Change the size of your slides
To change the slide size:
Select the Design tab of the toolbar ribbon.
Select Standard (4:3 aspect ratio) or Widescreen (16:9) or Custom Slide Size .
For more about the predefined sizes (including formats like Overhead, A3, A4, Banner, B4, and B5) or your own custom sizing, click a heading below to expand it and see the details .
Choose the standard or widescreen slide size.
On the Design tab of the Ribbon, locate Slide Size in the Customize group, near the far right end of the toolbar.
Select Slide Size , and then select either Standard (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9) .
When PowerPoint is unable to automatically scale your content, it prompts you with two options:
Maximize : Select this option to increase the size of your slide content when you are scaling to a larger slide size. Choosing this option could result in your content not fitting on the slide.
Ensure Fit : Select this option to decrease the size of your content when scaling to a smaller slide size. This could make your content appear smaller, but you’ll be able to see all content on your slide.
The 16:9 widescreen setting is the default value for new presentations you create. When you change the slide size for a presentation, the size you choose only applies to that presentation. However, you can make it easy to create a new 4:3 presentation for yourself whenever you want—by defining a custom theme that uses the 4:3 aspect ratio. See the section below named "Make a default size to start from when creating new presentations."
Choose another size, such as A3, B4, or Overhead
Select Slide Size , and then select Custom Slide Size .
In the Slide Size box, click the down arrow next to Slides sized for and select an option. Their dimensions are listed below:
Overhead provides an aspect ratio very close to the standard 4:3 slide size.
There are two options for 16:9 aspect ratios:
On-screen Show (16:9) sets the slide dimensions to 10 in x 5.625 in.
Widescreen sets it to 13.333 in x 7.5 in.
Both of these options are the same aspect ratio so they will look the same in Normal View , since PowerPoint automatically adjusts the zoom level. Widescreen (13.333 in x 7.5 in.) provides more slide surface area for the content, so that is the best choice for presentations. Widescreen won’t fit on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper without you having to scale it down.
Select OK to accept the dimensions and close the Slide Size dialog box.
Choose custom dimensions (in inches, centimeters, or pixels)
The Slide Size dialog box opens.
In the Slide Size dialog box, ensure the orientation is set the way you want it.
In the Height and Width boxes, PowerPoint accepts measurements in inches , centimeters , or pixels . Type a number followed by a space and then the appropriate abbreviation: in , cm , or px .
PowerPoint then converts measurements, if necessary, to the type of unit your operating system uses.
You can change the unit of measure that is shown in PowerPoint dialog boxes if you like.
Make a default size to start from when creating new presentations
This version of PowerPoint has a default size of 16:9 for new presentation, but you can create a different default for yourself.
On the File tab of the toolbar ribbon, select New . Then double-click the Blank Presentation to create a new, empty presentation.
Then on the Design tab, click Slide Size and choose the size you want for a default.
(If you want a different default slide size than what's listed there, select Custom Slide Size and then choose your size in the Slide Size dialog box, and then click OK .)
Select Save Current Theme .
Give your theme a name that you'll remember easily and click Save . Don't change the folder that the new theme is to be saved in.
On the Design tab, click the More arrow again in the bottom-right corner of the Themes group. You'll see your newly saved theme under a Custom heading.
Right-click that new custom theme under the Custom heading, and then select Set as Default Theme :
Close PowerPoint. Don't save any files if it prompts you.
Open PowerPoint again. On the File tab of the toolbar ribbon, select New .
The custom theme that you just saved is listed at the top left corner, named Default Theme . The thumbnail image looks like a widescreen slide, but in reality, when you create a new presentation based on that theme, the presentation has the aspect ratio that you've defined for this default theme.
The next time you open PowerPoint, you'll see your default theme in the upper-left of the theme gallery. When you select it, all the slides will be the custom size you chose by default.
Sizing applies to all slides in a presentation
PowerPoint isn't able to resize one slide within a presentation. All slides in a presentation are the same size.
If this is a feature you’d like to request, please send us your feedback to help us prioritize new features in future updates. See How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office for more information.
Orientation applies to all slides in a presentation
PowerPoint isn't able to change the page orientation of certain slides. All slides in a presentation have the same page orientation.
Change the page orientation in PowerPoint between landscape and portrait
Use portrait and landscape slide orientation in the same presentation
Reduce the file size of a picture
Important: Office 2010 is no longer supported . Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere from any device and continue to receive support. Upgrade now
In the Page Setup dialog box, under Slides sized for , choose the predefined size you want, or choose Custom and specify the dimensions you want.
Choose a predefined slide size
On the Design tab of the Ribbon, select Page Setup .
The Page Setup dialog box opens.
