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Modifying A Poster's Layout

Posted by buehl (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 15, 08 at 12:50

I have had quite a few requests either in threads or via email lately asking how I do my layouts. While responding to these requests, I've come up with the "process" I use and thought I'd share it with everyone.

First off, I do not use any of the design software others have. Believe it or not, I use Microsoft PowerPoint to modify people's layouts. Here's what I do...

  • Copy & paste a copy of the person's kitchen to be worked on into a new MS PowerPoint presentation and expand it to as big as it will fit on the slide.

    • In the GW thread, right click on the image

    • Select "Copy Image" (or similar, depends on your browser)

    • In the MS PowerPoint presentation, paste (Ctrl-V) the image on the page/slide (pages are called "slides" in PowerPoint) [Note: I sometimes crop off "extras" so I can make the image bigger.]
    • Then, make a rectangle that's 2' x 2' based on the image (I create the rectangle & expand/reduce it until it's the size of a 2' counter in the drawing & then make the other direction match it in size)
    • Next, make rectangles of varying sizes based on the 2' x 2' rectangle . For example:

      • 3/4 or 75% the width of the rectangle makes an 18" x 24" cabinet
      • 62.5% makes a 15" x 24" cabinet (or 15" overhang)
      • 50% makes a 12" x 24" cabinet
      • 25% makes a 6" x 24" cabinet
      • 12.5% makes a 3" x 24" cabinet/filler
      • 125% makes a 30" x 24" cabinet
      • 150% makes a 36" x 24" cabinet
      • 175% makes a 42" x 24" cabinet
      • 200% makes a 48" x 24" cabinet
      • You can change the size by a %-age using the item's formatting (see note at the bottom of this post)

    • Then, make appliances with appropriately sized rectangles [BTW...ranges & cooktops are just rectangles w/circles on top of them. Sinks are just rectangles with rounded edges and a small circle on top for the drain (Draw --> Change Autoshape --> Basic Shapes and then select the rectangle w/rounded corners).]
    • Sometimes, you may wish to use a picture of the appliance a person already has on her/his layout. To do this:

      • Duplicate the slide (Insert --> Duplicate Slide)

      • Crop the duplicate so all you have is the item you want a picture of

      • Simply copy & paste it onto the slide with the layout you're modifying.

      • To crop (need "Picture" toolbar, see below),

        • Click on the image

        • Then, click on the crop button on the Picture Toolbar

        • Move the left/right/top/bottom margins as needed to crop out the parts of the image you don't want

    • Sometimes you need to "blank out" a portion of the existing layout. To do this:

      • Create a rectangle

      • Change the color to match the background

      • Set the Line to either the same color as the background or to "No Line"

      • Move it over the area you want to "blank out"

      • Resize it to cover the area to be "blanked out"

    • To put things in a corner (like a cooktop or DOs), rotate the item in increments of 45 degrees until it's oriented properly (45o, 90o, 135o, 180o, 225o, 270o, 315o)
    • Where necessary/helpful, insert text boxes, use arrows, etc.
    • When done:
      • Save it as a "jpg" file
        • From menu bar: File --> Save As
        • In the "Save as type" box at the bottom, scroll down and select "JPEG File Interchange Format (&.jpg)"
        • In the "File name" box, enter the name you want for the file
        • Click the "Save" button

      • Using Microsoft Picture Manager (or other picture editing software)
        • crop it as needed
        • resize it
        • save it

      • Then, upload it to PhotoBucket (or other photo hosting site), and post it!


    • Color, size, rotation, lines, etc. can be modified by double clicking on an object and making changes in the formatting box that pops up

    • To access the "Picture" and "Drawing" toolbars, right click in the menu bar area and select the toolbar you want

    One last note...if you're working from scratch, you can start with the image of graph paper and work with it from there. I found an image by Googling "graph paper" and copied the image of the paper into a PowerPoint Presentation.

    MS PPT Drawing Toolbar

    MS PPT Picture Toolbar

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Thanks so much, buehl! This will be extremely helpful to all of us who are working on layouts!

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Thanks for the clear instructions, Buehl! You are a wonderful asset to this forum.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout


Instead of percentages, I now use actual measurements. The scale I use is 4 boxes or 0.8" on my layouts = 24" in real life.

So, a standard 24" deep x 24" wide cabinet would be: height = 0.8" and width = 0.8"

A 36" wide cabinet would be: height = 0.8" and width = 1.2" (still 24" deep)

Note that the toolbar shown above is for Microsoft 2003, not 2007.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Here's what my template looks like - 5 pages:

 photo Slide3.jpg

 photo Slide2.jpg

 photo Slide4.jpg

 photo Slide5.jpg

 photo Slide6.jpg

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

This is extremely helpful. Thank you for letting us know how you do it.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

buehl, is there a reason you don't just use MS Paint for the alterations?

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Buehl, very helpful. Thank you for your time.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

beverly27...yes, there is...IMHO, MS PowerPoint is faster and easier for this type of "work". I can modify a poster's layout using their own pic (by resizing to bring it to my scale) or start from scratch if I have all the correct measurements. It's a snap using MS PowerPoint.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Thanks Buehl !! I am one of the ones who have requested this. I think your layouts always look so very nice. I don't want to cause an avalanche of requests for you, but I wonder if you would be willing to send me your Point template file ? : )

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Personally, I just use Paint. Open two windows with the pic in it, and move things around in one. You've got the original to copy again if you need to because you've covered something up. Every computer has Paint, and it's simple to use for quickie changeups.

RE: Modifying A Poster's Layout

Thank you for explaining how you do your layouts, Beuhl. I hope maybe this thread can be attached to something more permanent since I think many folks would find it helpful.

Your helpfulness is appreciated. : )

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