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					                                                                Common among scientific posters
                                                                are the following sections:

                                                                       Author, Title, and Affiliation
                                                                       Introduction, Background,
                                                                        Overview, or Objective
                                                                       Measures, Materials &
                                                                        Methods, or Procedure
                                                                       Results
                                                                       Conclusion, Discussion, or
                                                                        Summary
                                                                       References,
                                                                        Acknowledgement, or
                                                                        Funding Source



                                                              You can put as much or as little
                                                              information on your poster as you'd
                                                              like, but keep the KISS (Keep It
Simple, Stupid!) principle in mind while desiging your poster. Don't overcomplicate things and
clutter your poster with so much information that it's hard to read.

For your first poster you may want to keep the number of sections to a minimum and focus on
quality of content. Introduce your question, give an overview of your research, present your
results, conclude with a thought-provoking discussion of your results, and lastly list any
important references or acknowledgements.

Dimensions

It is advisable to check beforehand on the size of the display area or boards that will be available
to you, as well as the orientation (landscape or portrait). The most popular display area (not the
poster) is 4x8 feet. Do not fill the entire display area. Most popular poster sizes for a 4x8 foot
display area are 36" x 72" and 36" x 54". Our printer has a short dimension max of 42” so a
36x72 poster will have 3” white boarder on the top and bottom. Alternatively the poster can be
scaled to fit the paper provided the increase in length can be accommodated by the display board.

Portrait vs. Landscape

Before you begin work in PowerPoint, you may want to sketch out a design on an 8.5" x 11"
paper ahead of time.

Compatibility

Gather all of the text and graphics in one place so that it is easy to transfer all of the content to
one PowerPoint slide. For example, you might have an existing PowerPoint multi-slide
presentation you'd like to grab content from, or even your actual paper that may be a Word
document. Try to avoid switching back and forth between a Mac and a PC. Generally
speaking, this causes compatibility issues.

It is best to go back and get these pictures directly from the original source, rather than
transferring from one software to another. If you need to scan photographs, do so in .JPG format.

We support PowerPoint 2007! If you have a .PPTX file, don't worry about saving it in
"Compatibility Mode" for previous versions of PowerPoint. We will be able to open and print
your file.

Starting from scratch or using a template

Determining your poster size

Unfortunately, PowerPoint will only let you use a
custom page size no larger than 56" inches. In
order to workaround this limitation, we'll need
you to set up your file to a smaller proportionate
scale.

The page size of your PowerPoint document
must be the same aspect ratio as your final
output size. Your file's page size need not be the
same as the final output size, but must be the
same aspect ratio. If, for example, you are going
to order a 36x72 inch poster, your PowerPoint
page size can be set to 24x48 or any other
proportionate page size. You can use the chart to
the right to help you work around the 56" limit.
To properly setup your PowerPoint page size in a new, blank file:
(If you have already designed your poster, skip to the next tutorial below.)

    1. Open a new blank presentation in PowerPoint
    2. Go to File>Page Setup
    3. A dialog box will appear similar to the one on the right.
       Enter the width and height of the page. The slide orientation (portrait or landscape) will
       automatically adjust based on the page sizes entered.
    4. Click OK
    5. If the rulers are turned on (View>Ruler), you will be able to see that the slide is now the
       size entered.




Changing your page size with existing content on the slide is not a one step process. If you
already have items on your PowerPoint slide and then change the page size, some items may
become squashed and stretched. To properly setup your PowerPoint page size in a file with
existing content:

   1.   Open your existing PowerPoint slide.
   2.   Select everything on your slide by pressing Ctrl + A.
   3.   Cut everything from your slide by pressing Ctrl + X.
   4.   Go to File>Page Setup
   5.   A dialog box will appear similar to the one on the right.
        Enter the width and height of the page. The slide orientation (portrait or landscape) will
        automatically adjust based on the page sizes entered.
   6.   Click OK
   7.   If the rulers are turned on (View>Ruler), you will be able to see that the slide is now the
        size entered.
   8.   Paste all of the items back on the slide by pressing Ctrl + V.
   9.   At this point, you will most likely have a lot of extra space on your slide, or have a lot of
        your content hanging off of the slide boundaries. Be sure to rearrange your content so that
        everything is displayed nicely on your new resized slide.
Inserting slides from another presentation

If you have a PowerPoint file with multiple pages, you'll need to transfer them all, to ONE slide
(page). As always, the best method is to directly type your information into the new presentation.
But if you prefer to use content from another PowerPoint presentation, there are a couple of
different ways to go about this. The first and quickest is the copy and paste method.




