Monday, November 8, 2010

Creating One-Piece Posters via PowerPoint in MS PowerPoint 2007

This was originally prepared by a former member of the Center for Teaching and Learning, but it holds great advice for all of us as we move toward planning for possible trips to ACC-RAC in March of 2011.

To Begin
The average size of a poster is 5’ wide x 3.5’ tall. We will be using these measurements for this tutorial. This document is also written with the intent that the user has a basic knowledge of Microsoft PowerPoint.

We view the creation of a poster in PowerPoint as one big slide; all the aspects are the same except the pasteboard is approximately 600% bigger. The posters are printed on a HP Designjet 5500 ps which has a print area of 3.5’ x 100’; the printer is physically located in The Center for Teaching and Learning.

Setting the Pasteboard
Open PowerPoint. It will open a blank slide for you. If it does not, go to the Microsoft icon in the top left corner, click there and choose Blank Presentation, and then click OK. You now have a basic pasteboard that is set up for slide or onscreen output. We will now change the dimensions of the pasteboard to reflect our poster. In the menu bar at the top of the screen choose the Design Tab, then find the Page Setup…. You will then be prompted with a dialog box that allows you to make changes to the size.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PowerPoint 2007 will not allow you to change the pasteboard size larger than 56 inches, and you will need 60 inches. Because of this, we will create the poster in half scale and print it at 200%. So instead of our pasteboard being 60” x 42” we are going to set it up at 30” x 21.” In the dialog box, here would be our settings:
Width = 30
Height = 21
Pages = 1
Slides = Landscape
Notes = (doesn’t matter)

Now is when you will cut and paste text, import graphics and drop in backgrounds in the pasteboard. Many people use textboxes for importing everything. You will find this tool as a little square with the letter “A” and some lines in it (you can also access this by going to Insert and then Text Box in the top menu bar). Click the button and move your cursor to the page, then click and drag to create a text box. The reasoning behind using a textbox it that you can move the boxes around, resize, and even overlap them.

To import graphics or pictures, go to Insert in the tool bar, then to Picture, then From File. You will be prompted to move through the hierarchy to find your graphic. When you have found it, highlight it and click insert. You can change the size of your graphic by clicking once on the graphic (this will select it, and show 8 hollow squares around the image). To scale the picture proportionally, click and drag on the corner squares; if you click and drag the top and side squares it will distort your image.

REMEMBER: you are working in half scale; if your image says it is 3x5 it will actually print at 6x10. Whatever font you are using, the point size will double in the end product. You will not be able to print the poster from your PC and should contact Nina Brooks in The Center for Teaching and Learning (x5617) to arrange for her to print your poster on the HP large-format printer mentioned previously. Please contact her well in advance of the date you will need your poster.

And last but not least, save your work often (Just in case of a crash).

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