As you know, there are a lot of PowerPoint poster presentation templates are available and anyone can download it at free of cost. You can simply use it for your academic, research and various other poster presentation needs.  You can modify it, change the style or even refurbish it completely with to your own needs and requirements.

However, it doesn’t mean that every free templates can fulfill your poster presentation needs. There are some advantages and disadvantages of using pre-designed poster presentation templates. As everyone knows, you cannot always depend on a free poster templates for various reasons.

Sometimes, you have to create a self-designed poster presentation in a unique way according to your requirements and style. For that, you must have some basic knowledge of PowerPoint to make your poster very unique, informative and a visually appealing one.

Designing a custom poster in PowerPoint is always a difficult task for a beginner. If you are a person with some basic designing skills and creative minded, you can create a beautiful self-designed poster presentation very fast, easy and hassle-free. PowerPoint is very simple and powerful for creating self-designed poster presentation in every aspect.

For this purpose, you need to know some basic tips and keyboard shortcuts of PowerPoint. In this post, you can find some useful shortcuts and tips which will help you a lot while making your self-designed poster presentation. If you are a research student and want to do a  better poster presentation, just take a look at The Basic things you need to know before creating a research poster presentation. 

Common Keyboard Shortcuts

Commonly used Keyboard short cuts for PowerPoint, MS Word and MS Excel.

  • Ctrl + A  – Select all
  • Esc  – Deselect
  • Ctrl + C – Copy
  • Ctrl + X – Cut
  • Ctrl + V – Paste
  • Ctrl + E – Text Align Center
  • Ctrl + L – Text Align Left
  • Ctrl + R – Text Align Right
  • Ctrl + J – Text Align Justify
  • Ctrl + ] – Increase font size
  • Ctrl + [ – Decrease font size
  • Ctrl + U – Underline Text
  • Ctrl + S – Save project
  • F12 – Save as project
  • Ctrl + scroll (mouse) Zoom in and zoom out
  • SHIFT + drag shape for a perfect shape
  • SHIFT+ Draw for a straight line
  • Ctrl + D – Duplicate an object (box, shape etc.) first, Click on the object to select it, then press Ctrl +D.

To style a letter, number or a word in a text as subscript or superscript use these shortcut keys together after selecting the letter or number.

Ctrl + (=) Subscript on and off

Ctrl + SHIFT + (=) Superscripts on and off

Shortcut keys for PowerPoint Poster presentation

Below are the most important tools and options for creating speedy and hassle-free research poster presentation.

Create a new guide line

  1. Keep mouse on guideline and Ctrl + drag line with mouse.
  2. Right click inside blank space of the page –in ‘Paste Options’ ‘Grid and Guides’ – then click ‘Add Vertical Guide’ or Add Horizontal Guide.

Grid and Guidelines

Show / hide guide lines

  1. Press Alt + F9
  2. In the ‘View’ tab – find the check boxes and click.
  3. Right click inside blank space of the page – in ‘Paste Options’ ‘Grid and Guides’ –  uncheck ‘Guides’.

Changing Grid line spacing

  1. Right click inside blank space of the page –‘Paste Options’ ‘Grid and Guides’

grid line spacing

Left Click on this # Net type icon – from Grid and Guide box,

grid and guide window

You can select the grid line spacing as per your choice. Click on desired spacing – click ’OK’ or you can set a custom spacing by clicking ‘Custom’

Increasing or decreasing of custom line spacing

Sometimes, we need to adjust the line spacing.

First, select the two or more lines –

Click on ‘Home’ tab – line spacing icon – now you can select default spacing options. (ex. 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 etc.)

line spacing options

In some cases, we need to adjust the line spacing between two lines. (ex. space between heading and first text line)

First, select the two or text more lines –

Click on ‘Home’ tab – line spacing icon

Click on ‘Line spacing Options..’  (same as above procedure)

line spacing adjustment

In ‘Paragraph’ box, find ‘Indents and spacing’ – ‘Spacing’ section – ‘Before’ set to 5 pt or 10 pt (set as per your requirements). Click ‘OK

line spacing option, paragraph


For custom line spacing to entire text lines.

First, Select all lines you need a custom spacing

Click on ‘Home’ tab – line spacing icon

Click on ‘Line spacing Options..’

custom line spacing option, line spacing

In this ‘Paragraph’ window ‘Indents and spacing’ – ‘Line spacing’ select ‘Exactly’ from drop down

at’ adjust  33.6 pt (for example). Click ‘OK

Show/hide each objects (text box, shapes, images etc.)

Press Alt + F10, a ‘Selection’ window will open.

You can show/hide each boxes simply by clicking each eye button.

Wrap image with text

In some cases, we need to wrap an image with text. To do that,

Step 1. Click on ‘Insert’ tab, find  ‘Object’ –

insert object

Step 2. From this window, select Microsoft word Document – click ‘OK

Now, you will see a blank window as similar as Microsoft Word with all editing options.

Step 3. In this box, copy and paste the text you need wrapping.

text wrap

Step 4. Resize the word box to desired size by dragging its corners to desired size with mouse.

Step 5. Change font style and size.

Step 6. Insert an image that you need. To do that , Click ‘Insert’ – ‘Pictures’ select any image, click Insert.

Step 7. Resize the image by dragging its corners to desired size.

Step 8. Now click ‘Format’ tab (main menu) – click ‘Position’ click the position you need.

Text wrapped with image

Step 9. If everything looks fine, just ‘click’ anywhere outside the text box to exit. When ever you need an edit, you can  do it with a ‘Double click’ on it.

In short, understanding these basic tools and tips will help you create a self-designed research poster presentation very fast, unique and visually appealing one. Certainly, your self-created poster design will make you proud and stand out from the crowd. Probably, you may sometimes forget these keyboard shortcuts while creating a poster very first time. To solve this problem, note down some important shortcuts to a paper or take a screenshot and keep it close with.