Creating and Printing a Poster in PowerPoint

Please note, the specs provided on this page are for posters intended for mounting on ChBE poster board, which is 40" x 32." Industry conferences often use poster board that is 48" x 36" — please adjust file and print settings as necessary depending upon the recommendations of the event coordinator.

  • Please use official Georgia Tech logos, which may be accessed here.
  • Do not use Buzz, the Ramblin' Wreck, the interlocking GT symbol, or the GT seal — these images are approved by the Institute only for specific use and are not appropriate for professional research presentations.

Poster Template A

Poster Template B

Moving Objects

Scanning Images

Choppy/Blurry Objects

Pasting Graphs and Charts

Printing Background Images

Creating Error Bars

Inserting Pictures

Text Box Printing Problems

Aligning Text or Objects

Troubleshooting Printing Problems

Font Recommendations

Configuring the Poster Printer


How can I move objects up/down or left/right a little bit at a time?

To move objects such as text boxes or images up/down, right/left in small increments select the object by clicking on it once and use the arrow keys to move up, down, left, or right. You may also move objects with more precision by holding down the CTRL key while using the arrow keys.

When I insert an image and stretch it out, it looks choppy or blurry. What can I do to fix this?

It is recommended that you only use .jpg, .tif, .eps, or .wmf image formats. Also, you may find that you need to hold down the SHIFT key when resizing. You should only stretch the image using the corner nodes. Alternatively, you may resize the image by manually adjusting the size by percentages. The important thing to remember is that you want the image to increase or decrease the same percentage on the X and Y axis. If the X and Y axis increase or decrease at different percentages, your image will appear to be distorted. Many images (especially those that you have copied from the Internet) will show some resolution degradation when stretched to a much larger size.

How can I get a background image to print on the background of my poster?

Please remember not to use a dark background. Also, do not use a color with fill effects—the printer will not properly render fill effects. To use one of the Microsoft PowerPoint background images, go to DESIGN. This will bring up a window showing available slide design templates. By selecting COLORS, you may choose different templates and see a preview of the color scheme. If you want to adjust one or more colors in the scheme, select CREATE NEW THEME COLORS and adjust the colors as you want.

How do I insert a picture file into my presentation?

Go to INSERT>>PICTURE>>FROM FILE. Find the file on your computer and click on INSERT.

How can I line up my text boxes or objects?

Select the text boxes you want to line up by clicking on each one once while holding down the Shift key. Then, go to ARRANGE and select the alignment you want.

What font should I use?

It depends on your poster, but generally Arial size 28 is good for text boxes and Arial Black Size 100 with a shadow is good for titles. As a general rule, sans-serif fonts like Arial, Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, Verdana, Trebuchet, Tahoma work best for titles—both at the top of your poster and for any divisions within your poster. Serif fonts like Times New Roman, Palatino, Georgia, Book Antiqua, and Garamond often enhance the readability of large amounts of text so they are a good choice for large text blocks.

I have scanned images that I want to put into my PowerPoint presentation. What resolution and format should they be in?

Use 300 dpi for image resolution when scanning. We recommend saving line art (such as charts or graphs) as .gif, .eps, or .wmf format. For photographs we recommend saving your files as .jpg with medium resolution in Adobe Photoshop.

I am having problems copying and pasting a chart from another program. What should I do?

Instead of simply pasting, use the PASTE SPECIAL feature and select PICTURE (ENHANCED METAFILE).

How do I create error bars in a PowerPoint chart?

You don't. Create your chart with error bars in Excel and then import it into PowerPoint.

In Excel, follow these directions:

1) On 2-D area, bar, column, line, xy (scatter), or bubble chart, do one of the following:

  • To add error bars to all data series in the chart, click the chart area.
  • To add error bars to a selected data point or data series, click the data point or data series that you want, or do the following to select it from a list of chart elements:

1) Click anywhere in the chart. This displays the CHART TOOLS, adding the DESIGN, LAYOUT, and FORMAT tabs.

2) On the FORMAT tab, in the CURRENT SELECTION group, click the arrow next to the CHART ELEMENTS box, and then click the chart element that you want.

3) On the LAYOUT tab, in the ANALYSIS group, click ERROR BARS.


4) Do one of the following:

Click a predefined error bar option, as shown below.

Alternatively, you may click MORE ERROR BAR OPTIONS and then under VERTICAL ERROR BARS or HORIZONTAL ERROR BARS, click the display and error amount options that you want to use.

The direction of the error bars depends on the chart type of your chart. For scatter charts, both horizontal and vertical error bars are displayed by default. You can remove either of these error bars by selecting them, and then pressing DELETE.



The text inside of my text boxes didn't print out on my poster. How can I fix that?

There are several options around this obstacle. The easiest solution is to save your entire PowerPoint file as a PDF file and print your poster through Adobe Acrobat.

My text boxes are not printing out correctly, text is being cut off or overflowing outside of the box or my images are being stretched or squished. How can I fix that?

Make sure that you are using the same page size in PowerPoint as you have set the paper size in your printer settings. When you first create your PowerPoint document, you should set your page size in PowerPoint to 40x32 LANDSCAPE. When you print your document, you must also set the printer paper size to 40x32 LANDSCAPE. Whether you are printing from a PowerPoint file or an Adobe Acrobat file, the size of your file MUST match the size of the paper as defined in the printer specifications.

If you are sure that your file size and printer specification size matches, then try the alternative solution of grouping all of the elements on your poster before printing. To do this, hover your mouse anywhere on your poster — do NOT click on anything. Next, type CTRL + A. Every element on your poster will be selected. Now, type CTRL + G and every element on your poster will be grouped together.

How do I select the correct print settings for the HP Designjet 5500?

1) First, select the printer named EST 1354 HP Designjet 5500 42 by HP.

2) Next, navigate to the FINISHING tab and select LANDSCAPE.

3) Now, return to the PAPER/QUALITY tab. Select CUSTOM under PAPER OPTIONS. Change the paper size to 40" WIDE by 32" HIGH.


4) Next, go to the EFFECTS tab. Select PRINT DOCUMENT ON under RESIZING OPTIONS. Custom 1: 40" x 32" should appear automatically.

5) Now, you are ready to print. If you find that any of the edges of your poster are being cut off, you may want to increase the size of your custom paper by a couple of inches — i.e., instead of 40" x 32" choose 42" x 34" but do NOT change the size of your PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat file.