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A Poster

This example illustrates how to use FlowframTk to help construct frames for use with the flowfram package. The aim is to create a LaTeX2e package based on the flowfram package that defines frames for use with a poster. For this example, I used the A4 landscape paper setting, but it can just as easily be applied to other paper sizes.

  1. Set the grid to the unit of your choice using the Settings->Grid->Grid Settings dialog box. For example, I set the grid settings to major divisions of 1in, with 10 subdivisions. I also set the storage unit to 1in.

  2. I recommend that you set the grid lock on (using Settings->Grid->Lock Grid), to help prevent having frames with slightly different widths, which will result in warnings from the flowfram package.

  3. Set the typeblock, using the TeX/LaTeX->Flow Frames->Set Typeblock menu item. I used 1in margins. You should now see the typeblock appear as a light grey rectangle on the page. (Note that you can not select or move the typeblock, you can only modify it using the TeX/LaTeX->Flow Frames->Set Typeblock dialog box.) See Figure 11.39.

    Figure 11.39: Poster Example--The Typeblock

  4. Select the rectangle tool, and create the rectangles shown in Figure 11.40. The top rectangle is going to be the title frame, the two tall rectangles on the left will be flow frames containing the main text for the poster, and the two short rectangles on the right will be dynamic frames that will contain a table and a figure. (To ensure that the two tall rectangles are the same size, you may prefer to use the copy and paste function.)

    Figure 11.40: Poster Example--Adding Rectangles

  5. Switch to the select tool, and add a bitmap using Bitmap->Insert Bitmap, to give the poster a logo, and move it to the location shown (Figure 11.41).

    Figure 11.41: Poster Example--Adding a Bitmap

  6. Garish posters are not recommended, but to illustrate how to liven up the poster, set the fill colours for the rectangles using the Edit->Fill Colour dialog box. I also added two extra smaller rectangles on top of the right hand rectangles, to give a double border effect (Figure 11.42).

    Figure 11.42: Poster Example--Adding Some Colour

  7. Select the top rectangle and the bitmap, and group them. Select the bottom right hand rectangles (green) and group them. Select the middle right hand rectangles (magenta) and group them.

  8. Select the top group, and select the TeX/LaTeX->Flow Frames->Set Frame menu item. This will open up the dialog box shown in Figure 11.43. Set the type to Static, and call it "title". Set the margins as desired. (I used 0.1in for all the margins, but you may want to use different values to ensure that the logo is inside the margins so that the frame's text doesn't overlap the image.)

    Figure 11.43: Poster Example--assigning frame information. (Note that the shape option is not available because the selected object is a group not a path.)

  9. Click on the Edit button to open the mini TeX editor and type in the following:
    \title{A Sample Poster}
    \author{Nicola Talbot}
    as shown in Figure 11.44. (Since \maketitle sets the page style to plain, this sets it to empty as page numbers aren't appropriate here.)

    Figure 11.44: Poster Example--Adding Contents to a Static Frame

    To close the editor either click on the "Okay" button (the one with the green tick) or press Shift-Enter.

  10. Similarly, make the left hand rectangle a flow frame with label "left" and the middle rectangle a flow frame with label "middle". (Flow frames can't be assigned contents, so the Edit button will now be disabled.)

  11. Make the two remaining groups dynamic frames with labels "figure" and "table". For these two, I used larger margins (0.2in) to compensate for the double border (Figure 11.45).

    Again use the mini TeX editor to set the contents. The "figure" frame's contents are:

    Insert figure here!
    \caption{A Sample Figure}
    The "table" frame's contents are:
    \caption{A Sample Table}
    Insert table here!

    Figure 11.45: Poster Example--Frame Information Assigned

  12. Move the slider between the canvas and the preamble panel, or use the menu item TeX/LaTeX->Preamble Editor to show the preamble panel. In the early-preamble tab, add the following:
    as shown in Figure 11.46. (You can use \usepackage instead of \RequirePackage. Any instances of \usepackage will automatically be converted to \RequirePackage if the image is exported to a class or package.)

    Figure 11.46: Poster Example--Adding Preamble Information

  13. Use the menu item File->Export to create a new LaTeX package or class that defines these frames. Remember to select the Package (*.sty) file filter. I called my file poster.sty (Figure 11.47) which will create a package rather than a class.

    Figure 11.47: Poster Example--Export Frame Information to a LaTeX Package

  14. Create a LaTeX document that uses this package or class.

    First, let's suppose I've exported to a package. Since I used A4 landscape paper, it's simplest use the article class file. If you use a larger size (e.g. A0), it would be more appropriate to use the a0poster class file.

    I created the following file called poster.tex:

    % use new package created in this example:
    This is the main body of the poster. This text will
    appear in the first of the two flow frames. Once it
    has reached the end of the first flow frame, it will 
    then continue in the second flow frame.
    % Lots of text omitted

    Now suppose I've exported to a class by using the Class (*.cls) filter in the export dialog. Then the start of my poster.tex file just uses this class:

    % use new class created with this example:
    This is the main body of the poster. This text will
    appear in the first of the two flow frames. Once it
    has reached the end of the first flow frame, it will 
    then continue in the second flow frame.
    % Lots of text omitted
    This is actually more convenient than creating a package.

  15. To make the poster a PDF document, do:
    pdflatex poster.tex
    (Note that the pgf package is used to create the borders, so you will need to use a driver that understands the \special commands used by the pgf package, such as PDFLaTeX or LaTeX and dvips.) The final document is illustrated in Figure 11.48.

Figure 11.48: Poster Example--Final Document

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