How to Create a Poster in PowerPoint
First, you need to create one large slide in PPT that is 36” tall, 48” wide. (or set the size specifically to the final printed size you want) It is important you take this step at the beginning.
- Open PPT and choose: File – New – Blank Presentation.
- For the slide layout, choose: Blank Slide (with no title)
- Select: File – Page Setup
- Enter 48” for the width and 36” for the height
- Make sure your slide is in “Landscape Mode” (i.e., wider than it is high)
In order to view your entire poster on the screen at one time, select: View – Zoom – Fit
In order to zoom in on sections of the poster to work on them in finer detail, select: View – Zoom – 100% (or any other factor you like).
Now that you have your blank poster page, feel free to cut and paste images, text blocks, and charts onto the page.
- To open a text box on your poster, select: Insert – Text Box
- Then click anywhere on your poster and begin typing in the box.
- You can size/move the text box by using the lines and dots on the edges of the box
- You can change font size, color, etceteras as you would in MS Word.
- You can put gridlines on the slide so you can line up your pictures and text by clicking on the Show/Hide Grid button on the toolbar.
- If you do not see the shortcut, click View – Grid and Guides – then check the box for Display Grid on Screen. You can also change the spacing of the grid lines right above the Display Grid on Screen option.
Other objects (such as pictures, diagrams, charts, and tables) can also be inserted in a similar way by selecting the appropriate object from the “Insert” menu. Keep in mind that any images will be blown up in a poster and there may be some distortion or pixilation when it is printed.
- You can add colors to the poster by using autoshapes and changing the fill color - shortcuts for these options can be found on the drawing toolbar.
- If you do not see the drawing toolbar (located at the bottom of the screen) select Tools – Customize – Toolbars – then check the drawing box and the toolbar should appear.
- You can stack shapes or textboxes on top of each other. For example, if you wanted to create a colored border around a white textbox, you could use the rectangle autoshape to draw a box and fill it with a color (these options are located on the drawing toolbar). You could then draw a textbox inside the rectangle.
- Right click inside the textbox, choose the Format Textbox option, and change the fill color of the textbox (change it to white or any other color).
- Right click inside the textbox again and choose the Order option, then choose Bring to Front so the textbox would be seen on top of the colored rectangle.
- You can stack shapes, pictures, graphs, etc. in the same manner by right clicking on the object and choosing the Order option.
- If you have objects stacked on top of each other, you can group them together so all the stacked objects become like one new object and can be moved around the page together. This is done by clicking on each object you want to be grouped together while holding down the Ctrl key.
- For example, if you had a textbox with a colored rectangle behind it you could click on the rectangle to select it, then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the textbox.
- Right click on the object and select the Grouping option, then click Group (ungroup can also be selected in the same way to separate the objects again).
Remember to leave at least 1/4-inch of white (unprinted) space around the outside of your poster since large-carriage printers typically can not do “full bleed” printing (i.e., they can not print right up to the edge of the paper).
You can also paste other PPT slides (from previous presentations, for example) onto your poster. To do this:
- Open a PPT presentation file
- Select: View – Slide Sorter
- Right-click on a slide and select Copy
- Go back to your PPT poster file and select: Edit – Paste Special – Microsoft
PowerPoint Presentation Object
- Now you can move and size the slide as a separate object on your poster
To save the final copy of your poster to e-mail for printing:
- Select: File – Save As – then type “Postername” in the File Name field (also select the folder and sub-folder location where you want to store the file)
- Select: “PDF (*.pdf)” as the “Save As Type” to ensure formation of a PDF file.
- Select: Save
- Faculty and staff should take posters to the CISAT Copy Center for printing.