For "political" reasons I used MS PowerPoint to create a scientific poster. Scientific means mainly having formulas, plots(they could be images), text and images. Although I would prefer to use LaTeX, I realize that it's not the most convenient way when someone has to do corrections on the fly. Therefore I am a bit confused on what's the most appropriate software to create scientific posters while at the same time to be able to make on the fly corrections.

I know some packages, but since I've never used them, I am not sure which is the most convenient.

  1. Corel Draw
  2. Adobe Illustrator
  3. Adobe Photoshop (I know it's a photo editor, but once I used it to create flyers)
  4. In Design
  5. Anything else?
  • For my brother's poster presentation during his MD degree I used MS Publisher and an A2-size inkjet printer. Commented May 19, 2014 at 10:43
  • 1
    Goodie! I would use InDesign, hands down. Though it seems to me that one problem here is when you say "...when someone has to do corrections...". More people involved in the production of this? They may not be familiar with InDesign, and that might be the crux. This post might be tangentially interesting: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/9452/…
    – benteh
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 11:42
  • Powerpoint sucks at this, i used to fix posters made for a2-a0 printing for a university 10 years ago and the resolution of powerpoint would break down at about a2 size. So my standing advice was not to use powerpoint and anything else would be better. Text alignment would go crazy. Use illustrator or indesign.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 11:44
  • Voting to close as too broad.
    – Ryan
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 13:33
  • @RandomO'Reilly : What a great comment! Indeed the link you gave is very interesting! Thank's!
    – Thanos
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 13:49

3 Answers 3


I'd personally always use InDesign for posters, but it all depends on the type of output you're after. If you're self-printing, Photoshop might be easier to deal with, but you wouldn't be able to make on-the-fly corrections; you'd need to take screen grabs and add the images in as layers.

With InDesign, you can either work with existing fonts that are intended for scientific use (I found this on another question) or use a third-party plug-in that deals explicitly with equations; this one was recommended to me via the Adobe forums a while back.

For graphs, I'd tend to just live with importing these as images taken from excel or something similar, although there may be a way of importing these directly Into inDesign - I've never tried it.


I find InDesign combined with Photoshop/Illustrator is the best if you have a lot of text you need to display.

I use Illustrator more for infographic/illustrated posters where the message is more visual with minimal text.

Never use Powerpoint if you plan on mass printing a posters. Printers hate it and the PDF will take forever to transfer to the actual printer/s due to poor compression.


adobe photoshop would be the best choice if you wish to have a one stop solution. other softwares like illustrator etc can do the same as photoshop but more limited when it comes to filters and effects.

this is a solution only if you wish to have only one software, otherwise, it would be photoshop to tweak images, then illustrator to layout the artwork. in design is more for publications or books.

  • But photoshop would not be so good for changes on the fly, surely.
    – benteh
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:27
  • 1
    For any sort of large scale print (larger than a letter), I'd stay away from Photoshop. Designing in vector is your friend when it comes to poster sized prints!
    – JohnB
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:34

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