Biology Department

Creating and Printing a Poster

Creating a Poster in Powerpoint & Printing it on the Plotter in BH 570 Computer Lab

Step 1: Create your poster

  • Choose one of the Powerpoint templates below:
    • For Senior Thesis presentations, the best poster size is template 2 – 36” x 54”  (this template is also linked on the course web page)
    • For presentations at a professional meeting, a better poster size would be template 1 – 36” x 72”  (or, better yet, 42” x 84”, but this requires purchasing special paper for the plotter & making some additional modifications not explained in this document)
  • Change the general formatting to best fit your study & your data (you should use a clear background (no color) which will greatly save on plotter cartridges)
    • You may need to add or delete text boxes to accommodate your data and figures
    • You can change the outline style of the text boxes, use color lines to outline the boxes, etc.
  • Under Page Set-Up:
    • Check your dimensions:
    • For Senior Thesis presentations, use a template that has dimensions of width = 54”  height = 36”
    • Make sure it is set for landscape
    • For larger posters (i.e. longer), Powerpoint cannot make a slide longer than 56”, so you have to scale your document to 50% of the final paper size.  The plotter usually has 36x72” paper.
      • The template to match this larger paper size is set for dimensions of width =  36”,  height = 18”, which can be scaled up by 200% to fit the paper

 Step 2: Print your poster on the Plotter

  • Save your Powerpoint poster file to your M:/ drive
  • Open the file on a computer in BH 570 – the lab with the plotter
  • Open the Print window
  • Select the Plotter as your printer
  • If using the 36 x 54” template, do not check “Scale to Fit Paper”
  • If using the 36 x 72” template, do check the “Scale to Fit” checkbox
  • Click on the Properties button
    • Layouttab
    • Choose Landscape
      • Click Advanced button
        • Paper Size:
        • Choose Postscript Custom Page Size
        • In Page Size Definition window, set Width to 36”, Height to 54”  (in other words, make it match your page set up in Powerpoint)
        • for the large poster size (36 x 72) you would change page sizes to W = 18, H = 36
        • Leave Paper Feed Direction set on “short edge first”
    • Page Layouttab
      • No changes for 36 x 54” poster size
      • For a 36 x 72” poster, check Enable Scaling
        • Click Scaling options
        • Select Percent:
        • Change to 200%
    • Device Optionstab:
      • select “normal” (= default) print quality
  • Check it out with Print Preview to make sure it looks the way you think it should…
  • Print!!
  • Your printer account will be charged $1 per printout (make sure your account is charged up)
  • If you end up with any bad printouts – due to printer error or a formatting problem, keep them and take them to the Computer Lab office in EBH 36, where Dale Robinson or Cheryl Robertson will help you to get reimbursed for those print jobs.