01 September 2010

Okay, you win

PowerPoint is the wrong tool for making posters.

But it is the most popular software for doing so, by a wide margin. So says the survey I ran on my blog all summer long, though the thick of the conference season (1 May to 31 August).

Over the coming weeks and months, I plan dig in to find the features that might allow you to cobble together a decent poster in PowerPoint. I recently bought Office 2010, which obviously includes the latest version of PowerPoint. I never upgraded to PowerPoint 2007, so I’m just starting to learn where all the knobs and dials are in PowerPoint 2010 compared to the 2003 version.

I may be holding my nose while I write the PowerPoint posts. And I’ll be admonishing you to get a real graphics software package every time. But they will be coming.


anon said...

Hi Dr Zen,
I am looking forward to future posts on this topic. I, too, am a PowerPoint poster builder so I would like to learn a bit about how to make the process work better. I should add that I don't necessarily use PowerPoint by choice. It is what I have available...part of the MS suite....and the interface is consistent with other MS programs, giving it a familiar feel. I suspect that is true for many other people. In an earlier post, you mentioned that MS publisher is a better alternate but this doesn't appear to be an option in the Mac version of MS Office, which is what I use. That said, it still would be interesting in your future posts to not only give examples of using PowerPoint for making posters, but also mention how another program may do the same task better if you have a basis for that comparison. I am willing to spend the money on a better tool than MS PowerPoint, but I need a basis to make that judgement.

biochem belle said...

I don't know how much it has to do with actually getting a *real* graphics package, so much as Powerpoint is something people are familiar with. I didn't even start using Adobe Illustrator for anything until a few months ago because it was new (to me) and foreign and initially unintuitive. I've started using it for making some figures and now realize a fraction of its utility. I shudder at the thought of how much time I could have saved on figures for manuscripts if only I'd tried it sooner.

Mike Pascoe said...

Making effective posters to communicate your science is a soap box of mine. Here is a recent public service announcement I put together on the topic: