Creating a poster as a "PowerPoint" file is straight forward. Follow these instructions.
1. Open the program, and specify "blank presentation".
2. When the auto layout screen appears, choose the "blank" template.
3. From the "file" menu, go to page setup. Specify the size (in inches) of the entire poster. The maximum that the program will allow is 56 x 56 inches. Since many of your posters will be larger than that, enter a percentage (50% is most convenient) of the final finished size. Be sure to inform us of the final finished size. For example, if your final poster will be 48 x 96 inches, make your page setup 24 x 48 inches. The final size will be doubled when output. Click OK. We can enlarge to any degree, but only in proportion to the "page setup" values.
4. You will see a rectangle that will fill your desktop. This is your "canvas".
5. To insert text, use the text tool to draw a rectangle of the approximate size, and start typing. You can change the proportions, type size and style later. Try to use a minimum of 24 point type if you are using a canvas the size of the finished poster, or 12 point if you are using a 50% reduction. You can import text from your word processor via copy and paste. You may have to change the formatting of the pasted text. It rarely survives the translation process unchanged. If you are using a large header, try to keep it to 3 or 4 lines, a final type size of less than 150 point for the main heading, and less than 100 point for subheadings.
6. Scanned pictures (scan as tiff or jpeg files ONLY, RGB if possible) may be inserted by choosing "insert picture" from the "insert" menu. You may resize the imported picture by clicking/dragging the corner selection bars. Any other image manipulation should be done before importing.
Scan resolutions for acceptable viewing at poster size:
7. Once you have all of your text and pictures located properly, you can change backgrounds, borders, lettering colors and styles (remember that colors will be somewhat darker on the final print, and will generally not be exactly equivalent to the screen viewed image). To change the entire background, choose "background" from the "format" menu. Individual text box backgrounds can be changed by selecting the box and changing the "fill" colors.
8. Use lettering effects such as outline or shadow sparingly. They don't always look well at final reproduction size. Bold, italic, and underline are OK.
9. The design process is not difficult, but is time consuming. If you prefer, we can do any or all of it for you.
10. Alternatively, you can start with a PowerPoint template that looks like the example below. It is useable to design various size posters. It might be a good starting point if you have had little experience with this type of display. Sizes, styles, colors and box shapes can all be changed easily, as can type styles.
Choose one of the template sizes below. Save it to your computer as a PowerPoint presentation by right mouse clicking on the red highlighted "Size", then choose "save target as", and save to your hard drive. The saved file will open as a PowerPoint file. All templates will appear with an appended "help" box to the left of the poster. It is outside of the printable area. You will not need to delete it. Feel free to edit any and all elements of each template.
For final poster sizes of 24x48, 36x72 or 48x96 inches, click Size A.
For final sizes of 24x36, 36x54 or 48x72 inches, click Size B.
For final sizes of 18x30, 27x45 or 36x60 inches, click Size C.
For final size of 36x48 inches, click Size D