Poster - Advice & Tips

If you have created slides using PowerPoint, you will find that it isn't difficult to create a poster. However, what you see on the monitor is not always what you get when the poster is printed on the poster printer. We have compiled this list of tips to help you avoid common mistakes that lead to printing errors. Please use these guidelines when creating your poster. If this is the first time you're using PowerPoint to make a poster, browse our Set-Up Guide for additional information.

  • All posters should be submitted 2 business days in advance of pick-up time. Prior to large scientific meetings, we suggest that you allow additional time.
  • Add a 1-1.5" border of white space on all sides of your poster to accommodate variations in printing.
  • Use standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman; other fonts may not print correctly.
  • Type all special characters (e.g. Greek/mathematical symbols)directly in PowerPoint rather than copying and pasting them in from another document. We have found that special characters pasted into PowerPoint have a tendency to print incorrectly even though the character displays correctly on the monitor. Insert special characters by clicking Insert >> Symbol >> [character].
  • Make sure that text boxes are on the page. Even if the text appears on the page, the text box may extend beyond the edge and cause the text to shift when printed. See figure.
  • Insert figures and graphs using the "Insert" function, not by copying and pasting the image or figure into the document. Click Insert >> Picture >> From file >> [filename].
  • Use a graphics program, not PowerPoint, to resize your images to the size you want them to appear on the poster.
  • Images will look very small when you view the entire poster at once. To get an idea of how the actual picture looks, view your poster at 100%. If it looks fuzzy on your monitor, it will look fuzzy when it prints.
  • The minimum resolution for printed images is 300 dots per inch (DPI). If you take a 2" X 2" image at 300 DPI and resize it to 4" X 4", you have just halved the resolution to 150 DPI.
  • For Macintosh users who want to insert graphs created in Excel:copy and paste the graph from Excel into a new large document (e.g. 2000 X 1300) in Graphic converter. Under the "Edit" menu, choose "Trim Selection" and then save the graph in .pct format (not .pict). Import into PowerPoint as above.
  • To use a graph created in GraphPad, select the graph (in GraphPad) that you want use on the poster. Click File >> Export >> and Save As Type (pull-down menu). Save the image, then insert it into PowerPoint as outlined above.