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Creating a Poster in PowerPoint

  • Your poster should be either 
    • a) portrait style - 2.5 feet wide (30 inches or about 76.2 cm) and 3.5 feet tall (42 inches or about 107 cm) OR
    • b) landscape style - 3.5 feet wide (42 inches or about 107 cm) and 2.5 feet tall (30 inches or about 76.2 cm)
  • You can design your poster using a variety of programs, including PowerPoint
    • In PowerPoint, select Design – Page Setup. Select “Slides sized for: Custom” from the drop down menu.
      • For a portrait style poster: Choose “Orientation: Portrait” and enter the size of your poster in inches. 
      • For a landscape style poster: Chose "Orientation: Landscape" and enter the size of your poster in inches. 
        • Note: if you get a pop up message at this stage asking if you want to scale the content, you can choose either maximize or ensure fit. It won't make a difference because you don't have any content in the slide yet.
    • To print an 8.5x11 version of your poster for proofreading, select Print – Slides. Make sure that the box next to “Scale to fit paper” in the print window is checked off.
  • Investigate your printing options in advance. The Digital Print Centre inside the Bookstore may need 24 hrs or more to print your project. 
  • Font - Use serif fonts (Times New Roman, etc) for most text as it is easier to read. Only use sans-serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, etc.) for titles and headings. Headings should be 36 to 90 in size. Most of the text in your poster will probably be 24 to 36 in size.

Poster Layout and Design

Here are some helpful websites on the topics of poster layout and design. These websites provide general advice – it is your responsibility to make sure that your poster meets the requirements of your assignment:

Finding and Using Images

Presentations off campus have different copyright rules than in-class presentations. While it may be ok to use an image you found via Google in your in-class presentation, using that same image in a poster at an event off campus may violate copyright. This copyright guide, created by MRU's Copyright Advisor, will help you understand how you can use images in your assignments while still respecting copyright. MRU's Copyright Advisor can be reached at or 403.440.6618 if you have any copyright questions.

Here are some places where you can search for Creative Commons licensed or public domain images where the creator has given you permission up front for their reuse under certain conditions. 

Warning: Once you select an image, use a reverse image search like TinEye to confirm its origins. Some of the images in popular free image sites like Unsplash and Pixabay have been uploaded illegally from commercial stock image sites. 

Use of Logos

Please ensure you follow the MRU logo guidelines when using the logo on your poster. You can download the logo here

You must seek permission from the organization you worked with before using their logo on your poster. The logos do not need to be cited either in-text or on your reference list.

Citing Images in APA

If your assignment requires you to use images, consider the following:

  • Do you have the right to use the image in your project? (see the MRU copyright guide for more information)
  • How does your instructor want you to cite the photo in your paper, on your slides, or on your poster?
    • with a figure note (see the handout below or chapter 7 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition) 
    • using a regular in-text citation with the image creator's last name and year below the image  e.g. (Smith, 2015)

While the APA manual officially recommends figure notes, your instructor may be okay with you using parentheses - it is best to confirm with them directly.

Cari Merkley's picture
Cari Merkley

Phone: 403.440.5068
Office: EL4423U