Creating Posters with PowerPoint
PowerPoint files are required for publishing posters on the Proceedings with very few exceptions.
Although there are many software programs that will create posters, PowerPoint is an excellent choice because it is readily accessible, compatible with most word processing and spreadsheet programs, and quite powerful, yet user friendly.
SETUP - Creating a new poster
- When PowerPoint first opens, select Blank Presentation.
- Select the blank layout (lower right option). Because you will create your own background texture and color, and will insert your own title, text, and graphics, a template is not necessary.
Setting the Poster Size
Important note: use the page setup measurements given below! Posters are composed at 50% of the final size, and output at 200% (final poster size).
- Under the File menu, choose Page Setup.
- In the Slides sized for box, select Custom.
- Change the orientation to landscape.
- Type in the width and height of the poster (usually in inches, although some default to cm). Posters for the meeting should be 45" (114 cm) wide x 22" (55 cm) wide. Ultimately, the final poster will need to be printed out at twice this size but that will be handled at the printing or output stage.
SETUP YOUR POSTER WORKSPACE
This might be a good time to select appropriate formatting toolbars. Recommended are the standard, formatting, drawing toolbars. The picture toolbar may come in handy later for making refinements to graphics. The toolbars can be selected from the View menu.
Using Grids, Guides
Turn on guides
Guides are useful for aligning images and text within a slide. To view guides, click on the View menu and click on Guides.
Add or delete a guide
To add a guide, hold down the CTRL key and drag an existing guide. To delete a guide, drag it off the side. Tip: To hide the guides without deleting them, click Guides on the View menu, Temporarily Turn off Guides and Grid. To temporarily override settings for the grids and guides, press ALT as you drag or draw an object.
Align objects on a grid
By default, any time you draw, resize, or move a shape or other object, it will position or "snap" to the lines in an invisible grid. This grid of evenly spaced lines helps align objects more precisely.
You can also align or "snap" objects to other shapes so that the new objects will align themselves with the pre-existing shapes. For example, if you want to stack shapes neatly on top of each other, or have lines meet the edge of another shape, you can turn on the Snap to Shape option.
On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw and then point to Snap. To automatically align objects on a grid, point to Grid and check to see that it is selected (it will look "pushed in").
To automatically align objects with grid lines that go through the vertical and horizontal edges of other shapes, click To Shape.
|Tip: to temporarily override grid settings, press ALT as you drag or draw an object.
SAVING YOUR POSTER
- Save your poster soon and often!!! To save your poster go to the File menu, click SAVE and save the poster in a folder located somewhere that you can easily remember. Give your file a name that is readily recognizable….i.e.. wbcposter_yourname.ppt.
- To set PowerPoint to save automatically, go to the Tool menu and choose Options. Click Allow Fast Saves, which will allow the latest changes to be added to your program when you save, rather than resaving the entire program each time you save. Also click the Save AutoRecover info. Set the minutes for 10-15 minutes. Should your computer hang up or should the power go off, the next time you open PowerPoint, your poster will reappear as it was the last time it was auto-saved.
PowerPoint has many options for backgrounds. Choose carefully... the background should not detract from the poster content. The colors should be soft, and if textured, should be selected to enhance the content of the poster.
1) To place a background on your poster, go to the Format menu and select Background. The Background menu will appear on your screen. From the drop-down menu bar, you may select a color fill or select from the Fill Effects.
2) The Fill Effects window offers four folders: Gradient, Texture, Pattern, and Picture.
3) The Gradient folder allows you to choose one, two, or a preset arrangement of colors. As mentioned above, you will want to be careful to choose colors which are compatible and colors which are "light to lighter" or "dark to darker". The "light to dark" option is not usually a background that is easy to work with.
4) The Texture folder is often the background of choice, with lighter earthy colors being most popular. Twenty-four textures are provided with PowerPoint and additional textures can be found on websites and added in by clicking Other Textures. Select the texture you like, then hit APPLY in the background window.
5) The Picture folder converts a picture into a background. Click Select Pictures, find the picture on your computer, and select it. Pictures are not often a good idea…they are hard to discern, they can seem to clutter the poster, and can provide an uneven light/dark image to place text and graphics upon. If you choose a picture, you will need a large file to get good resolution. Scan the image to the size of the poster at 150 pixels per inch or more.
|TIP: When using a picture background, create your poster FIRST, then insert the background. The large size of the picture will create lengthy delays when your poster refreshes each time an action is done. Note: A picture background will slow down the printing time for the poster considerably.
Inserting text within PowerPoint
Insert Text Box from the Insert menu or click the Text Box Tool from the Drawing toolbar (as show in the figure below), then click where you want the text box to appear in your poster workspace. You will be able to move the text box at any time.
- Use standard fonts. Large blocks of text using fonts such as Brush Script or Bauhaus do not read well.
- Titles and headings are best when using a sans serif bold font such as Helvetica or Arial; serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Garamond are better suited for body text.
