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Academic Posters

A guide to designing an academic poster

How to work with PowerPoint

  • If you use one of the templates provided in the PowerPoint program, the poster will already be sized at 24” tall and either 46” or 48” wide.
  • Remember that the “slide” you see on the screen is “large.” You’d need to zoom in to see and be able to edit your content.
    Use the slider at the bottom right corner of the screen to zoom in or out.
    Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + mouse wheel



  • It is helpful to be able to see the ruler. This will help you orient yourself on the poster when zoomed in, and to adjust margins and indents within a textbox when editing text.


  • Commands in the Home and Insert tabs of the ribbon are very similar or the same as in Microsoft Word. The sliders on the ruler also work the same way as in Word to adjust margins and format bullets.

Move and resize images

  • Move the image on the slide: click once into the image you just inserted. Observe that the mouse pointer turned into a crossed double-headed arrow. You can now move the image around the slide by clicking and dragging it with this arrow.
  • You can adjust the image size by clicking into the corner or on side-sizing handles (little circles on the edges of the image) and dragging them.


Edit text

  • Start typing in the text boxes, or copy and paste the text into the text boxes if you are using a template. Format text within the text box according to Word practices.
  • To adjust the size or move a text box, click on the edge of the box. This will display the outline of the text box with the resizing handles. Click on the handles and drag to resize the box. The text within the box will automatically be adjusted to the new size.
  • To move a text box around on a slide, move your mouse to the edge of the box (but don't click), and the mouse pointer will turn into a crossed double-headed arrow. At this time, you can click and drag the text box to its new position.