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Conference posters using LaTeX

I produce my conference posters using LaTeX. Here are a few notes on how to do it.

This is in the preamble of my document (let’s say poster.tex), for a landscape formatted poster on A0 paper:

\documentclass[landscape,a0,plainboxedsections]{sciposter}

\usepackage{epsfig}
% \usepackage{amsmath}
% \usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{multicol}
\usepackage{avant}
\usepackage{sfmath}

I don’t remember what the commented-out packages would do. In the directory that contains my poster.tex, I have the corresponding files sciposter.cls and sfmath.sty. I’m sure you could also put them in your regular texmf-tree (more info on texmf tree). In the same directory (as poster.tex) I also have a0size.sty.

If you have no figures in your poster, just do:

pdflatex poster.tex

I usually have figures, and I like them to be eps format, since that means they scale nicely. In that case, you need to run latex first, since pdflatex can’t handle eps files. However, you then need to pass some options to dvips. For a poster in landscape format, run:

latex poster.tex
dvips -t a0 -t landscape poster.dvi 
ps2pdf poster.ps

For portrait formatted posters, just omit -t landscape.

To spare yourself lots of typing, you could make a very small shell script called “poster” containing:

#!/bin/sh

latex $1.tex
dvips -t a0 -t landscape $1.dvi 
ps2pdf $1.ps

Put it in your ~/bin and chmod 700 ~/bin/poster

Then, to process file poster.tex, just say:

poster poster

Of course, R outputs nice .eps figures, and for diagrams under Linux, I use dia, which lets you export to many formats, including eps (maybe read this post about dia fonts in eps files.

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