NOTE: The following instructions are for PowerPoint on the PC only.




Create a new presentation in PowerPoint and set the page size to the desired dimensions. For
help, see the section on poster size.
Open up your existing presentation and view it in slide sorter view.




Click on the first slide you want to put into your sign, and copy it to the clipboard (CTRL+C) as
shown. When you click on the slide, you'll see it's border will be highlighted. In the example
below, slide #1 is highlighted.
Switch to your new presentation, go to the menu bar and click on Edit>Paste Special as shown
below.
Click on Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Object and click ok.
You'll notice in the paste special dialog box (top right), there are a number of different options.
The Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Object will allow you to edit the contents of the slide after it's
been pasted into the new presentation. If you were to choose Picture (Enhanced Metafile) or
Picture (Windows Metafile) the slide will be pasted into the presentation as objects, and won't be
editable. PNG, GIF and JPG will convert your slide object to a picture, those options are not
recommended, the slide will not be editable, and will mostly likely print out slightly blurred or
jagged.

Color Suggestions

If you are creating images on the computer, note that colors may appear different on your screen
due to differences in monitors and the printing process. Blue text on a black background and
vice versa is particularly hard to read. Even though there may seem to be enough contrast on
screen, it does not print well. Try using a light grey instead of black, or lighter blue in the place
of navy.



Screen vs. Print
High Contrast

The background and text should have a high contrast. For example, use a light color for the
background with a dark colored text or a darker background with light text. Whatever colors you
use, the background should not distract from the content itself. Where possible, let the most
important item have the most important color and the greatest contrast with its background. If
you are not a designer and this is your first scientific poster, we suggest sticking to light colored
backgrounds.

Consider people who have problems differentiating colors. One of the most common is an
inability to tell green from red

Changing Colors

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT use the transparency slider to get the color you want.
Transparencies DO NOT PRINT WELL. If you are looking for a specific RGB value color,
go to the "Custom" tab as explained in step 3.
NOTE: The following instructions are for PowerPoint on the PC only.




BACKGROUND: To change the                   OBJECT: To change the            FONT: To change
background color of your slide,             color of an object or its        the font color, first
right click in an empty area of the         outline, double-click the        select the text. Then
slide. A list of options will appear.       object. A popup box will         click on the font
Select "Background". Then click             appear. Select the "Colors       color button with a
on the current color in the                 and Lines" tab. Click on the     big "A" on it.
dropdown box.                               current color in the "Fill" or
                                            "Line" dropdown box.




If you would like a solid color, click on "More Colors". Select your new solid color. Click "OK",
then click either "OK" or "Apply".
Text itself can only have a solid color. There are no fill effects for text, as there are for objects
and the background. However, the background of a textbox can have a fill effect because it is
considered an object.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTS ONLY: If, on the other hand, you would like to change one or
both of the colors in the fill effect, click on "Fill Effects". In the "Gradient" tab, select "One
Color" or "Two Color", depending on which you would like to alter. Then change the color in
the corresponding dropdown box by selecting one of the colors shown or by clicking "More
colors". You may also alter the type of gradient effect by changing the "Shading Styles" and
"Variants".

DO NOT use the transparency slider to get the color you want. Transparencies DO NOT
PRINT WELL. Instead, find a good color by clicking "More Colors". If you can't find the color
you're looking for, click on the "Custom" tab and create your own.

When finished editing, click "OK", then click either "OK" or "Apply".
Content

Although humor is a great way to add interest and draw readers into your poster, it may offend
others who may not speak your language or understand the intention of your humor. The best
route is to use clear, concise language throughout your poster to drive home your main message.
Layout

Empty space is critical for a readable poster; without it, your reader has no visual pauses to think.
Crammed posters are tiring to read and are seldom read in their entirety. Omit all extraneous text
or visual distractions, including borders between related data and text, so the reader can
assimilate your ideas easily. More material may mean less communication.




