Frequently Asked Questions

Page Set-up for Powerpoint Posters

When you attend a conference or an event, the organizers will give you the maximum area that you will have for a display. Consider this size FIRST and FOREMOST before creating your poster layout.

What to consider if using Powerpoint: There is a maximum size limitation: PowerPoint™ allows a maximum page size of 56 inches.

If you need your poster larger than 56 inches, we recommend creating it half size. We would print it for you at 200% to fit your size.


3′ x 6′ page setup = 18″ height x 36″ width
3′ x 7′ page setup = 18″ height x 42″ width
4′ x 6′ page setup = 24″ height x 36″ width
4′ x 8′ page setup = 24″ height x 48″ width

Changing your "Page Set-up"

In Microsoft Office Powerpoint: select the "Design" tab in the top ribbon; select the "Page Set-up" icon; enter the values in those fields.

On Macintosh Powerpoint: select "File"; chose "Page Set-up"; enter the values in those fields.

Creating a PDF file

In Microsoft Office Powerpoint:
In Macintosh Powerpoint: select "File"; choose "Save As"; under Format, choose "PDF"

PowerPoint help

Create a great presentation!

You have a presentation to create and it's important. However, formatting diagrams can take forever and the text on your slides seems to have a mind of its own. Don't panic! BIOMED – Design Services and Digital Imaging can help you to get the presentation you want and provide timesaving tips to help send your presentation off in style. Call us to make an appointment to discuss creating your slides. 313-577-1482.

Create an effective presentation

When you are creating your presentation, a good rule to remember is to "KISS", or Keep It Stupid Simple. Only put in information that is essential. Outline your thoughts. If you are reading aloud what you have written in the slide, you will surely bore your audience.

  • Use dark backgrounds and light colors for your text. Use text that is 24pt or larger.
  • For section headings (e.g., Introduction), use bold, maybe a font size of about 36-44.
  • For supporting text (e.g., text within each section & figure captions), use font sizes of about 24-28 (bold, if appropriate).
  • Use font sizes proportional to importance to establish a hierarchy:
    • largest font size- Title
    • next largest font size – Section headings medium font size –
    • Supporting material smallest font size – Details
  • Use Helvetica or Arial fonts, not "Times" or other serif fonts. Helvetica and Arial (san-serif) are bolder and easier to read.
  • Use a consistent background throughout. Changing backgrounds, fonts, graphics makes your reader confused. Add Clip art only to add impact to a specific message — not on every slide.

Grab the reader's attention!

Creating slides that get the viewer's attention is not about which pictures to include. It's about using the space on your slides effectively. Don't crowd your slides, and only include elements that contribute to the points you want to make. When you use graphics on a slide, choose images that serve a purpose (such as a chart or diagram that displays a direct benefit of your idea). Take a look below at the 4 ways to help grab and keep your viewer's attention.

  1. Use sound recordings when sending a presentation electronically. A clean slide that emphasizes key points is more effective than a slide that contains every word you intend to say. But, what do you do if you're sending your presentation electronically? Consider recording narration to accompany your slides.
  2. Use Notes and Handouts to help you stay on track or to create quick and easy leave-behinds for your viewers. Use the Notes pane that appears below the slide in Normal view to write notes to yourself for your presentation, or to create notes that you can print for your viewers. You can also format and print handouts that contain up to nine slides per page.
  3. Create charts and diagrams that emphasize your key points. To chart data in PowerPoint, start by clicking the Insert Chart icon on any g AutoShapes to create any type of diagram or flowchart can provide much more flexibility without much more work.
  4. Use animation and slide transitions consistently and sparingly. Having text and graphics appear on-screen just when you need them can be a nice touch. However, using too much animation can distract from your presentation's content.
    • For effects that emphasize your points without overwhelming your audience, limit animation to key points and use consistent animation choices throughout the presentation.
    • Subtle and consistent slide transitions can also provide a professional touch without being distracting

Stay in control of your presentation!

Custom colors, layouts, and graphics can do a lot for your presentation. But a misaligned flowchart, or a presentation that crashes on your client's computer, isn't likely to make the impression you want.

  1. Keep file size manageable. A common cause of stress with PowerPoint presentations is that the file size becomes too large to edit or to run presentation smoothly. Fortunately, this problem is easy to avoid by using smaller picture file types, compressing pictures, and using native PowerPoint features whenever possible (such as tables, charts, and AutoShapes) instead of embedding and importing objects.
  2. Use the available tools for creating perfect diagrams. One of the great things about PowerPoint is that getting something perfect is easier than getting it close.
  3. Instead of nudging objects until your eyes get tired, use the Align Or Distribute tools. They can help you perfectly align and evenly distribute objects in a click.
  4. You can also use Guides to align and space objects. Guides can help you measure distance and keep positioning of elements consistent across multiple slides.
  5. Zooming in on an object in PowerPoint can greatly increase the accuracy of what you see.
  6. Know exactly what the recipient of your presentation will see. If you're sending a presentation by e-mail, try saving the presentation as a Slide Show so that it automatically opens for the recipient in slide show view.
  7. If you're sending a presentation on CD, the Package for CD feature in PowerPoint is a great time and stress-saver. This feature will set up your presentation (including linked files) on a CD so that the slide show will run correctly for any recipient. It even adds a PowerPoint viewer so that the recipient's computer doesn't need PowerPoint to run the show.
  8. Use Slide Masters for consistency and to save time. In addition to customizing elements of slide layouts (as discussed earlier in this article), you can use the masters to save time and keep slides consistent by adding graphics and formatting just once for all slides.
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