Recommended font styles
Times or Times New Roman
Symbols, math - Use only the most basic symbols.
Suggested font sizes:
- Title - sans serif, 40 to 60 pts
- Subtitles - 36 pt, sans serif
- Section Titles - 24 pt, sans serif
- Main Text - serif font, no smaller than 12 pt
- Keep in mind that the type will print out at twice the size of the above recommendeds!
Text design considerations
- Avoid shadow, emboss, engrave or underline formats for text
- Keep text horizontal
- Use several columns
- Use lines or reasonable gutter spaces between columns
- TIP: Use separate text boxes for different sections on a poster. It will be easier to move sections around and to size text boxes according to available space.
- TIP:Turn off the Snap-to-Grid feature once text boxes are aligned properly. This allows finer movement of graphics and other items.
- TIP:Ensure all the text boxes and graphics stay within the page.
Changing the color of text:
Select the text you want to make a different color. Click the right mouse button and select Font and click a font color in the font box. To apply the color most recently applied to text, click Font Color in the Drawing toolbar at the bottom of the page. To apply a different color, click the arrow on the right of the Font Color button, select the color you want, and then click the button.
Inserting Text from Another Program
Rather than cutting or pasting text from a different application, using the following steps will give you more flexibility and freedom.
1) Select the text in another program and copy (Ctrl +C).
2) In PowerPoint, go to the Edit menu and select Paste Special. Choose Formatted Text. Click "OK".
3) The text will enter as a text box.
|Viewing text to see what it will look like in your final poster.
The upper right hand corner of your PowerPoint screen has a "zoom" feature. It is best to work with your poster in the "fit" mode, but when you wish to see proper sizing, select 100%. What you see on the screen will be what will print out.>
CHARTS AND GRAPHS
There are two ways to insert and handle charts and graphs in PowerPoint.
Creating a chart with PowerPoint
When you create a chart by going to the Insert menu and then clicking Insert Chart, PowerPoint opens to a program called Microsoft Graph which displays a chart and an associated datasheet. The datasheet provides sample information that indicates where to type your row and column labels and data.
You can select the kind of chart you want (pie, bar, line, combination) by going to the Chart menu and selecting Chart Type.
After you create a chart, you can enter your own data on the datasheet, import data from a text file or Lotus 1-2-3 file, import a Microsoft Excel worksheet or chart, or copy data from another program. Note that PowerPoint also comes with a program that creates organization charts.
To insert a chart or graph from another application.
1) Select and copy the chart/graph from the program you used.
2) In PowerPoint select Paste Special from the Edit menu, then select Picture (Enhanced Metafile). This imports the file in as a graphic file. It cannot be manipulated or changed because it is not linked to the original. If, on the other hand, you paste a chart or graph directly into PowerPoint, you can double click it and it will allow you to change data via the original application. When printed, however, the text tends to move around and the chart may change in appearance. A graphic file created by the "Paste Special" command is usually better for printing purposes.
You can use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Access to create a table. Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word can automatically format the table for you. In Microsoft Access, you can format an entire datasheet.
- For a table you can easily include in a PowerPoint poster, use Word.
- For a table that includes complex graphics formatting (such as bulleted lists, custom tabs, numbering, hanging indents, individual cell formatting, and cells split diagonally) use Microsoft Word.
- For a table that includes complex calculations, statistical analysis, or charts, use Microsoft
To insert a table
- Copy the table from the program you used.
- In PowerPoint select Paste Special from the Edit menu, then select Picture (Enhanced Metafile). This imports the file in as a graphic file. It cannot be manipulated or changed because it is not linked to the original, but like the chart, a table inserted as a graphic file is much better for printing purposes.
GRAPHICS, PHOTOS AND FIGURES
Digital images are representations of pictures, drawings or graphics stored electronically as files in a variety of file types. Digital imaging refers to the process of acquiring, editing and presenting digital images. Among the most common file types that can be imported into PowerPoint are .wmf; .jpg; .bmp; .gif; and .tif. Each type has unique properties and advantages:
- .wmf - this image format is scaleable within PowerPoint.
- .jpg - an efficient and recommended format when saved at high image quality settings (low compression)
- .tif - preserves maximum image quality, but files sizes are large
- .gif - good for graphics but may not be rescaled; supports only minimum colors but allows for transparency
|Did you know:
Images captured from web pages are of very low resolution and if enlarged will appear pixilated in your poster. These graphics are not recommended for poster presentations.
A word about image resolution
Remember that you are composing your poster at one half size the final size. Therefore our recommendation is that a photographic image should be at least 150 pixels per inch at the final size desired in your poster. For instance, if you wish an image to be 5 inches wide by 4 inches deep in the final poster, the image resolution should be minimally 750 pixels wide x 600 pixels deep. Resolutions up to 300 pixels per inch will deliver better final image quality, but resolutions above 300 pixels per inch will not be noticeably better and will add considerably to the file size. In this application, the terms dpi (dot per inch) and ppi (pixels per inch) are synonymous.