The logical flow of the poster material should be in columns (not rows!) that occur in a left-to-
right progression, so that the movement of the eye over the poster is natural. Lead viewers
through the logical flow with big, bold "take-home points" visible over a crowd. If your
reference list becomes unusually long, you can sometimes shrink the font and then make a "2
column" citation list (but keep the section's header sized to match the rest of the poster).

Use plain, descriptive language in the title so there's no mystery what the poster is about. It
should be short and concise, yet excessively informative. If it doesn't fit on one line consider
shortening it and adding a descriptive subtitle, but avoid using a colon.

Whenever possible, use lists of sentences and bullet points rather than blocks of text. This is
especially helpful for the method and conclusion sections.
Font Size

Since the size of scientific posters varies, there is no set formula to determine the size of your
font. However, we've found a good rule of thumb to go by. View your PowerPoint slide as
"Fit" instead of at a certain percentage, and if you can still read your title and headers then your
font should be large enough. If you'd like something more accurate, you can use the formula to
the right to determine how far to zoom in to view your poster at the size it will be printed.




Font Type


Most prefer to use a non-serif font (e.g., Arial) for titles and headings, and
a serif font (e.g., Times) for body text. Serif-style fonts are much easier to read at
smaller font sizes. DO NOT USE ALL CAPS IN TITLES, HEADERS, BODY TEXT, OR
EVEN IN YOUR GRAPH LABELS. YOUR READERS MAY TAKE IT AS YELLING.
Instead try to stick with "Title Case" or "Sentence case."

Embedding Fonts

First and foremost, try to avoid using unusual fonts. If you can't avoid them, then be sure to
embed them when you save the file. Sometimes you won't be able to embed because of licensing.
If this is the case, just let us know what fonts you've used in the special printing instructions box
when you add the poster to your cart. Odds are we have it. We'll contact you otherwise.

Font embedding varies in the different versions of PowerPoint and is not available in PowerPoint
for the Macintosh. If you're not sure which version of PowerPoint you have, open PowerPoint,
go to Help>About Microsoft PowerPoint.
PowerPoint 95 and 97

When you have completed your sign in PowerPoint, go to the File pull down and choose Save
As. On the right side you'll see a checkbox that says "embed true type" make sure this is checked
and then name and save your file.

PowerPoint 2000

When you have completed your sign in PowerPoint, go to the File pull down and choose Save
As. At the top of the dialog box you’ll see a button called "Tools". Click that and a drop down
box of options will show up. One of the options will be "embed true type fonts". Make sure this
option is checked and then name and save your file.

PowerPoint XP

When you have completed your sign in PowerPoint, go to the File pull down and choose Save
As. At the top of the dialog box you will see a button called "Tools". Click that and a drop down
box of options should show up. One of the options will be Save Options, choose that and you'll
see a check box that says "embed true type fonts" make sure this is checked and then name and
save your file.
Graphics: Part 1 of 3




Purpose

Market studies show that communication effectiveness is increased 40 to 50 percent when a
visual is added to the spoken word. However, the wrong visual aid will have just the opposite
effect and message understanding can be decreased. It is important to get the message to the
audience as quickly as possible.

Graphics (illustrations, photographs, charts, and graphs) or other visual aids (models, props,
samples, etc.) should be used for the following reasons:

         For increased audience interest. It is necessary to catch and hold audience attention before they
          can receive your message.
         For increased understanding. If information is of a complex or technical nature, it may be
          necessary to communicate the information visually as well as verbally for the message to be
          understood.
         For enhanced retention. People retain visual images far longer than the written word.
         For increased efficiency. Studies indicate that the same message can be communicated faster by
          using visuals.

Image File Formats

The types of graphics that can be imported into your PowerPoint fall into two main categories;
Bitmap (Paint-Type) and Object-Oriented (Draw-Type). We recommend using common formats
such as .JPG, .BMP, .WMF or .TIF files. Unusual files such as QuickTime compressed, Picture
Viewer, PICT & EPS don’t always translate well. When you are saving or exporting your
images, you need to carefully determine the file type in order to get the best looking final image.



