Cluster:Latex poster creation

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Two latex style files and one class file are needed:

  • textpos.sty for the text positioning package
  • a0size.sty for the poster format package
  • a0size.cls for the poster classes

These have to be either in the latex path (usually /usr/local/share/texmf/) or in the directory in which you invoke the latex command. Note that to add a style or class file that is not in either the standard or working directory you have to put the path in TEXINPUTS enviroment variable (not including the standard tex include directory in this will result in none of the standard class or style files being found) or put the full path in the \include in the latex source (I haven't tried this --Josh).

I just copied the files to my working directory while confirming the whole poster creation process works. While refining the poster, I just made some links to the textpos and a0size style and class files in a standard place in my home directory. --Josh

Setting up the poster format


  • The draft option is supposed to produce an A4 version of the poster. This does now work and the draft option has no noticable effect.
  • This is the latex that requires the a0poster.sty and a0poster.cls.

Setting up and using textblocks

The textpos package sets up a grid over the document with spacing of about two inches per one grid spacing (the exact dimensions are unspecified; some eyeballing is needed) over which arbitrary latex and be placed. To setup the texpos package, use the following command:

  • The absolute option makes the origin of the grid on which textblocks are positioned the upper lefthand corner. Using relative instead of absolute makes the origin the upper lefthand corner of the last textblock positioned.
  • Overlay gives the textblocks opaque backgrounds. Without the overlay option, the background of the textblocks are transparent (no option for translucency).
  • Sets the background color of the subsequent textblocks.
\begin{textblock}{36.0}(3.0, 0.25)
  • This is the basic usage of the textblocks environment. The textblock arguments to the textblock look like:
\begin{textblock}{block_width}(x_loc_of_top_left, y_loc_of_top_left)

Turning images into PS/Latex

The easiest way I know of turning an image into eps is through xfig:

  • Open xfig with a new project.
  • Import an image (camera looking icon on the left icon array). Make sure to choose the original size and aspect ratio options.
  • Export the project. Choose the "combined PS/Latex; both parts" option.

Your chosen export directory should hold both a .pstex file and a .pstex_t file.

Including sized images

Include the following functions to the top of your poster latex file (we should probably make our own .sty file at some point; I haven't done this yet because there are only two functions --Josh).

%  pstex xfig export
% \pstexsized{w}{h}{file}  \width \height---orig, !---keep aspect ratio

Example Usage:

  • The arguments are the width of the image, the height of the image, and the name of the pstex files with out the .pstex or .pstex_t extensions.

Including a background image

The following latex takes a pstex image and maps it to the size of the poster via tex's makebox function.


Printing the poster in A4

Kludge alert: The only way I have been able to print the poster in A4 is to open the poster pdf on a mac using the default preview app. I use that app to export the image as an A4 jpeg (which prints with no problems) -- Josh.