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Creating Large Format Posters Using PowerPoint
Poster Setup
You will be making just one slide (or page) in PowerPoint. From the File menu select Page Setup. Under Slides Sized for: choose Custom and then set the page size to the same size that you want the poster to be. For example, if you want your poster to be 36" x 48", then set the page size in PowerPoint to 36" x 48". Do this first before you begin creating the poster! Failure to so may result in a poster that is not printable at the size you need. If you changed the page size after creating the poster, be sure to go back and verify the layout. Note that any inserted image will now be scaled unproportionally due to the change in page size. (This is why you should set the page size before you begin.) Be sure to fix each image by right-mouse clicking once on the image and then select Format Picture. Click on the Size tab and make sure the scale percentage is the same for both height and width. (ie: 100% height and 100% width). PowerPoint has a maximum page size of 56". If you need a larger poster, set the page size to exactly half of the finished poster size and then it can be enlarged proportionally when printed by a professional. For example, if you want a 36" x 60" poster, set the page size to 18" x 30". If you want a 48" x 72" poster, set the page size to 24" x 36". If you want a 54" x 96" poster, set the page size to 27" x 48". Please note that our printer (in the common lab area) is 54" wide. Therefore, we can print up to 54" wide by as long as you need. Allow a 1 inch margin around all sides of the poster to prevent cropping or a .5 inch margin if designing at half size.

You will have to adjust the font size depending on the amount of text in your poster and the style of font you choose. Below are suggestions for types of fonts and sizes. Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and that many more fonts are available that may work equally as well. For the title – 1) Consider using a large, bold san-serif type font, such as Arial Black, Franklin Gothic Heavy, Tahoma, Trebuchet, or Verdana. 2) Make the font size between 72-120 points.

3) Be sure to bold the title text when using Tahoma, Trebuchet or Verdana, but DO NOT bold the title text when using Arial Black or Franklin Gothic Heavy as they are innately bold fonts. For the subtitle (author's names and school name) – 1) use the same font as your title or choose a different San-serif font. 2) Make the font size smaller than the title; somewhere between 48-80 points. For the section headers (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions, etc.) – 1) Use the same font as your title or subtitle. 2) Make the font size approximately 50% larger than the body text; between 3672 points. 3) Whatever size you choose, be sure to make all of the section headers the same font size. For body text 1) Choose a serif type font that's very readable, such as Garamond, Book Antiqua, or Bookman Old Style. 2) Make the font size between 24-48 points. 3) Whatever size you choose, be sure to make all of the body text the same font size throughout the entire poster. If designing at half size, (ie: 18x30 for a 36x60 poster) cut all these point size suggestions in half. Use these font type and size suggestions as a guide to aid your poster layout.

To embed fonts – Select Save As from the File menu. When the Save As dialog box appears, click on the Tools menu located in the upper right of that dialog box. Scroll down and check the box Embed TrueType fonts. Now click on the Save button at the bottom

If you get an error message about a font, that means you are using a non-Microsoft font somewhere in your presentation. It may be a WordPerfect font that is used in your bullets or that special character that was inserted into a figure. PowerPoint cannot embed non-Microsoft fonts. Preferrably, change the font. If the font is non-standard and not embedded, it may result in aposter that is printed incorrectly.

Design Tips
Please leave at least a 1 inch margin around all sides of the poster to prevent cropping and to increase readability. To display the ruler, go to the View menu and select Ruler. This will allow you to see if you have exceeded the 1 inch margin. If designing at half size (ie: 18x30 for a 36x60 poster) leave a .5 inch margin around all sides of the poster. You will be making just one slide (or page) in PowerPoint. The title should be approximately the entire width of the poster and then the main text of the poster to be broken into multiple columns, usually three or four depending on the size of the poster. You may also want to use section headings (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions, etc.) within the columns at the start of each section. You can type anything you want into a new text box or cut and paste text into an existing text box. If you are pasting text in from a word processor, and you are not pasting it into an existing text box, it will be necessary to use the Paste Special command so that the text will become a PowerPoint text box. Otherwise it will just be an imported word processing object and you will find that you have far less control over it. Copy the text from your word processor and then switch to PowerPoint. Go to the Edit menu and select Paste Special and choose Unformatted Text. It may be necessary to change the font and size of the text to keep it consistent throughout the entire poster. If you need to adjust the size of an imported picture or logo, hold down the Shift button on your keyboard and then click and drag with your mouse on one of the corners in order to scale it proportionally. This will keep it from being distorted. Do not allow imported pictures to hang over the edge of the poster. Use the picture cropping tool or scale the image down proportionally. Pictures imported from web sites are low resolution images. These images are for on-screen presentations and web page use only. If used for 35mm slides or posters they will appear fuzzy looking. Pictures for use on a poster should be scanned at 150 dpi at 100% of the size they will be used on the poster. If designing at 50% scale (ie: 18x30 for a 36x60 poster) then scan at 300 dpi. Save the image as a high quality JPEG file. Do not enlarge pictures once they are inserted into PowerPoint. If the image will be used larger in the poster than the original, it should be enlarged when scanned. Scan the original at a higher magnification or higher resolution to make up for the size difference. It is recommended that you do not use WordArt, semitransparent fills or textured backgrounds as results can be unpredictable. If you insist, do so at your own risk. You'll want to maintain good contrast between the background color and the text color. Consider using a light colored background and dark text. For good design, layout the poster into three or four columns of text depending on the poster size. Insert graphics and photos within those columns to add visual interest.

If you use a gradient color fill in the background you may find very thin lines running through the background of the finished poster. This is due to the way PowerPoint draws gradients and cannot be seen on your computer screen. While they are not very noticeable this may be objectionable to you, if so then use a solid background instead of a gradient. The colors that you see on your monitor will not reproduce exactly the same on the printed poster and will differ from your proof print. In particular, many of the blues will print purple. Don't be afraid to edit your text! Many posters have too much text on them giving them a cluttered appearance. With less text you will have more freedom for good design and can make the font a nice readable size with ample line spacing. Use mixed upper and lower case text. For example: DON"T USE ALL CAPS! IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING AND IS HARD TO READ! Use Mixed Case for Titles. Use sentence case for body text.


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