Sizing and Resizing: How Do I Setup My Poster Size?

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To properly setup the PowerPoint page size in a new, blank file:

  1. Open a new blank presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Go to the Design tab and select Page Setup.
  3. A dialog box will appear similar to the one on the right. Enter the width and height of the page. The slide orientation (portrait or landscape) will automatically adjust based on the page sizes entered.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If the rulers are turned on (on the View tab check the Ruler box), you will be able to see that the slide is now the size you entered.
We offer a free Scientific poster checklist to help you grade and critique your poster.

Important!

The PowerPoint page size must be proportionate to the final print size you desire. If you send us a "square" file, we won't stretch your poster to a "wide" page.

Proportional Sizes

Proportional SizesThe page size of your PowerPoint document must be the same aspect ratio as your final output size. Your file's page size need not be the same as the final output size, but must be proportionate. If, for example, you are going to order a 36x72 inch poster, your PowerPoint page size can be set to 24x48 or any other proportionate page size.

Many customers get frustrated when we tell them that we cannot print their poster to a size that is not a proportionate size. We are not trying to be difficult, we are just looking out for you! Printing a poster to a size that is not proportionate to the file page size results in poster contents being distorted, squished, stretched, and just plain old crummy looking. Just take a look at some of the examples below.

Proportional Sizes

Posters Larger Than 56"

Unfortunately, PowerPoint won't let you use a custom page size that is larger than 56" inches. In order to work around this limitation, youll need to set up your file to a smaller proportionate scale. To find a page size that will work you can enter the final print size dimensions in the boxes below and chose any one of the sizes that has both dimensions smaller than 56.

We also have a Page Size Converter you can use to help you out.

Need Your Poster Printed to a Different Specific Required
Poster Size?

It's best to just use your existing file as-is and print it to the largest possible size within the required size restrictions. (Use the Poster Size Calculator to see what your options are.) However, if you must change the proportion of your PowerPoint page so it can be printed to a specific required poster size, use our Page Size Converter to help figure out what new page size to make your file.

My Page Size is Wrong! How Can I Fix It?

Changing your page size with existing content on the slide is not a one step process. If you already have items on your PowerPoint slide and then change the page size, some items may become squashed and stretched. To properly setup your PowerPoint page size in a file with existing content:

  1. Open your existing PowerPoint slide.
  2. Select everything on your slide by pressing Ctrl + A.
  3. Cut everything from your slide by pressing Ctrl + X.
  4. Go to the Design tab and select Page Setup.
  5. A dialog box will appear similar to the one on the right. Enter the width and height of the page. The slide orientation (portrait or landscape) will automatically adjust based on the page sizes entered.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If the rulers are turned on (on the View tab check the Ruler box), you will be able to see that the slide is now the size you entered.
  8. Paste all of the items back on the slide by pressing Ctrl + V.
  9. At this point, you will most likely have a lot of extra space on your slide, or have a lot of your content hanging off of the slide boundaries. Be sure to rearrange your content so that everything is displayed nicely on your newly resized slide.
My Page Size is Wrong! How Can I Fix It?

How Will My Poster Look When Its Printed?

How will my poster look when its printed?To get a good idea of how the different sections of your poster will look once they are printed at full size, youll need to use the zoom feature of PowerPoint.

You will need to know the PowerPoint Page setup size of your file, and the printed poster size you want to determine the correct percentage zoom to view the file content. We will use a page setup size of 24 by 32 and a print size of 42 by 56 as an example.



  1. How will my poster look when its printed?Take the vertical dimension of the print size and divide it by the vertical dimension of the page setup size in your power point.

    42 24 = 1.75
  2. Now take that answer and multiply it by 100 to get your viewing percentage.

    1.75 * 100 = 175%
  3. Now simply enter that percentage into the Zoom Percentage box and select OK.

We suggest that you take a look at the various images, graphs, headings, and text boxes of your poster while standing a few feet from your monitor at this zoomed in percentage to get a good feel for whether the quality/sizing will work well on your final printed poster.

Printing Your Poster the Right Direction (aka: Portrait or Landscape)

Portrait vs. LandscapeWe will rotate your poster so that it prints the proper orientation (Portrait or Landscape) on the paper, according to how your file was created. If you order 36" by 60" and your PowerPoint file is "wide", we will make your poster "wide" (landscape). If your PowerPoint page is "tall", we'll print your poster "tall" (portrait).

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