Create a Poster with PowerPoint

By Ellen Finkelstein

Create a Poster with PowerPoint

How to create a poster in PowerPoint 2013

Do you create posters for personal or business use? Many people use Microsoft Word for this purpose, but PowerPoint offers more graphic features and greater flexibility in placing your text and images. Let’s create a couple of posters in PowerPoint 2013. (This is an update of a similar post on creating posters in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.)

Note: At the end of this blog post, get a free download of templates for the 2 posters I created for this post!

Set the slide size
The default slide size is 10 inches wide by 7-1/2 inches high (at least in the United States). That won’t work for your poster, so you need to change it. Also, most posters use a portrait orientation (higher than they are wide), but the default slide size is landscape. Follow these steps:

1. In PowerPoint 2013, click the Design tab. In the Customize group on the right, click Slide Size, then Custom Slide Size. The Slide Size dialog box opens.
2. From the Slides Sized For drop-down list, choose the size of the paper you’ll use to print the poster. I chose Letter Paper (8.5×11 in).
3. In the Orientation section, choose Portrait for the slides, as you see here.
4. If you see a dialog box asking you to choose how to scale (you’ll have a choice of Maximize or Ensure Fit), you can choose either one, because your poster doesn’t have any content in it yet. This is a new feature of PowerPoint 2013 that helps you resize slides, especially between standard and wide-screen formats, but it isn’t relevant when there isn’t existing content.
5. Click OK to close the dialog box.
Your slide now looks very different from it’s typical shape and size! But now it looks more like it’s ready to be a poster.

Choose a layout
The existing layouts will most likely not be useful for you, so choose the Blank layout and start from scratch. (I rarely suggest that for a business presentation with multiple slides, because it’s hard to get a consistent look, but you’ll only be creating one slide/poster. See “Create consistent slides with layouts.“)

With your mouse cursor not on any slide object, right-click and choose Layout> Blank. You now have a tabula rasa, a blank slate.

While we’re talking about layout, it’s a good idea to sketch your poster’s layout in advance, using regular ol’ pencil and paper. Try out a couple of ideas. Once you find something you like, creating the poster will be much easier.

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This post is excerpted with the permission of PowerPoint Tips.

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