How to format Scientific Posters?

Did you ever wonder what is great conference poster format?

This website gives exact pointers:

  • Select a font size that is readable from at least 3 ft. (e.g., title: 60 pts, body and headings: 30 pts, text: no smaller than 18 pts).
  • Select a sans-serif font (e.g., Helvetica, Arial) for titles and headings. Use graphics instead of text when feasible, and avoid large blocks of text.
  • When creating a new document, set the document dimensions and the poster orientation (portrait or landscape). For some programs such as PowerPoint you use the page setup panel to set document dimensions and orientation.
  • Using PowerPoint
    • Setting dimensions and orientation is done in the “Page Setup…” panel.
    • Select File > Page Setup…
    • For both portrait and landscape orientation, set Width: 30 and Height: 40.
    • Select the Orientation value. (This may switch the values you typed for width and height.)
    • Design the slide by adding text and graphical elements. The final objective is to produce an Adobe PDF file representing the 30″ x 40″ poster. This is simpler on a Macintosh than on a Windows system.
    • The Adobe PDF file is produced by “printing to a file” using the HP DesignJet 5500 print driver and page size 30″ x 40″. On the Mac, choose “Save as PDF”. On Windows, check “Print to File”, and then use Adobe Distiller to make a PDF from the Postscript file.
  • On a Windows
    • Select File > Print…
    • Select the Printer Name: HP DesignJet 5500.
    • Select the Properties button.
    • Select the same Orientation value chosen above.
    • Select the Advanced… button.
    • Select 30″ x 40″ for the Paper Output: Paper Size value.
    • Select the OK button and then the second OK button.
    • Check the “Print to File” option and select the OK button.
    • Type the output filename (e.g., “”). Be sure to type the .ps extension and the quotation marks.
    • Select “Save” to generate the PostScript output file.
    • Upload the file to the central UNIX system named Strauss.
    • Use the Adobe distiller program to convert the PostScript file to PDF format.
    • Type “distill” to create “poster.pdf”.
  • On a┬áMac OS
    • The Page Size is set to 30″ x 40″ in the Page setup before printing.
    • Select File > Print…
    • Select the Printer: HP5500_DJRIP…
    • Select the “Save as PDF” button.
    • The output filename will be “poster.pdf”.
  • Modify an existing poster
    • First, create a new document to 30″ x 40″ as described above. Then, copy and paste the contents of the old poster into the a new one. You may need to choose different font sizes.
      Special case: A 16-slide PowerPoint presentation
    • A PowerPoint presentation of 16 slides can easily become a poster with no modifications to original file. The 16 slides will be displayed as a 4 x 4 grid. Since the default size of each PowerPoint slide is 10″ x 7.5″, this makes a 40″ x 30″ poster