Conference Posters in Linux

2018/07/14

Categories: Linux Tags: LaTeX Posters Document formatting

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 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 (note that this link is currently dead: 14-07-2018). 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.“”“],

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.