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PowerPoint for Posters: Home

Step by step instructions for using PowerPoint to create your conference poster; tips and ideas for poster design

Setting Up PowerPoint for Posters

Basic steps on changing settings for posters

A.  Slide set up

1.  Open PowerPoint

2.  Select blank slide layout – NOTE:  Your poster will be on just ONE slide

3.  Select the Design tab

4.  Select Slide Size   (In older MS versions, select Page Setup)

5.  Under “Slides sized for” use the pull-down arrow to select “custom”

6.  Set the height and width as per the conference regulations

NOTE: Powerpoint only goes to a width of 56 inches.  You can have the printer enlarge your poster as long as the sizing is proportional  
 e.g.   48 x 24  will scale to 72 x 36

7.  Keep the slide orientation as landscape

8.  Select OK

9.  Select View tab

10.  Check Rulers & Gridlines -  this will help you line up text boxes. 

B.  Textbox set up

1.  Select Insert tab

2.  Click Text Box and then click and drag over area on slide where you want the box.  E.g. The title

3.  Don’t agonize if it’s not the exact size & in the exact spot.  You can move it & resize it later

4.  Enter text & select center or left justify

5.  Repeat for the other sections: Abstract; Introduction; Materials & Methods; Results; Conclusions; Literature Cited; Acknowledgements; Further Information/Contac

6. See Design Tips tab for font sizes

C. Inserting Images

To insert an online photo:

  1. Select Insert
  2. In the pop-up box for Bing Image Search, type in a term. E.g. nurses

Places to find images either within the public domain or cleared for general use:

Flickr Commons – photos in the public domain (many photos will be old, but also new ones as well).  Under the info about the photo, note: License - No known copyright restrictions

Flickr Advanced Search 

  1. Select Advanced Search, located to the right of the search button. 
  2. Scroll down to Creative Commons & make selection

Google Images

  1. First do a Google Image search.
  2. On resulting page, click the Options Icon (Looks like a gear) and select Advanced Search. 
  3. Scroll down to the dropdown box with “Not filtered by license”
  4. Make your selection.   

 iStock Photo

Good source, if you are willing to pay

Need original graphics/illustrations?

If you are in need of original graphics and illustrations, contact StacyTurpin Cheavens. She is a certified Medical Illustrator within the School of Medicine. She creates illustrations and animations for journal articles, lectures, posters, textbooks, among other uses.

Sample layouts

Standard Layout:
The title is centered across the top with the other elements in either three or four columns similar to a newspaper.  Traditionally, posters are read left to right, top to bottom.  Charts are often placed in the middle. That said, there are many variations to this standard layout.  

Title (90 – 120 pt)

Authors & affiliations (72-120 pt)

Introduction - what you are studying, why it's important and how your analysis will add to practice    

Methods - how the data was gathered

Results - the findings of the project

Objectives - what the goals of the project were/are

Chart - display data visually if possible

Conclusions - interpretation of the results.  May put the implications here or in separate section

Background  - the context of where this project fits

150-300 dpi

References - sources used in poster

NOTE that this layout doesn't show use of white space. 

AND feel free to use other section headers such as "Research Question" in place of "Introduction"

Mike Morrison's #BetterPoster Layout

Morrison encourages you to think of your poster as a billboard (see the video!) with the main finding in large font in the middle of your poster. Traditional sections of Intro / Methods / Results are in a left-hand column; additional tables and figures are in a right-hand column.

Templates available