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I have never had any experience with photoshop or any other related software to make drawings and sketches. Knowing this, if I want to make a technical poster then what would be the free and easiest online source to do it?

EDIT: The purpose of the poster is to display the gist of the research in visual form.

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This does not really require sketches in the way you are thinking. Any program will do, but first you must sit down and get your ideas on a piece of paper no fancy styles just plain boxes . Then again it depends on what type of technical posters you are talking about . Academic or Professional. –  phwd Oct 7 '10 at 3:00
    
I mean whatever it takes to develop a poster. The poster is for thing. The purpose of poster is to display the research. It would be displayed at a forum/conference and I would need to stand by it to explain it to whoever comes by to see. –  Pupil Oct 7 '10 at 3:08

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I don't use any online software however I can give you the low-down on what I use for my posters:

For general design and layout I use Microsoft Powerpoint (you can also download and use OpenOffice Impress for free). Its easy to use, widely available, familiar to the majority of printing services and templates [1] are available online. If you don't want to use a template just manually input your poster dimensions (File > Page Setup) and it'll print out at that size.

As for making technical drawings, it depends on what kind of information you are trying to communicate and how good you are with graphic design software. I use Excel for graphing as well as some built-in features of statistical packages. For drawings, I generally use a pen and paper, scanned and edited in Adobe Photoshop. Sometimes I even use Microsoft Paint. No lie, it may seem rudimentary but this method works for me and has produced professional, conference-quality work.


Links:

[1] Templates: www.posterpresentations.com/html/free_poster_templates.html
[2] General poster advice: www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/posteradvice.htm

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