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Using powerpoint to make scientific posters

Posted Dec 03 2009 12:00am

In the past, I had made scientific posters using Adobe Photoshop software. The software was more complex than I needed. More recently, I have used Powerpoint to make posters. You really only need the following functionalities:
  • writing text and text headers
  • importing images and spreadsheets
  • drawing basic shapes and arrows
Creating a customized poster size
To create the proper poster dimensions, go to the File menu and select Page Setup. Select Custom slide sizing, and enter the appropriate dimensions. In this case, I selected 50'' x 50''.

  • Be sure to follow the poster dimension criteria set by the conference that you are presenting at. I was once at a conference where the presenter couldn't hang her poster because it was too large.
  • Use a white background. A colored or gradient background can turn out unpredictably at the print shop. Remember that screen image quality does not always mirror print quality.
  • When you are all done with the poster, zoom in to 300% size to determine if the print resolution is adequate. Pay special attention to imported images.
For addition tips on making a more effective poster, go to an earlier blog post.
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