Cambridge University LaTeX poster style file

Update: 2016-02-12. There are two A0 printers at CMS. Further information and other suggestions for making posters.

Update: 2012-05-20. New slides from a short talk on how to make a poster.

Update: 2010-03-16. The Beamer poster looks like it offers a lot more flexibility in making posters than the method documented on this page.

This page gives a brief summary of a latex style file, cuposter.cls, for creating conference posters in latex. It is based on a style file from the University of Edinburgh, with a simple change of logo. This style file allows you to create an A0 (or smaller) poster in encapsulated PostScript format. I include a sample poster here; you should be able to regenerate the A4 poster by simply typing

% make clean; make

If there are no mistakes in the latex, an A4 poster should be created. This version can be printed out on A4 paper.

Once happy with your final version of the poster, you can then create an A0 poster using the command:

% make scalea0

Read the Makefile for ways to change filenames, and create other sizes of poster (it currently can make A0, A1, A2, A3, A4). Note that I have hardcoded the use of Times font in the header. (That should probably be changed to something like Helvetica ...)

The default orientation for posters is landscape; passing the option "portrait" to the documentclass (see the example file) will create portrait posters. (However, see the problems section below.)


All of the files in this directory (including figures) are available in the compressed tar file: cuposter.tgz. (This can be unpacked on UNIX machines with "tar zxf cuposter.tgz" and will create a new directory called cuposter.) Alternatively, a is in ZIP format.

Output format

Your poster will be in encapsulated postscript format, which is the preferred format for most printers. It is best not to convert the poster to other formats (with the exception of PDF), as the resolution of the poster may suffer.

Where to print your document?

As of Feb 2016, there are two A0 printers at the CMS.

More than one page ...

If your poster is too long to fit onto one page, you might not notice it directly, but dvips may generate a memory limit error. All you can do is shorten your poster!

Portrait posters

The default of this style file is to create Landscape posters; it will create portrait posters (see the top of the example tex file), but there is a problem with the bounding box created: it cuts off the blue border along the bottom of the poster. You will see this in your viewer (e.g. gv) if you ask it just to view the Bounding Box (even though it may print out okay).

To fix this manually, you will need to edit the A4 postscript file, and change the bounding box at the top of the postscript file; for example in the segment below, you would change the number 41 (in bold) to e.g. 19. (A little script could be written to do this automatically.)

      %!PS-Adobe-2.0 EPSF-2.0
      %%Creator: dvips(k) 5.95a Copyright 2005 Radical Eye Software
      %%Title: poster.dvi
      %%DocumentFonts: Times-Bold Times-BoldItalic Symbol Times-Roman CMSY10
      %%+ Times-Italic CMR10
      %%BoundingBox: 19 41 575 800

Further info

I gave a short talk on my thoughts on how to make a poster. To help you get started, you may also want to browse a collection of posters from an annual competition in Edinburgh.


Thanks to Dr Martin Reddy for writing the original version of this style file when he was at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Version 2 was released by Mary Ellen Foster. Further documentation is available from Edinburgh.

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Last modified: 2016-02-12