Oct 29, 2012

Installing "Save as PDF" Add-in for PowerPoint 2007

If you are using PowerPoint 2007 to design your poster, the easiest way to convert your poster slide into a PDF file is to use the add-in of "Save as PDF" provided by Microsoft Download Center.  Please visit the following link to download the add-in.  After installing the add-in, simply restart your PowerPoint 2007, and you will have the option of "Save as PDF" in the "Save As" dropdown menu.


2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS

If your download does not start after 30 seconds, click here: Start download


To install this download:
  1. Download the file by clicking the Download button (above) and saving the file to your hard disk.
  2. Double-click the SaveAsPDFandXPS.exe program file on your hard disk to start the Setup program.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
Instructions for use:

After you install this download open the document you want to publish and then, depending on the program you are using, select Save or Publish to PDF or XPS from the Office or File menu.

For more information, search Office Help for "Save a file in PDF format" or "Save a file in XPS format".

To remove this download:

To remove the download file, delete the file SaveAsPDFandXPS.exe.

  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. In the list of currently installed programs, select Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007 Microsoft Office programs and then click Remove or Add/Remove. If a dialog box appears, follow the instructions to remove the program.
  4. Click Yes or OK to confirm that you want to remove the program

Oct 16, 2012

What to Do When Credit Card Cannot be Processed?

Rarely does this happen to our customers when making a credit card payment.  However, if it does happen, please don't hesitate to email us at support@postersmith.com.  

If you want to get your order placed as soon as possible, attach your poster file in the email as well.  Our staffs will contact you momentarily, and our production team will start to review and process your file for you.  Later, an order summary and a secured payment link will be sent to you for your confirmation.

If your file is too large to be sent through an email, please feel free to send us a link to the file (e.g. Dropbox link).

If you are redirected from our site to this article, likely the credit card transaction issue has occurred to you.  Please accept our sincere apology for causing you this inconvenience.

Oct 6, 2012

What to Do When Files Cannot be Uploaded?

Rarely does this happen to our customers when uploading files to our site.  However, if it does happen, please don't hesitate to email us at support@postersmith.com.  

If you want to get your order placed as soon as possible, attach your poster file in the email as well.  Our staffs will contact you momentarily, and our production team will start to review and process your file for you.  Later, an order summary and a paypal payment link will be sent to you for your confirmation.

If your file is too large to be sent through an email, please feel free to send us a link to the file (e.g. Dropbox link).  Instructions of using Dropbox link can be found in this page.

If you are redirected from our site to this article, likely the file uploading issue has occurred to you. Please accept our sincere apology for causing you this inconvenience.  

Aug 17, 2012

Portrait vs. Landscape

Portrait orientation is when the poster is taller than it is wide, whereas landscape is the opposite. Although we only list landscape sizes in our website as size references, there is no need to worry about the orientation when submitting your poster file to us. We rotate it for you to fit best on our fabric. 

Apr 30, 2012

Order a Poster by Purchase Order (PO)

Some of our customers were asking whether they can order a poster from us by using the Purchase Order (PO) issued by their research grants or companies.  Yes, paying by PO is one of the payment options in our website, and at the moment, more than 10 schools have already set up their PO to include our service.

We have made it very easy to input your PO information in the following 2 steps.

Step 1: While checking out, click Use Purchase Order to switch to the mode of paying by PO.

Step 2: Enter PO# and Company/School Name to complete the order.

* To setup a PO agreement between your school/company and PosterSmith.com, please have your administrator contact us at: service@postersmith.com or call us at: 617-383-7772.

Apr 25, 2012

Caring for Your Fabric Poster

Using a fabric poster is a new experience for many of our customers. Please refer to the following tips on how to relieve and avoid creases on our fabric posters.
  • When soft creases occur, you can hang your poster to smooth out the slight crease marks.
  • When deeper creases occur, you can pin your poster on the presentation board to apply tension. With our latest development of fabric material, iron is not recommended. Just apply normal pressure to your poster, and the creases will smooth out.
  • When traveling with your fabric poster, you can fold it lightly to avoid the formation of sharp creases that will take longer to recover. We suggest transporting your fabric poster in a hard box to avoid the sharp creases.

Apr 23, 2012

Poster Sizes that We Can Print for You

Choose one of the options below for your poster size.  We can print posters any size up to 60 x 240 inches.

Can't find the size that you want? Contact us to see what we can do!

Apr 7, 2012

Font Type and Font Size of Your Poster

One of our customers asked us for suggestions about the types of fonts and sizes.  As a general reference to begin with, a 100 point font is about an inch high when printed into poster.

First of all, we want to introduce to you the idea of Generic Font Family.  A generic font family is a group of font families with a similar look.  There are five generic font families defined in today's web technology: serif, sans-serif, cursive, fantasy, and monospace.  While serif fonts have small lines at the ends on some characters, sans-serif fonts (where "sans" means without) do not have the lines at the ends of characters.  For the purpose of research poster design, we recommend using only serif and sans-serif fonts.

