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How to Create a Digital Poster : Academic Excellence Showcase

 Download Instructions as PDF 

STEP ONE - SET UP YOUR POSTER 

Using PowerPoint or Google Slides, set up your poster in portrait mode. Set up the area to be: Width = 10 W X Height = 20. 

POWERPOINT 

Start a new blank presentation. Select the Design tab then on the right, select Slide Size and Custom Slide Size 

screen shot of Power Point interface with arrows pointing to Design, Slide Size, Custom Slide Size

Set Orientation to Portrait. Width = 10 in and Height = 20 in. Select OK. 
Select Maximize (you don't have to worry about the slide area when creating a digital poster). 

Screen shot of Custom Slide Size.  Noting the selections for portrait and height and width

 

GOOGLE SLIDES 

Start a new blank presentation. Select File at bottom of list, select Page setup. Select Custom and enter in 10 x 20 and Apply. 

Screen shot of Google Slides Interface illustrating set up directions.

 

DIGITAL POSTER-PORTRAIT ORIENTATION 

Now you have a blank canvas set up in portrait mode (which is easiest to view as a digital poster because the viewer only has to scroll up and down to see the content instead of both up/down and left/right (which they would need to do if you set it up in landscape mode). 

Side by side comparison of digital poster set up for PowerPoint and Google Slides

STEP TWO - ADD TEXT 

You don't need to use large font sizes for a digital poster. Use 24 point font for Title, 18 point font for Headings, and 12 point font for text. 

Illustration of font sizes for title, headings, and text


STEP THREE -- ADD IMAGES 

Only add images (charts, graphs, tables, illustrations, photographs) that provide informational value (representational, organizational, relational, and transformational).  

Avoid decorative images that have no informational value / serves only an ornamental function to make poster more attractive. 

Illustration of informational images (climate change graph and parts of a blackberry leaf) and decorative images (sun over mountains and tree branch)

ADD ALT TEXT DESCRIPTIONS 

Alt Text allows screen readers to interpret the images. Add in a 1-2 sentence description of the image. 

POWERPOINT-ALT TEXT 

Right click on image. Select Edit Alt Text. Add description.

Screen shot of PowerPoint steps to add alt text to images

GOOGLE SLIDES-ALT TEXT 

Right click on image. Select Alt text. Add Title and Description / OK 

Screen shot of Google Slides steps to add alt text to images

STEP FOUR - SAVE AS PDF 

While working on your draft, save as presentation (PowerPoint -- Google Slides will automatically save) but when you are finish, save your final as a PDF. 

POWERPOINT SAVE AS PDF

Select File / Save As / PDF 

screen shots of steps to save PowerPoint as PDF

 

GOOGLE SLIDES SAVE AS PDF

Select File / Download / PDF 

screen shots of steps to save Google Slides as PDF

 Download Instructions as PDF 

 

Image Sources:

McGrath, Matt. “Climate change: Last decade confirmed as warmest on record.” BBC News. Jan 15, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51111176

Sims, Valerie. "Comparison of specific leaf area of invasive and native blackberries." Poster presentation at the Academic Excellence Showcase, Western Oregon University, May 31, 2012.