Creating Posters with PowerPoint (XP and earlier versions)
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The Galter Library teaches a related class called Creating Posters Using PowerPoint. See our Classes schedule for the next available offering. If this class is not on our upcoming schedule, it is still available to you or your group by request.
The following guide is for Microsoft Office XP. While most of the functions will work in earlier and later versions of Microsoft Office, some may not. There is also a guide for creating posters with PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.
Let's get started.
Open a blank presentation in PowerPoint
Make the Slide Layout format Blank
Go to the File menu, select Page Setup
Under Slides sized for: select Custom
Set the width and height to the size you want. You may have to set the size in proportion to the final size you want. For example, if you want a poster to be 3’x 6’, set the width to 36” and the height to 18”. When the poster is printed, you will then print it at 200%.
Keep orientation of slide at Landscape.
Note: Be aware of the meeting requirements for the size of your poster. Conference planners often specify how big a poster should be or how much space they can allocate to you. It's easiest if you establish your desired poster size prior to adding text and graphics. It can be changed later, but it will most likely require you to readjust all your poster content.
Color Schemes and Backgrounds
- Go to the Format menu, select Background
- Click on the white dropdown menu, select More Colors . . .
- Choose the color you want; usually a light color works best
- To create a gradient or patterned background, select Fill Effects . . .
Grid, Guides, and Ruler
You can display a grid, guides, and ruler to help with the placement of your poster elements.
- Go to the View menu, select Grid and Guides
- Check the following boxes:
- Display grid on screen
- Display drawing guides on screen
- You should now see a grid and a set of moveable guides on your slide
- Go to the View menu, select Ruler
- You should now see a ruler on your screen
- Use text boxes to organize your wording, either from the Insert menu or the textbox icon on the Draw menu
- You may want to separate your headings/titles from the bulleted text; this makes formatting the text a little easier. The main thing is to determine the best size for your headings/titles and the bulleted text, and to be consistent with your text boxes
- Highlight the textbox border and use the arrow keys to move your textbox around. Use CTRL + arrow key to move a textbox just a smidgeon
Note: Text size can vary depending on the size and content of your poster. A good rule of thumb is to make the title of the poster 50-56 point size, headers 32-36 point size, and the bulleted text 20-26. There are no hard and fast rules; just keep in mind the proportion of the elements in relation to each other.
- Go to the Insert menu, select Picture, From File . . .
- You can then move the picture any place you want it to be.
You should ensure that your images are of sufficient quality to be printed. The resolution of your images should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Most web images are 72 dpi and when printed, will look blurry or jagged. It is best to scan your own images and save them in .jpg format. See this web site for further guidelines on graphics: http://www.makesigns.com/tutorial/tutorial_graphics3.htm
The Northwestern University logo: Download the logo to insert in your poster at: http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-relations/publications/logo/logo.html
Inserting Charts and Tables
- You can copy a chart from another PowerPoint presentation or from Excel and paste it into your poster. Resize it as necessary to fit
- Once pasted, double-click on the chart to access chart-related functions such as Chart type, Chart area, etc. You may want to remove the background color or borders of the chart so that the chart integrates better with the background of your poster
Inserting Lines, Drawings, Shapes, etc.
- Use Autoshapes to draw arrows, create boxes and circles and other shapes
- Use WordArt to create different styles of text
- Add clip art, 3-D effects
- Be creative!
- You can move a number of elements together, e.g. a textbox and a picture, by grouping them. Temporary grouping: Use your mouse to create a box around the elements to be grouped. All elements should now be highlighted and can be moved as one
- Permanent grouping: This method creates a permanent group until you choose to ungroup the elements
- Group your elements using the temporary grouping method outlined above
- With all elements to be grouped highlighted, select Draw, Group from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
- All elements should now be surrounded by a new border of small white squares or circles
- To move the grouped elements, position your cursor over the new border until the cursor changes to a cross with arrows; left-click and move the group by dragging it to another location on the slide
- To ungroup the elements, select Draw, Ungroup
For further information, contact us