Verdana      vs.    Garamond
        (san-serif)               (serif)

For the title, consider using a large, bold san-serif font, such as Arial Black, Fanklin Gothic Heavy, Tahoma, Trebuchet, or Verdana.  Make the font size between 72-120 points.

For the subtitles (authors' name, school name, etc.), use the same font as your title but make the font size smaller than the title.  A font size between 48-80 points usually work best.

For the section headers (abstract, introduction, results, etc.), use the same font as your title and subtitle.  Make the font size approximately 50% larger than the body text, betwee, 36-72 points.  Make sure that all section headers are the same font size.

For the body text choose a serif type that is very readable, like Garamond, Book Antigua or Bookman Old Style.  Make the font size between 24-48 points.  Make sure that the body text is the same font throughout the entire posters.

DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL for any portion of your poster.  It is harder to read and it looks like you are shouting.  Finally, use familiar fonts so that it will be easier for your audience to read.

Mar 20, 2012

Find a Nice Logo for Your Poster

The logos on a poster can be very helpful in recognizing the affiliations of the poster authors.  However, the image quality of the logo is important.  Recently, several of our customers had encountered the same situation: their logos look great on their computer screens but not so well when enlarged into poster size...

The low resolution logo printed on actual size poster

What you see on the screen

As you can see from the above demonstration, the text on the logo appears blurry when enlarged into poster size.  It dented the quality of your poster even it is just a small part of it.  This is why we want to share with you how to find a high-quality logo online which will always stay clear on posters

Here is some knowledge you should have for the logo image that you are using.  First of all, pay attention to the file type of your logo.  If the file type of your logo is .jpg or .png, it means the logo image is composed of many many tiny little dots.  Whenever you enlarge the image, these limited number of tiny dots will be dispersed from each other, and if you don't have enough number of dots to fill the enlarged area of your stretched image, your image will appear blurry.  As a result, to pick a logo image for your poster, you want to pick a .jpg or .png image that has high enough number of dots to begin with.  In a more technical term, you want an image that have high enough resolution to begin with.

The easiest way to find the best quality school or institute logo is from Wikipedia.  By searching your affiliated school or institute on Wikipedia, you will see a page similar to the following.  

If you click on the logo image appears on the Wiki page, you will arrive in a page similar to what has been shown in the following picture, and this is where you can get the right logo image for your poster.

Likely you will see this image rendered in PNG format in several sizes.  The larger the size, the higher resolution the image has.  For logo images used on a poster, always use a size of more than 1000px.  

Now you know how to put an eye-catching logo on your poster that will always stay clear.

Feb 28, 2012

How to Setup Your Poster Size Correctly (PowerPoint)

One of the most common issues that we have encountered when printing posters for our customers is the incorrect page size specified in their PDF files.  For example, a customer wanted to print a 36" x 56" poster, but the PDF file that he sent to us only had a page size of 7.5" x 12".  Enlarging a 7.5" x 12" page into a 36" x 56" poster likely would generate a poster that does not have enough resolution for quality viewing.

Since the page size problem of a PDF file is most likely caused by the incorrect slide size set in a PowerPoint file, which is later used to generate the PDF file, in this post we want to talk about the slide size setting of a PowerPoint file.

When you create a poster in PowerPoint, you are essentially creating one big "slide" that is your poster.  The default slide size of a new PowerPoint presentation is 7.5" x 10".  As mentioned previously, the page size of 7.5" x 10" cannot be printed into a good quality poster.  Therefore, you have to set the slide size to the desired size of your poster.  

Feb 24, 2012

Why PosterSmith.com Takes only PDF Format Files?

We ask our customers to send us only PDF format files for print. WHY? 

This is because PowerPoint files don't always print the way they look on-screen.  A great number of PowerPoint files encounter problems when moved from one computer to another -- graphics disappear or misprint, text and labels shift position, Greek letters vanish. 

While other printing companies may take your PowerPoint files, what they actually do is to first convert your files to PDF format and then send them back to you for "digital proofing".  This will inevitably delay the printing and shipment of your order by at least one day.  We ask for only PDF format files because we don't want to surprise you with this unexpected extra day.  We understand very well that our customers all have a presentation deadline to catch.

Feb 23, 2012

The Material of Our Fabric Poster

Many users wrote us inquiries wanting to know more about the material of our fabric poster.  We will provide some information about our fabric material in this article. 

First of all, our crease-resistant fabric posters are finding great acceptance among our customers.  A great number of positive feedback that we have received so far were all about the premium quality of our fabric and its unexpected use for printing.  In fact, the choice of our fabric material was the result of a three-month search process.  We had tested more than 20 fabric materials to finally land in our current pick, and 
we take great pride in offering our customers the highest level of service.  

The fabric poster offered by PosterSmith.com is made of 100% polyester fibers with UV inhibitor coating.  This crease-resistant fabric is light and durable and is specifically designed for high resolution printing.  Because of the UV inhibitor coating, the ink printed on our fabric poster will last much longer than a paper poster whose color typically fades after just one year.  The printing quality of our fabric poster is better than printing on the widely-used matte paper.  Your poster printed on our fabric material will resemble the feeling of printing on a glossy paper (which has tighter surface and looks brighter) but generates no glossy-paper reflective glare.

