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Research Posters - Digital and Print: Software Resources

Graphic design resources to create high-quality research posters for both digital and print.


There are many options when it comes to editing images and text to make a compelling design. Here are some choices and some corresponding resources for each one:

Microsoft Powerpoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a natural starting point for researchers designing a poster for the first time. PowerPoint has been a staple of the Microsoft Office Suite and has contributed to its success and ubiquity over the last 30 years. Anyone with experience using Microsoft Word will find a familiar layout and tools that are easy to use to edit images and text. 


How to make an academic poster using PowerPoint 

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher is similar to Adobe InDesign and Microsoft PowerPoint in that it is a powerful tool in designing layouts. While PowerPoint and InDesign do exceptionally well with editorial control over images with text, Publisher gives users control over text with pictures, with more of a word processor feel to it. 


How to Create a Poster in Publisher 

Google Slides

Google Slides is the web-based equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint. One key advantage of Google Slides is that designs can be shared easily between multiple project participants, which can include anyone with a Google account. Having a team edit a single document is a much easier with Google Slides; no need to waste time worrying which version of a particular software each member has access to or the differences of layout between PC and Mac releases of the software.


Using Google Slides to Make a Poster


Canva is a browser-based online graphic design editor that has become a popular choice for those who want to create a beautiful design but do it quickly. They have built-in hundreds of templates, layouts, fonts, and graphics that can be quickly found and added to your design. Canva is similar to Google Slides in that it allows team members to share and edit designs together.

Canva even offers courses on creating beautiful designs using its platform, which they call Design School.

Adobe Indesign

Adobe InDesign is an industry leader in graphic design, used by magazines, advertising agencies, publishers etc. to create impressive designs with absolute control over image and text. While many Adobe products may seem intimidating at first, gaining insight on the basics of the program goes quickly and just about anyone can create beautiful designs using the most basic tools.


How to Create an Academic Poster in InDesign