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Creating an Academic Poster: Tips and Tricks

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Poster Orientation and Size

A typical academic poster will have a three- or four-column layout, with variations of course.

The first example below is a typical academic poster in landscape format (wider than it is high), including a header with three columns. Many landscape format posters have four columns--the format will depend on the requirements for a particular conference and discipline. 

The second example below shows an academic poster in portrait format (higher than it is wide).

Be sure to consult the conference or event requirements to see if there are specific rules for formatting posters.



poster in landscape format: 48" wide x 36" high (121.92 x 91.44 cm)

















poster in portrait format (less common)


PowerPoint Tip: Page Setup

Before you add any content to the slide, be sure to set the correct width and height required for the poster. This ensures the final product (likely a PDF file) will look exactly as you designed it and not distorted or blurry.

1. Open PowerPoint and choose a 'blank' slide.

2. On the navigation bar, bring the "Design" ribbon to the forward.


3. Choose "Slide Size" and select "Custom Slide Size".



4. In the Slide Size dialogue window, enter in the size of the poster: 48" wide and 36" high.


5. Now you can begin the design process and add content to your poster.


How to prevent text boxes from autosizing

When adding text boxes to your slide, entering text can change the shape of the box. To fix this: Right click (or Ctrl+click) on the text box, choose "Format Shape", "Text Options", "Text Box", and select "Do not Autofit".