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Planning and designing a poster

You might want to go over our article about Planning and designing a poster before learning how to use PowerPoint to make posters.

Creating your Poster's Layout

Creating your poster's layout in PowerPoint is fairly simple. It will help to have sketched the layout you want on a piece of paper or to have an image of a poster layout you like with you. You will create your layout by using the slide layout options in PowerPoint or by creating the elements by placing text boxes and inserting images in the appropriate places for your design. That's all there is to it. If you need help getting started, you can Contact Educational Technology or meet with a student digital media assistant.

Important: The roll of paper for the poster printer is 36 inches wide. This means that either the width or height of your poster can be no more than 36 inches with a margin. As long as either the width or height is 36 inches, the other dimension can be longer.


PowerPoint 2016 on Windows

  1. Open your document.        
  2. Select the Design tab.      
  3. In the Design tab, click on Slide Size
    1. From the drop-down menu, select the option Custom Slide Size (PC) or Page Setup (Mac). This will bring you into the Slide Size Dialogue.                                 
  4. In the Slide Size dialogue box, from the Slides sized for dropdown list, select "Custom."                                                     
  5. Enter in the desired width/length of your poster (e.g 48 in wide and 36 in high). You may be asked if you want to scale up content when you increase the slide size. Choose to scale up. (Also you have the option to download the template on the "Logos and Templates" page on the wiki)
  6. Click OK.

Saving as PDF

  1. Save your document as a .pdf.
    1. From the Ribbon, Choose "Save As".                      
    2. This should open the window saving dialogue. 
    3. From the "Save as" dropdown dialogue, choose PDF.                                     
    4. Click Save.                                                                             
  2. Submit the PDF you just created using the poster printing form.

PowerPoint 2016 on Mac

  1. Open your poster                                                            
  2. Navigate to the Design menu    
  3. Click on Slide Size.
  4. Click on Page Setup.
  5. Select "Custom Size" (Also you have the option to download the template on the "Logos and Templates" page on the wiki)                                                                                                                                                                                 
  6. Edit Width to 48 in Height to 36 in.  Click OK.
  7. Construct your poster.                                                             

When you are ready to submit your poster

  1. Click the File menu. It will be located on your top bar, as seen in the image below:   
  2. Select Export.
  3. From the saving menu, click on the dropdown box. Select the "PDF" option.   
  4. Select Save.
  5. Submit the PDF you just created to the poster printing form.
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