WARNING: When embedding fonts, DO NOT check the "embed characters in use only." This
will cause your file to become locked or uneditable by us. If we find a problem with the poster,
we won’t be able to fix it.
Graphics: Part 2 of 3

Bitmap Graphics




Bitmap graphics are commonly created by basic painting packages, such as Microsoft Paint.
Most scanning packages also utilize bitmap formats. Bitmaps are comprised from a series of
small square dots (pixels). Depending on the format of the particular bitmap, each of these dots
can be black, white, some particular color, or a shade of gray.

Limitations of bitmap graphics:

      Because bitmaps are made up of dots, sizing the graphic may distort it. Sizing the graphic
       proportionally minimizes the distortion.
      Bitmap graphics can be very large. Scanned bitmaps at 300 dpi (dots per inch) can easily exceed
       1 megabyte (MB). This causes slow screen redraws and creates larger Publisher files. Printing
       problems may also occur with large images.
      Bitmaps do not typically output at as high a resolution as an equivalent object-oriented graphic
       format.

Object-Oriented Graphics

Object-oriented graphics, on the other hand, are not comprised of a series of dots. They are a set
of instructions that tell the computer to draw lines, boxes, polygons, and so on. Such a file is
basically an equation for generating the image, rather than the actual pixel by pixel
representation.

Object-oriented graphics have several advantages over bitmaps.

       A graphic can usually be resized without distorting the image. Object-oriented graphics are
        generated by a formula; therefore, if you resize the image, the application recalculates the
        formula to compensate for the change in size.
       Object-oriented graphic files are much smaller in size.
       They output at the highest resolution supported by the output device. In other words, if you
        send an object-oriented graphic to a 1024 x 1024 resolution printer, the graphic would
        recalculate and output at that resolution. A bitmap, on the other hand, is always limited by the
        initial resolution at which it was created. In most cases, this is no better than the screen
        resolution, 75 DPI for VGA, unless the image was scanned.

Typical programs using object-oriented graphics are CorelDRAW!, Micrografx Designer,
Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Illustrator and many others.

Information courtesy of Microsoft.com

Graphics: Part 3 of 3

Scanning Pictures

When scanning pictures that will be included in your poster, we recommend saving them in .JPG
format. PowerPoint can import most JPG files easily. If you are not sure about the printing
quality of your scanned image, as a general guide, zoom in on the picture until it fills your entire
screen and look at it. Doing this should give you a general idea of how well the picture will print
when it's enlarged. If it looks pixilated and jaggy you may need to re-scan it at a higher
resolution. We don't recommend using graphics that have been saved from the web.

On the flip side, if you use a resolution that is too high you may end up creating a graphic (and
therefore PowerPoint file) with an unnecessarily large file size that becomes hard to transmit and
open. There is a cap on the resolution where the quality of the graphic will look the same, but the
file size will continue to increase as the resolution is increased.

Cutting and Pasting Graphics
There are several different methods of cut and paste because objects act differently depending on
what method is used. If you will need to edit the item in its native application (by double
clicking, if available) after it is pasted in PowerPoint, use the Ctrl+V keystroke to paste the item
in place. Otherwise, we recommend using the Paste Special feature so you have more control
over how your graphics look.




Go to Edit > Paste Special and use the explanations below to choose the best option from the
pop-up box. This is a general guide that may vary between the different versions of PowerPoint.

      Items pasted as an enhanced metafile cannot be edited in their native application. They can only
       be ungrouped to dumb objects in PowerPoint. Ungrouping will cause charts, graphs or vector
       objects to split up into 100s of pieces.
      Items pasted as a picture cannot be edited. Depending on the type of object, the result will be
       the same as a pasted enhanced metafile or it will turn into a jpg (bitmapped picture).

Resolution

Never, ever incorporate "web" graphics without extreme caution. Most web images have 72 dots
per inch (dpi) of resolution, but printing at that resolution looks absolutely terrible, and the figure
will be a huge turn-off to prospective viewers. Graphics should have a resolution of 300dpi or
more when printed. Try not to enlarge a 300dpi graphic once it is brought into PowerPoint, as it
will then decrease the resolution resulting in a lower quality image. If you need pictures, try
gaining access to a high quality digital camera. Take plenty of pictures from different angles and
with varying lighting to ensure that at least one has crisp detail, good composition, non-
distracting background, etc.

