Creating A Poster With PowerPoint

The following 12 steps are a general guide for how to create a scientific poster using PowerPoint. Bellow is a simple template created by a biologist at Swarthmore College.

Swarthmore ppt

1. To begin a poster, make a new slide and select the dimensions in File>Page Setup. The maximum width we can print is 44 inches. Set the width to 44” and the length to 56” (NOTE: you’ll be prompted with a message explaining that the size of the slide now exceeds the printable area, click OK).

2. Save room for a banner (title) at the top. It should be around 80pt. font and bold.

3. The abstract, analysis, conclusions and any other textual information can be made in a text box (Insert>Textbox). Use the edges of text boxes to alter their size and shape and to drag it around the page. The font should be large enough for people to read (about 48pt. minimum) and the text as concise as possible. Don’t try to reproduce your group’s paper on the poster. You don’t want a lot of text, so summarize the research, hitting the key points.

4. Make sure all text and image is aligned with respect to the center. To center, go to View>Guides.

5. Produce all text and arrows in PowerPoint. Use a simple font, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial.

6. The student compiling others’ text into the posters should first copy the text they would like add then use Edit>Paste Special>Unformatted Text to paste it into the desired textbox . This will remove variation in font sizes, type, and other formatting.

7. If possible, produce and optimize all images in Photoshop or GIMP. High resolution images in large, high resolution posters will be crude if modified by PowerPoint. Be sure to get the dimensions correct in Photoshop/GIMP before importing to PowerPoint.

8. Images should be saved in the highest resolution possible, but with the lowest memory size possible. The minimum resolution should be 150 DPI, but 300 DPI is standard. (72 DPI for Web will appear pixilated on a large poster.

9. Try not to use images from the Web, because the resolution can be too small and there are often copyright issues.

10. In Photoshop/GIMP, Save As>PNG and adjust the quality while maintaining the file size. Leave a check on “Constrain Proportions”. Start with large images and make them smaller, not the other way around. If an image won’t show up in PowerPoint, most likely its filesize may be too large (try to keep images well under 10 MB, if possible).

11. To insert an image in PowerPoint, go to Insert>Picture>From File.

12. To place a border around an image, double-click the image and select Line. You’ll see types, properties, thicknesses, etc.