Microsoft PowerPoint Poster

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Need to Make a Poster?

Need to create a poster or flyer but not sure what software to use? For basic posters Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent tool to use. You can make professional looking posters quickly and easily. They can be converted to *.pdf easily.

Important Things to Remember

  • You must resize your canvas BEFORE you begin designing your poster. Click on "Design and then "Page Setup". (The normal poster size is 24" by 36" - portrait).
  • KIS - Keep it simple
  • You can add graphics, text, tables, background colors, etc, to make your poster attractive. Be sure to follow copyright laws if you will be using music, video or graphics from the internet.
  • Be careful when working with pictures and graphics. They may distort if you make them larger or smaller than they really are.
  • When your poster is printed the colors may not match exact.
  • The instructions below are for designing from scratch. There are PowerPoint poster templates available to use if you do not want to design one from scratch.
    • Click on "File/New"
    • In the search bar type in "poster" and hit "Enter"

Or Google for them. Some example sites below.

Basics to Creating the Poster

  • Gather your contents in the form of text, graphs and photos
  • Open PowerPoint, choose "New" and then "Blank Presentation". Click "OK"
  • On the Toolbar - Go to "Design/Slide Size"
    • Choose "Custom Slide Size" and set the width and height of your poster. For example, a typlical poster size is 24 in x 36 in and the orientation would be "portrait" Click on "OK"
      • PowerPoint’s maximum size is 52”
  • Click "Insert" on the toolbar, choose "Text Box". A text box drawing tool will appear on your PowerPoint slide. Click and drag to create the box. This is where you will place your prepared text. Simply cut and paste from Word (or another application) or type directly into the text box. The box will expand to fit the information entered. Remember to consider your font size and make it suitable for poster use. Font sizes of approximately 36 to 54 are recommended for titles, approximately 18 for text. Use your judgment for your specific poster needs. PowerPoint does not recognize all fonts; Arial and Times New Roman are recommended for use. Symbol is the font recommended for scientific symbols. To choose the characteristics of the text box such as line, color or size, go to "Format" in the toolbar or right click on the text box and select "Format Shape". You can copy and paste directly from Word documents into PowerPoint text boxes. We would suggest using black on a white background in text boxes for easy reading.
  • To add logos, charts or photos, go to "Insert" in the menu bar and select "Pictures", and then browse to your file containing your charts or scanned and saved pictures. Double click on the desired picture to insert it.
  • Once you have inserted your pictures, you can move or resize them to suit your needs. The dotted guide lines on the templates are there to tell you where on the sheet your boxes are and can help in getting things properly aligned. If you click and hold them, a box will appear giving the lines' locations on the sheet. You can then move them into position. They will not appear when the poster is printed. If the guide lines are not visible on your screen, select "View", then "Ruler", "Gridlines", and/or "Guides". You can also right click anywhere on the canvas and
  • Once your text and pictures are in place, you may want to add some color and/or texture effects. The color options and background effects are found under Format on the toolbar.
  • Save your poster as a PowerPoint file first ("File/Save As". Then, if you are going to have it printed at the Digital Learning Commons in Krueger Library you will need to save it as a PDF.

NOTE: Often just "right-clicking" on the canvas, text or picture will give you the options you are looking for.

Saving to PDF

  • Save your completed poster in the PowerPoint format. If you are going to have this printed at The Digital Learning Commons you will need to save the file again as a PDF and submit the *.pdf to them.

To Have Your Poster Printed

  • Please review the information on Campus Media Color Printing web page for complete information.
  • The Digital Learning Commons will only accept properly sized PDF files to print. You can email your file to Please include full instructions.
    • What is the size of the poster?
    • Do you want it laminated?
    • Will you pay by purple pass or cost center. Please provide cost center if that is your choice.
    • Do you want any special trimming?
    • Any other special instructions

Other Resources

Help on the Web

There are many references for this on the web. Just "Google" it. Google "creating a poster in PowerPoint". Here is a good video that is on Youtube.

Campus Help

If you need assistance creating your PowerPoint poster:

  • Faculty,Staff - Teaching, Learning and Technology Services (located in the Maxwell Professional Resource Center) will be happy to show you how easy PowerPoint is to use for professional looking posters. You can call 507-457-2900 for more information.