Conference Posters in Linux

Conference Posters in Linux

Recently, I found myself in the position of having to produce a conference poster. This was something I had not done before, and I imagined it could be a lot of hassle; especially since all the advice I received indicated that Microsoft Powerpoint was the best option. Linux is my preferred solution to all life's (computing;-) problems, and starting out with Powerpoint did not fill me with glee. Fortunately, while Powerpoint may be useful, it is not essential, and it is quite easy to arrange professional looking posters with LaTeX and the tools available on your average Linux system. This is an especially attractive proposition if you use LaTeX for your technical writing, as you can then very easily use your encapsulated postscript figures in the poster, and lift chunks of text directly from your papers.

The poster I prepared can be seen here in pdf format. The source files can be downloaded also. The format is A1, portrait, with two columns of text/images. The title and author names span both columns at the top. In my own opinion, the poster is not bad. Certainly, it has no particular flair or imagination (and surely has too much text) but nevertheless I think it is reasonably presentable.

To produce the poster you need to use the following commands. To produce a pdf output do the following (needs bash shell, or alternatively you can do the epstopdf commands by hand):

for x in *.eps; do epstopdf $x; done
pdflatex mickposter
bibtex mickposter
pdflatex mickposter
pdflatex mickposter
OR, to produce a postscript output file, do the following:
latex mickposter
bibtex mickposter
latex mickposter
latex mickposter
dvips mickposter.dvi
It should be noted that the resulting dvi file is hard to view correctly (the figures look all misplaced), but the pdf or postscript files produced should look as they are intended (thanks to Marcus Garvie for highlighting this confusing effect).

The single best (as in most useful) link I got was Lars Nummedal's A0 poster page. His design is larger (A0) and landscape, but it was sufficiently clearly commented to allow easy changes. He uses the A0poster class (some other people do a lot of stuff themselves, which makes things harder to follow). Also very useful is the poster program, which can be used for manipulating and printing

If you wish to produce a more fluid/graphical poster, xfig seems to be the way to go. I wanted a quick solution, so I did not attempt this approach. However, it could produce very good results. A couple of the links in the next section deal with this technique. large format documents.

Links

To save you some googling and following dead links, I have below a selection of links I found. A Google search will bring up most of these. Some are (obviously) more useful than others. I got the most information from the first two.

  • How do I create an A0 poster in LaTeX? by Lars Nummedal (AFAIK). This is the poster I based my own work on. Lars has a nice well laid out page, and provides all the files you need to reproduce his work. The sample poster is also (IMHO) very attractive.
  • The poster program. Can resize image up to poster size. Can shrink poster to smaller size (e.g. to print a preview), and can split your poster into lots of small pages so you can print it out and then join/tile up the fragments (even prints with overlap to make this easier). Nice!
  • LaTeX Poster Macros, Examples, and Accessories - Brian C. Wolven Pretty full set of macros/style files etc for making A0 posters in a number of formats. Wasn't quite what I wanted.
  • Making and printing a poster using latex poster macros TeX file, and a couple of ps files. Intended primarily for the users of University of Florida computing services.
  • Cookbook for xfig MatLab latex poster making. This is a latex2html document covering lots of stuff relating to bringing figures into your documents. AFAICS, it is aimed at folks who want to lay out their poster using xfig. That is a good way to achieve a finely controlled and attractive layout, but was not automatic enough for me!
  • LaTeX Booklets and Posters. This gives a number of approaches to producing posters/booklets with various paper sizes. Xfig is recommended by these people for larger posters.
  • Using LaTeX to produce conference posters Some good tips. Links to the poster CTAN page, where you can get a0poster class and sty files and documentation. Also needed is this: textpos. He provides portrait and landscape posters, which is useful.
  • International Standard Paper Sizes Very thorough. Useful too! (Got me out of a bit of a bind when the guy at the print-shop I used couldn't work out how to shrink A1 to print on A3.)
  • A poster with LaTeX, just a single poster (which I couldn't get to display right in gv). also make A0 posters, which is a few pointers on the subject, but not very useful to me.
  • LaTeX poster: bilingual (Fr/En) Needs palette and gradient to work. Output is a no nonsense black and white poster which is not a bad place to start from.
Copyright © 2004 Michael Conry Disclaimer Wed Sep 14 20:25:32 2005