The following picture is a close-up view of our fabric poster.  As you can see from this picture, our ink will not "bleed" or make your type and photo fuzzy as other fabric will.

To give you a better idea about our fabric material, we have prepared the following 30-second demonstration clip.  Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions or concerns about our printing service.

Feb 17, 2012

When Will I Receive My Poster? (Our Delivery Schedule)

We understand clearly it is of utmost importance that we deliver our customers' posters in time for their upcoming conferences.  To better assist our users in planning ahead for their poster printing, we have added in our website a new page of estimated delivery for orders placed with us!

Estimated arrivals for orders placed with us are summarized in the following table.

Please note that this delivery schedule is only valid for continental United States.  If you have any need for a worldwide delivery, please feel free to contact us.

Just a final note that please add one more day to the estimated arrival if a holiday is encountered. UPS and FedEx do not deliver on holidays.

Feb 16, 2012

About the PosterSmith Logo Added to Our Free Posters

Some of our users are interested in trying out our Free Poster deal.  This Free Poster deal is our sincere invitation to all of our users, no matter used or never used a free poster before, to experience the service that we are providing.  We invite you to use our fabric poster to believe it is the future.

Our Free Poster deal is simple enough: You pay $78 for shipping and handling, and we will print you a free poster with a small 1/2 inch border of PosterSmith.com logo applied to it.  

While curious about trying out our Free Poster deal, some of the users asked us what would their posters look like if a 1/2 inch border of PosterSmith logo is applied to their posters?  Should they prepare for the worst case that their professional poster turn out looking like a commercial billboard?!  

Feb 15, 2012

Converting PowerPoint to PDF (Mac)

In our previous post, we talked about how to convert a PowerPoint file to PDF format in Windows environment.  This post will talk about how to do so on a Mac.  

Suppose you are making a poster that is 48 inches (width) by 36 inches (height).
  1. With your poster file open, go to File on the menu bar and select Page Setup.
  2. In the size section, you should see the following:  
    • Slides sized for: custom 
    • Width: 48 inches
    • Height: 36 inches
  3. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  4. Go to File on the menu bar and select Save as to open the dialog box.
  5. In the Format drop-down list, select PDF.
  6. Click on Save.
As a final reminder, please proof your new PDF file carefully before submitting for print!  PowerPoint is famous for not printing things exactly as they appear on screen.  We will talk about some tips of proofing your PDF file in our future posts.

Feb 14, 2012

Converting PowerPoint to PDF (Windows)

This post will talk about how to convert your poster made by PowerPoint to a PDF file so that you can submit it to PosterSmith.com for print.  We will talk about how to do so in Windows environment first.  If you are a Mac OS X user, we will cover this topic in our next post.

First of all, before making any conversion, please make sure that your PowerPoint poster is set at the size that you want it to be printed into.  

If you are using PowerPoint 2007 to prepare your poster, converting your file to PDF format can be accomplished by the following steps:
  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS.
  2. In the File name list, type or select a name for the poster.
  3. In the Save as type list, click PDF.
  4. If you want to open the file immediately after saving it, select the Open file after publishing check box. This check box is available only if you have a PDF reader installed on your computer.
  5. Next to Optimize for,  click Standard (publishing online and printing) since your poster requires high print quality.
  6. Click Publish.

If you are using PowerPoint 2010, please follow these steps to convert your file to PDF format:
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Save As.
  3. In the File Name box, enter a name for the file, if you haven't already.
  4. In the Save as type list, click PDF (*.pdf).
    • If you want the file to open in the selected format after saving, select theOpen file after publishing check box.
    • Click Standard (publishing online and printing), since your poster requires high print quality.
  5. Click Save.

If you are using an earlier version of PowerPoint, the easiest solution for converting your file to PDF format is to use a third-party tool:

While you can use Adobe Acrobat (Pro or Standard) or Adobe Distiller to convert your PowerPoint poster to PDF format, many third-party providers offer software for converting Microsoft Office documents to PDF files. Here are some of the Office Marketplace providers that provide PowerPoint-to-PDF converters.

As a final reminder, p
lease proof your new PDF file carefully before submitting for print!  PowerPoint is famous for not printing things exactly as they appear on screen.  We will talk about some tips of proofing your PDF file in our future posts.

Feb 12, 2012

PosterSmith BLOG is now Online!

From time to time, users would come to us for various issues of their poster making or printing.  Very often we discovered that the issues actually can be resolved with just some simple tricks.  Though simple enough, it could cost plenty of valuable times for our users before submitting their posters to us for print.

To help the users of PosterSmith.com, we have created this blog as a knowledge base of preparing a poster for professional printing.  We will publish in this blog some of the most often encountered issues of making a poster and their solutions.  Hopefully, these information will give our users a lift whenever help is needed.