How to Make a Poster In PowerPoint

When size matters, just adjust it!

How to make a poster in PowerPoint

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PowerPoint is a great tool for creating slideshows and other types of presentations. It can also be utilized to display multimedia in formats not readily available in its companion Microsoft Office applications like Word or Excel. Another useful yet lesser-known feature in PowerPoint is the ability to create printable posters, both large and small in size.

Defining Your PowerPoint Poster Size

When creating a poster in PowerPoint, the first thing you need to do is define its size.

  1. Launch PowerPoint.

    Microsoft PowerPoint icon on macOS
  2. Choose an existing template or open a blank presentation.

    Template chooser for Microsoft PowerPoint in macOS
  3. Select the Design tab, located near the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint interface.

    Design tab in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows 10
  4. PowerPoint 2013 and higher: Click the Slide Size button, located in the Customize section of the PowerPoint ribbon.

    PowerPoint 2010: Click the Page Setup button.

  5. When the drop-down menu appears, select:

    Windows: Custom Slide Size

    Custom Slide Size button in Slide Size menu in PowerPoint for Windows 10

    MacOS: Page Setup

  6. The Slide Size or Page Setup dialog should now be displayed, overlaying the main PowerPoint window.

    Modify the Width and Height to meet the specifications for your particular poster, keeping in mind that the printer you're going to use will need to support the size that you are defining here.

    Slide size dialog in Powerpoint for Windows 10

    Some common poster sizes (measured in inches, width x height) are 11" x 17", 18" x 24", 24" x 36", 27" x 41" (once a common size for movie posters), 48" x 36" and 56" x 36". 

  7. The maximum slide size in PowerPoint is 56" x 56". If you need to create a poster larger than this, simply set dimensions that are exactly half the size of your desired output in both width and height. Then when it comes time to print your poster (instructions found later in the tutorial) you would set the output to 200%, doubling the dimensions configured in PowerPoint. 

  8. You'll notice that as soon as you change Width or Height, the value in the Slides sized for: drop-down menu will automatically switch to Custom. This is the expected behavior and can be ignored. Once you're satisfied with your slide size settings, click on the OK button.

  9. A message may now appear, noting that you are scaling to a new slide size. It is recommend that you select:

    Windows: Ensure Fit button

    Ensure fit button in Slide Size dialog for Microsoft PowerPoint in Windows 10

    MacOS: Scale button

  10. Your poster size should now be fully defined.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Poster

At this point you should be back in the main PowerPoint interface, looking at slide 1. This is the only slide that you should be using to create your poster, so all desired contents need to be placed here in whatever style and format that you wish.

Creating content for a PowerPoint poster is essentially the same as if you were creating content for a presentation slide, what you see is what you get. We suggest taking your time with details such as background and fonts as well as image and text placement, making sure that your poster will really stand out once it's printed.

Printing Your PowerPoint Poster

If you've defined your slide size and completed the design, it's time to print your poster! First, make sure that you have the proper paper loaded and that your printer is online and recognizable to the computer that you're using. Next, take the steps below.

To print in PowerPoint 2010 follow our tutorial in place of the steps below, choosing the Full Page Slides option in step 3. 

  1. Windows and PowerPoint Online: Select the File tab, located near the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint interface. Click on Print, found in the left menu pane.

    macOS: Click on File in the PowerPoint menu, located at the top of the screen. When the drop-down menu appears, select Print.

  2. Windows: PowerPoint's Print options should now be visible, with a preview of your poster slide on the right-hand side of the screen. Ensure that the correct printer is selected and that the Settings section is configured to print Full Page Slides. You can choose to print your poster in Grayscale or Pure Black and White if desired, although the default setting is Color.

    Print options in PowerPoint for Windows 10

    macOS: PowerPoint's Print options should now be visible. Click on the Show Details button and ensure that the correct printer is selected and that the Layout setting is set to Slides. You can choose to print your poster in Grayscale or Black and White if desired, although the default setting is Color.

    PowerPoint Online: Select the Print Full Page Slides option. PowerPoint's Print options should now be visible, with a preview of your poster slide on the right-hand side of the screen. You can choose to print your poster in Color (default) or Black and White.

  3. Once satisfied with these settings, select the Print button to complete the process.