Microsoft PowerPoint was originally designed for created slide presentations, not posters. But it can also be used to create a poster. When you create a poster with PowerPoint, you are creating the poster on only ONE slide (a very large slide).
The maximum slide size in PowerPoint is 56 inches x 56 inches.
The standard size for PRINT academic posters is 48 inches wide by 36 inches tall.
DIGITAL posters may be STANDARD (4:3) or WIDESCREEN (16:9). PowerPoint has pre-sets for these that you may use. The poster will automatically adjust to fit the screen you are using. If you think you'll print out your poster, you may want to adjust the sizing. To fit these proportions, a 4:3 poster would be 56 inches wide by 42 inches high, and a 16:9 poster would be 56 inches wide by 31.5 inches high.
If you want a poster that is longer or wider than 56" we suggest that you create your poster at half-size. Then when you print it, print it at 200% size. For example, if you want your finished poster to be 40" by 80", set your poster size to 20" by 40". Then print it at 200%. Keep in mind that if you are creating your poster at half-size, everything in it (text, heading, charts, images) will end up being twice as large in your finished poster. So, for example, if you create a title that has a font size of 48 points, in the final poster it will be 96 points.
Students at UNC can download the Adobe Creative Cloud library of products, including InDesign, for free. To sign up for access, visit https://adobe.unc.edu. You will go through a purchase process, but the cost is $0.
Once you have downloaded the Creative Cloud software, you will need to download the InDesign program to your computer.
For information and tutorials about the latest features of Adobe InDesign, see http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign.html.
To create a new InDesign document, click on New File when the program opens.
The New Document dialog box appears. Look first at the Units drop down box and change it to Inches if it is not already. Enter in values for the page size, margins, and number of columns. Typical for a poster would be a page size of 60 inches wide and 36 inches tall, 3 columns, and margins of 0.5 inches on all four sides (top, bottom, left, and right). Be sure your orientation is set correctly.
To zoom in on part of the document, use the zoom tool (). Or choose Ctrl + to zoom in; Ctrl - to zoom out
While you are zoomed in, use the Hand tool () to move around the image.
Press spacebar to access the hand tool when using another tool (except the text tool)
Guides are useful for aligning the elements in your poster. Guides are lines that appear on the screen but do not print. To add guides, first make sure the rulers are visible (View menu > Show Rulers). Then click in a ruler and drag to where you want to place the guide.
To hide or lock the guides, choose View menu > Grids and Guides > Hide Guides or Lock Guides.
If you are making a digital poster, the exact slide size isn't necessarily important. You won't need to change the inches of the slide size. Instead, you'll want to focus on the type of screen you'll be presenting on: Standard or Widescreen. PowerPoint has two ratios to fit these sizes: