoft Word to Adobe PDF, fonts and other items in the Word document may introduce slight changes that affect the final formatting of the stamped consent document. To minimize the chances of encountering formatting errors in stamped consent documents, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Most importantly, ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version of Word. If a document is created using an older version, click on File and select Convert to update the file type.
  • Use 12 point Arial font throughout the document. Other fonts (e.g., Times New Roman) are known to cause formatting problems when converted.
  • The following margins should be used:

    • 1” Top, Right, and Left
    • 1.05” Bottom

  • The IRB stamp appears in the lower-right corner so avoid putting items in this corner.
  • Documents with simple or minimal formatting are most likely to convert correctly.
  • Tables work best if they are inserted at the top of a page or on a separate page.
  • Avoid using text boxes and symbols, which do not convert well to PDF format.
  • Use Word’s form features to add checkboxes or similar items.
  • Do NOT use tab stops to format a document. Tab stops are little blue right angles along the top of the document. To remove tab stops, select the whole document, double click a tab stop and choose clear all.

Can study teams check whether documents will format correctly when stamped?

Yes. The Preview Final Documents activity allows study teams to preview what consent and assent documents (as well as information sheets) will look like after they are approved in ARROW. Study teams are solely responsible for using the Preview Final Documents activity to check for any formatting errors. For more information on using this activity, see Using the Preview Final Documents Activity in ARROW .

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Keywords:docs, word, consent, format, stamp, formatting consent forms, margin, margins   Doc ID:17171
Owner:Faye L.Group:Health Sciences IRBs
Created:2011-03-03 18:00 CSTUpdated:2016-08-03 13:49 CST
Sites:Health Sciences IRBs
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