Borders & Lines

If you include a photograph, add a gray or black border at least 2 points thick to make it more
visually appealing. Choose a line color that is subtly pleasing but barely noticeable to the viewer.
Avoid using lines with a thickness less than 2 points as they won't show up on your poster
because they are so thin!

Graphs: Part 1 of 2

Displaying Information
Purrington, C.B. 2006. Advice on designing scientific posters.
http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/posteradvice.htm.
Accessed 8/29/2005.

Having short, informative graph titles helps to lead the viewer more effortlessly through your
poster.

Interpreting legends is sometimes very difficult, and you should do anything in your power to
make your graphs easy on the brain. Most graphing applications automatically give your graph a
basic legend that you should replace with 'arrows' or 'callouts' so that you can directly label the
different elements instead. Consider using miniature illustrations to your graphs (e.g., as to right)
if at all possible. These visual additions help attract and inform viewers much more effectively
than text alone.

Y-axis labels aligned horizontally are much, much easier to read, and should be used whenever
space allows.

Acronyms and other shorthands for genotypes, strains, and the like are great when talking to
yourself but are terrible for communicating with others. On your graphs, use "english" and then
add the strain in parenthesis (e.g., "Control genotype (Col-0)").

Example

Looking at the graphs below, there is a significant difference in the way the information is being
displayed. With the original graph to the left, there's a lot of ink that doesn't convey information
relevant to the main point being made. The graph to the right is much easier to understand after
applying the following changes.
1) Grey background: not only does it provide absolutely no information, it's also unsightly. After
you remove it, you will likely have to darken some of the lines.

2) Grid lines: it's very unlikely that your audience cares about the exact values at each data point
- it's the pattern that matters. The grid lines compete with the pattern you're trying to show.

3) Legend: it's taking up space that would be better spent on the graph

4) X-axis: The labeling between tick marks is confusing and the y-axis should cross at zero.

Hess, G.R., K. Tosney, and L. Liegel. 2006. Creating Effective Poster Presentations.
URL=http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters, visited 8/29/2005

Graphs: Part 2 of 2

Avoid using pattern fills in charts and graphs

When creating charts in Excel that will be in your poster, try to avoid using a pattern fill. Your
patterned striped fill may look fine on your screen (Figure A), but when it is blown up to the full
size the pattern will shrink and won't be visible (Figure B).

If you absolutely must use a pattern, there is a workaround you can apply. Double-click your
chart in PowerPoint, and press Ctrl + A (to select all) then press Ctrl + C (to copy). This process
will put your chart onto the PowerPoint clipboard. Once this is done go to the edit menu and
select Paste Special. A dialog box will come up with a selection of different options. You'll want
to pick the option "Picture" and press ok. This will convert your Excel chart into dumb objects.
(WARNING: You will not be able to edit your chart once it's converted to objects.) Once this is
done, position your chart in the poster. Right click the chart and select the option "Ungroup".
After you have done these steps the stripes in your chart will blow up proportionality as seen in
Figure A.

Other Suggestions

If you are using Prism GraphPad, please convert your charts to the WMF format, or break them
into dumb objects as described above. Otherwise, erroneous output may occur.

Also avoid displaying two-dimensional data in three-dimensional graphs. 3-D graphs look
attractive but obscure true difference among bar heights.

PowerPoint does not allow "wrapping" of text around inserted figures, so if you want this option
for a particular section, you need to construct the section as a separate Microsoft Word file
(which does allow text to wrap), and then insert this Word file into your PowerPoint poster by
the menu command, Insert: Object (select the "create from file" option). When you want to
change anything, you merely double-click the section and the Microsoft Word file will be called
up, magically, for you to edit.

Rough Draft

Try to produce a full size rough draft in advance to catch any unforeseen errors. Only print a
miniature version of your poster on letter sized paper to get a very rough sense of layout changes.

Peer Revisions

Ask friends to critique the full size rough draft while you are not present. Using Post-Its that you
provide, ask them to comment on the following:

       Word count
       Prose style
       Flow
       Figures
       Font size
       Spelling

				
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