Inserting Images and other important image considerations
- Insert graphics by selecting Picture from the Insert menu, .
- Preserve the aspect ration of your images by using the Shift key when you resize graphics.
- If you are scanning images for your poster be sure the images are either 150 to 300 dpi. This will allow for resizing if it becomes necessary.
- Avoid using pictures you find on the web. They are usually optimized at 72 dpi and can look very grainy or "pixilated" if resized.
- Do not use WordArt in your posters. It does not print well at larger sizes.
- The tiff (*.tif) format is good for printing images. Jpeg (.jpg) is an excellent choice at the higher quality image settings. The jpeg format is a good compromise of image quality and efficient image size.
- Make all significant changes to an image in an application other than PowerPoint. However, you can crop, resize, and perform some contrast and brightness adjustments within PowerPoint.
- Slides, Photographs, and drawings that are not in a digital format can be scanned and saved as graphic files. We encourage you to save the file as a TIF or JPEG (at the maximum quality setting). It is important that you scan your images in at the size you need them to be printed out. If the image is going to be 8 inches by 10 inches, then you need to set the scanner for that image size at 250 dpi - 300 dpi (dots per inch). In this regard, dots per inch and pixels per inch are synonymous. Note that the larger the file, the longer it takes to print. Smaller files are also easier to manipulate and manage.
PowerPoint comes with a set of ready-made shapes that you can use in your posters. The shapes can be resized, rotated, flipped, colored, and combined with other shapes to make more complex shapes. The AutoShapes Menu on the Drawing toolbar contains several categories of shapes, including lines, connectors, basic shapes, flowchart elements, stars and banners, and callouts. You can add text to AutoShapes by clicking in the shape and typing. Many have an adjustment handle (a yellow diamond) that you can use to change a special aspect of a shape.
Position, align, and space text in an AutoShape
When text is attached to an AutoShape, such as a callout or flowchart symbol, you can change the position of the text, change the shape of the object to fit the text, make the text wrap in the object, or change the amount of space between the text and the edge of the object. To attach your text to an object, click the object and type the text. Note: You can also use the same procedures to position, align, and space text that was added by using the Text Box tool on the Drawing toolbar.
Add a line
1) Click AutoShapes in the Drawing toolbar, point to Lines, and then click the line style you want.
2) Drag to draw the line. To constrain the line to draw at 15-degree angles from its starting point, hold down SHIFT as you drag. To lengthen the line in opposite directions from the first end point, hold down CTRL as you drag.
Change the color of a line or border
- Select the object you want to change.
- On the Drawing toolbar, click the arrow next to Line Color, or right click and select Format, Autoshapes.
Change the style of a line or border
- Select the line or border you want to change.
- On the Drawing toolbar, click Line Style.
- Click the style you want or click More Lines and then click a style.
Add or change a fill
You can fill objects with solid or gradient (shaded) colors, a pattern, a texture, or a picture. Any time you fill an object, the new fill replaces the old one. If you change an object's fill, you can easily change it back to its default.
The Draw menu has many options to help you work with your drawing objects. The first three, Group, Ungroup and Regroup, are for multiple objects. Use the shift key to pick up more than one object at a time.
Order is a menu that can be pulled free. It allows you to choose within the layers of objects which object is in front of the others.
Select Grid from the drawing toolbar. PowerPoint has an invisible grid that objects snap to. This option window will allow you to adjust that spacing. The arrow keys on the keyboard and the Nudge option on this menu will move the object to the next grid location. However, you can always nudge your objects just a little bit by using Ctrl and the arrow keys on the keyboard.
In addition, no matter where you place your objects you can always have them line up where you want them to or distribute an equal amount of space between them by using the Align or Distribute feature. If the Relative to Page button is pushed, you only need to have one object selected. The Edit Points option allows you to edit the wrap points around an object. Change AutoShape option allows you to change the selected object into any other shape. It will maintain its size, colors and position. If you draw a object and then change its options, you can then choose the Set AutoShape Default option such that every time you draw that shape again it will retain your customized colors and line styles.
SAVING AND PRINTING
Save your final poster to a separate file and make sure you make a backup file as well. Two good mediums for saving are a flash drive or a CD-Rom. If you are using graphics in your poster, be sure to include a copy of each of the image files separately along with your presentation. This is useful if the image gets corrupted and needs to be reinserted.
- On the File menu, click Save As.
- In the File name box, name the file with your last name and presentation number (e.g., Smith_P4S.ppt)
- In all cases you should check the Embed TrueType option to the right of the screen. This will assure that your fonts will be printed, even if the service bureau or print vendor DOES NOT have the font on their computer.
- Click Save.
- Tell your output or printing service that your poster must be scaled to print at 200% to achieve a final poster size of 90 inches wide by 44 inches deep.
|Tip. To save the copy in a different folder, click a different drive in the Save In box or a different folder in the folder list, or both. To save the copy in a new folder, click Create New Folder
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