Making a 15x15cm graphical abstract for Hypertension (the AHA journal)

I recently had a paper published in the AHA journal, Hypertension (here: The submission required that I include a graphical abstract that was 15×15 cm at 300 dpi and saved in a jpeg format. (That’s 15/2.54*300 = 1772 x 1772 pixels.) I’ve been trying to use EPS files to get around annoying journal image formatting requirements recently, but they really wanted just a jpeg and not EPS. It took a bit of back and forth with the journals to give them what they wanted. Here’s how I made it. It requires PowerPoint and the excellent Inkscape free and open source program that you can download here:

This specific example works with figures and text made within PowerPoint, YMMV if you are trying to embed pictures (eg microscopy). For that, you might want to use Photoshop or GIMP or the excellent web-based equivalent, Photopea. Just remember to output a file that is 1772×1772 pixels and saved as a jpeg.

Step 1: Make a square PowerPoint slide.

  • Open PowerPoint, make a blank presentation
  • Design –> slide size –> custom slide size
  • Change width to 15 cm and height to 15 cm (it defaults to inches in the US version of PPT)
  • Make your graphical abstract.
  • Save the pptx file.
    • Note: Following this bullet point is the one I made if you want to use the general format. Obviously it’ll need to be heavily modified for your article. I selected the colors using I’m not sure I love the color palate in the end, but it worked:

Step 2: Output your PowerPoint slide as an SVG file. I use this format since it’s a vector format that uses curves and lines to make an image that can be enlarged without any loss in quality. It doesn’t use pixels.

  • While looking at your slide in PowerPoint, hit File –> export –> change file type –> save as another file type.
  • In the pop up, change the “save as type” drop down to “scalable vector graphics format (*.svg)” and click save.
    • Note: For some reason OneDrive in Windows wouldn’t let me save an SVG file to it at this step. I had to save to my desktop instead, which was fine.
  • If you get a pop up, select “this slide only”.

Step 3: Set resolution in Inkscape

  • Open Inkscape, and open your new SVG file.
    • Note: In the file browser, it might look like a Chrome html file if you have chrome installed since Windows doesn’t natively handle SVG files.
  • When you have the SVG file open in Inkscape, click file –> export. You will see the export panel open up on the right hand side. Change the file type to jpeg. Above, change the DPI to 300 and the width and height should automatically change to 1772 pixels.
  • Hit export and you should be set!