20 May 2010

No more slidesters, part 4: Memory whiplash with Poster 8

In my efforts to find good alternatives to PowerPoint for making a poster, I took the approach that I use to solve all my problems. I went to Google and typed in “poster software.”

This led me to the Poster Software website. When I first saw it, I immediately thought, “I hope the software is better than the website design.”

The website is seriously old school. The multiple coloured fonts, the little linky icons, reminded me of the early days of the web, circa the heyday of Geocities.

And the opening screen of Poster 8 is much the same. It rotates through different graphics, but they all have a very similar feel. Lots of different fonts, showing off multiple shading effects at random. It took me back to my days working with Windows 3.1. Or maybe a Radio Shack Color Computer 3. Okay, maybe that’s going a little too far, although several of the testimonials date to the late 1990s.

The program opened up with an letter sized page. I wanted to make a 4 foot by 3 foot poster, so I looked at how to change the page size.

And I got stopped.

I got sent to the “Printer setup” page, which had a convenient indicator of where to change page size.

The problem was, this led to the standard “printer properties” window. I was supposed to set up the page dimensions there. But I had normal, boring desktop printers, not any capable of printing something 4 by 3 feet. So I couldn’t set the paper size as large as I needed.

So my experience with Poster 8 software ended after less (much less) than 10 minutes.

There is a PDF converter, but it’s not available in the trial version. And I wasn’t enticed enough to shell out the cash for the full version. My overall impression was that this might be great for printing a banner for a garage sale, but it wasn’t going to deliver the goods for a serious technical poster for an academic conference.

Related posts

The “No more slidesters” series

  • Part 1: PowerPoint, the problem child of posters
  • Part 2: Publisher, the alternative you (probably) already own
  • Part 3: OpenOffice Draw, free and better than PowerPoint
  • Interlude: Prezi, for make presentations more like posters

No comments: