How do I create an ePoster or Virtual Poster? How should I size my Poster? (My PDF looks fuzzy or blurry)

Modified on Mon, 18 Jul 2022 at 01:27 PM

Design your Poster the same way you would design it for printing it for a poster hall. Instead of printing your poster, a PDF file of your poster is loaded into the platform, turning it into an ePoster. If your organizer requests a virtual poster (ePoster with an audio explanation), prepare your explanation on paper and practice speaking it out loud. You can then record the audio during the PDF upload process. Your organizer will provide you with more information how long your audio explanation should be.


Whichever tool you use, ensure that your resolution is set to 72dpi (standard for screen resolution). 


Set the Correct Size


Generally, for print, posters are suggested to be designed at 36" high by 48" wide or  91.4 cm high x 121.9 cm wide. This matches a 3:4 screen ratio. Ensure that your PDF page width or height is above 30" and below 60". If your size is too large, the PDF may not display on iOS.


Many new devices and modern laptop screens have a wider screen with a 16:9 ratio. This would match a 36" high by 64" wide size. You can also use this size if you know that you do not need to print at all. 


Limit the content to the essentials and include up to 4 images and up to 3 charts. Viewers of your ePoster or virtual poster can zoom in and move it on their screen to view different areas of interest. 


Avoid Fuzzy / Blurry / Grainy Text in the Viewer


The PDF Viewer is a web based viewer that uses the Canvas element in HTML to render a PDF. Although a PDF's text and images may be vector graphics with unlimited resolution, they are rendered to a canvas that is not unlimited in resolution, especially on iOS phones. When zooming or panning the canvas is merely zoomed and panned, but the PDF is not re-rendered. This is important as to prevent lag for the user. The downside is that the PDF quality may start to appear fuzzy. You will need to set your page size correctly for optimized viewing. 


Ensure your page size is at least 30" but less than 60". Multiply you width and height in inches - the result should be less than 3,000 but more than 900.


Sample PDF Page size set to 8.5" by 11":


Sample PDF Page size set to 34" by 44":



Design Tips


When you view your poster on your monitor with max one time zoom, all text should be legible. Text that appears too small on your monitor may not be legible on a small mobile device. 


Include a link and/or your email address to easily contact you. When adding links, use link shorteners such as bit.ly. This allows you to save text space and it makes it easy for anyone to copy it.  


You can use simple tools like Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint to design your Poster. In these tools, create a single slide and set the slide size correctly. Avoid animations, video, or interactivity as the ePoster is displayed for viewing, just like your printed poster in a normal poster hall.


Setting Document Size in Google Slides

  1. Go to slides.google.com and create a new presentation with a single slide
  2. Go to File > Page Setup
  3. Select Custom  > enter the width first at 48, then the height at 36 (or 64 wide by 36 high for widescreen) > select Inches from the drop down > press Apply
  4. After designing your poster, generate a PDF file of your poster.


Setting Slide Size in Microsoft PowerPoint

  1. Open up PowerPoint and choose a 'blank' slide
  2. On the navigation bar, select the Design ribbon
  3. Choose Slide Size > select Custom Slide Size > enter 48" wide and 36" high (or 64" wide by 36" high for widescreen) > press OK
  4. After designing your poster, generate a PDF file of your poster.


Setting Page Size in Adobe Acrobat


Note: your version of Adobe Acrobat may be different - please refer to the Acrobat Help.

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Check your current page size by clicking on File > PropertiesYour width and height should be between 30-60 inches. Maximum 45" tall and 60" wide and minimum 30" tall and 40" wide. 
  3. Edit > Preflight > Select Prepress, Color and Transparency from the drop down on the top of the dialog
  4. Expand Pages in the Profiles pane
  5. Select Scale pages to specified size 
  6. Click the Edit button
  7. In the Type of fixup window, select Scale pages
  8. Enter a size in inches for the short edge and for the long edge. When you multiply your width and height in inches, it cannot be larger than 3,000. If it is larger than this number, it may not display on an iPhone. 
  9. Set the Unit to inch
  10. Set the Adjustment to Stretch to fill
  11. Click OK 
  12. Give the file a new name that you will recognize as your resized version



Unable to Upload Your PDF

File Size too Large

There is a file size limit for PDFs and the uploader will tell you if your file is to large. 

Learn how to reduce file size of a PDF.


Remove Meta Data

Some tools inject binary data into your meta data or other characters that can stop the upload the process. If you are unable to upload, check the meta data and remove it .


  1. Open your PDF in a web-based tool like https://pdfcandy.com/edit-pdf-meta.html or https://2pdf.com/edit-metadata/
  2. Remove all meta data
  3. Save your PDF
  4. Try uploading in the Speaker Portal



Example of a poster PDF that was crated with "Magick PDF". While you may not visually see the incorrect characters in the title as shown in this example, the characters may still be there but are not displayed. These kind of characters in meta tags can cause problems. Clear all meta data and resave your PDF before uploading.  




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