Creating a Poster with PowerPoint


Download and edit the poster template or follow the instructions below.

  • Start PowerPoint and open “new presentation”
  • From the menu bar, select File > Page setup.
  • In the box that appears, the first section is “size.”
  • Next to the heading “slides sized for,” select “custom” from the pull-down menu
  • Required dimensions are 48” wide by 36” high. Click “OK.”
  • You will see this prompt: “the current page size exceeds the printable area of the paper in the printer.” It will offer three options: cancel, OK, and fix. Click “OK.”
  • Set the slide layout to "blank." This is done differently in different versions of PowerPoint. If you are having difficulty, type "layout" in the PowerPoint help menu, and you will find instructions on how to create or change slide layouts.
  • You can look at the poster at different sizes. Using a smaller size (e.g. 25%) will allow you to see the whole poster at once. Using a larger size (e.g. 75%) will allow you to read your text more easily.
  • If you find it difficult to keep track of what you are doing, create a second PowerPoint file, with a regular sized PowerPoint slide presentation. You can make a series of slides and then copy the text boxes and pictures from those slides into the custom poster file


    Look at examples of posters from previous years (these are large files; be patient):

    • D. Bradley Bate: Physical controls on the bioavailability of soil phosphorus in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica
    • Yun Chao Chen: Targeting the Achilles' Heel of RAS Dysregulated Tumors
    • Neil Desai: Overcoming Challenges in Lung Cancer Chemoprevention: Retinoic Acid Receptors and 'Smart' Drugs
    • Christina Long: Capture of circulating tumor cells using nanomagnetic technology