1. Open the PowerPoint application.
2. Choose File/New Presentation... and select a blank slide as the template.
3. Set the size of your poster by choosing File/Page Setup...
4. In the "Slides sized for:" pull-down menu, select "Custom"
5. Enter a width of 36 inches and a height of 24 inches for a typical poster. Note that the orientation of the poster automatically shifted from portrait to landscape as you entered those numbers. Click "OK"
6. You may get a warning that says your slide is bigger than default paper size. Choose "OK" (not Fix). Eventually you'll need to print your poster on a large-format printer. One good local service is "Northern Arizona Signs and Graphics".
7. Choose View/Master/Slide Master and paste any graphics such as a title banner, background image or logo.
8. Choose View/Slide to return to the poster.
9. Choose View/Slide Miniature to get a preview of the whole poster in a small floating window.
10. Choose Insert to add a Picture, a Text Box, a Chart from Excel, a data Table, etc.
11. Resize any object by dragging from the corner of the object.
12. To align objects, the Drawing toolbar needs to be visible. Make it visible by choosing View/Toolbars/Drawing
13. You can align several objects by first selecting them (shift-click to select more than one at a time).
14. Then choose the Draw icon and select "Align or Distribute"
15. Finally, align the objects as desired by selecting from the popup menu.
16. Tip: You can print out 8.5 x 11 mini versions of your poster for people to take. Choose File/Print and select Microsoft PowerPoint from the pulldown menu. Select "Scale to Fit Paper" and print a test page.
17. Download my example for ideas...