May I use something other than PowerPoint (e.g., Illustrator or Publisher) to create my class poster?Sorry, but no - you must use PowerPoint. We are unable to support all the possible options for poster creation. We know how to work with and make your poster successful using PowerPoint so for now we are sticking with that tool (although we are investigating the use of Open Office).
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/HA102821141033.aspx) describe how you can do this but it is not easy nor is it recommended.
How can I see if my pictures are too small (not enough resolution)?
It's only an approximation, but View | Zoom | 100% to see everything on the poster in a version of full size. A bit fuzzy will probably be OK.
How do I put a border around my text box?
To get the border: <right-click> on the edge of the box | Format Shape ... | Line Style/Color
To get the border away from the text (you will need more space than the default): <right-click> on the edge of the box | Format Shape ... | Text Box | Internal Margin - increase left/right/top/bottom
How do I align text boxes and images?
Select the objects to be aligned (click on one, <shift-click> on others to select multiples) | Format | Align ...
Here you have many options to align objects. Note that to align everything on a slide will require some sense of order. For example, you may need to align the top items in every column first, and then left align each of the columns. You may also need to size all your text boxes identically to make center alignments work.
Note that you can also distribute objects evenly across the poster height or width, and you can group objects where your alignment has been finalized (the group can then be moved or aligned as a single object).
What if I insert a chart using Excel or Excel data?
Be sure that you submit the Excel file with your poster file. Embedded objects require that PowerPoint access the source document.
Can I create a timeline in PowerPoint? Yes (at least in the Office 2007 version)!