There are many different software programs that can be used to create an academic poster. Here are a few fairly user-friendly suggestions:
Powerpoint is a fairly easy program to use as the Microsoft interface is familiar to many students. There are also a number of academic poster templates in Powerpoint format available on the Internet.
Google Slides is like a simpler version of Powerpoint but with all of the features needed to create an academic poster--plus it's cloud-based and free to use. Powerpoint templates might not always open correctly in Google Slides, unfortunately.
Microsoft Word is also familiar to many students. Designing a poster from scratch with this program is a bit tricky, but there are some good templates available in Word format available on the Internet.
Whatever program you use, be sure to first set the document size to the actual size of the printable poster.
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".