Select the Slides Sized for list to open it, and then select one of the options.
The choices and their measurements are listed below:
When PowerPoint is unable to automatically scale your content, it will prompt you with two options:
Choose custom dimensions
Select the Slides Sized for list to open it, and then select Custom at the bottom of the list.
In the Height and Width boxes, specify the dimensions you want.
The unit of measure for these boxes is determined by your computer's operating system. If you need to convert from one system to another, see an online converter such as UnitConverters.net .
The minimum and maximum dimensions that PowerPoint accepts are:
You can change the unit of measure that is shown in PowerPoint dialog boxes .
Some folks have asked about resizing one slide within a presentation. PowerPoint isn't able to do that. All slides in a presentation are the same size.
Some folks have also asked about changing the page orientation of certain slides. PowerPoint isn't able to do that. All slides in a presentation have the same page orientation.
On the File menu, select Page Setup .
In the Page Setup dialog box, under Slides sized for , select the predefined size you want, or choose Custom and specify the dimensions you want.
Select Slide Size .
Select Standard (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9) .
PowerPoint may prompt you about scaling your content. Choose one of the following options:
Scale: Select this option to decrease or increase the size of your slide content. When scaling to a smaller slide size, this could make your content appear smaller, but you’ll be able to see all content on your slide.
Don't Scale: Select this option to maintain the size of your slide content. Choosing this option could result in your content not fitting on the slide.
Choose Page Setup from the menu that appears.
Page Setup gives you an assortment of predefined slide/page size options. The options and their dimensions are listed below:
In the Slide Size box, click the down arrow next to Slides sized for and select an option.
Widescreen sets the dimensions to 13.333 in x 7.5 in.
Choose custom dimensions (in inches, centimers, or pixels)
Select Slide Size , and then click Page Setup .
In the Width and Height boxes, PowerPoint accepts measurements in inches , centimeters , or pixels . Type a number followed by a space and then the appropriate abbreviation: in (inches) or cm (centimeters) or px (pixels).
PowerPoint then converts the measurements, if necessary, to the unit of measurement your operating system uses.
Make a new slide size the default for new presentations
Select Slide Size , and then select Page Setup .
Follow the steps in the prior section to choose the slide size you want.
On the Design tab, click the More arrow below the standard themes.
Click Save Current Theme at the bottom of the window.
Give your theme a name that you'll remember easily and click Save .
On the Design tab, click the More arrow below the standard themes again. You'll see your newly saved theme under Custom .
Right-click your new custom theme, and then click Set as Default Theme .
The next time you open PowerPoint, you'll see your default theme in the upper-left of the theme gallery. When you select it, all the slides will be the size you chose for your default theme.
On the Design tab of the toolbar ribbon, click Slide Size in the Customize group.
Click Standard (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9) .
When PowerPoint for the web is unable to automatically scale your content, it prompts you with two options:
The 16:9 widescreen setting is the default value for new presentations you create. When you change the slide size for a presentation, the size you choose only applies to that presentation.
You can also change the orientation of all the slides in your presentation. See Change the page orientation for instructions.
In the Width and Height boxes, type a measurement in inches . PowerPoint doesn't accept measurements outside the minimum and maximum shown below:
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Which PowerPoint format: 16:9 or 4:3?
Our clients frequently ask us what is the best aspect ratio to use in PowerPoint. 4:3? 16:9? DIN A4 or Letter? Our recommendation: your best bet is 16:9. This choice is simple. These days PowerPoint presentations are increasingly presented in digital form and are seldom printed. No matter if viewed on laptop, monitor or with a modern projector. They all use the 16:9 aspect ratio that has long become standard. This format looks more modern and more appealing as the area is used far more economically without the need of large black bars to the left and right! Our recommendation is true for most scenarios. There may be some exceptions, for example, if most presentations you create are to be printed. In this case DIN A4 ot Letter is definitely the right choice. If you work extensively with iPads and presentations in the field then 4:3 is the format for you. In most cases, however, 16:9 remains the aspect ratio of choice for PowerPoint presentations.
Why not change and abandon 4:3?
There are several reasons. For one, many users are still used to 4:3. Completely changing to 16:9 can be a considerable design obstacle – proportions are quite different. You can, however help your colleagues tackle this challenge: reapairing conclusive style guides in the form of slide templates. Apart from many inspirational design ideas the user will quickly gain a better understanding of the new format. In addition, the new 16:9 masters or their layouts can be intelligently designed in a way that layouts can guide the user with a clever placement of placeholders and infotexts.
Another reason to keep to 4:3 are projectors that still do not support 16:9. This issue can, of course, not be ignored. Keep in mind, though, that newer projectors have supported this format for years. Equipment 10 years old or older usually offer the possibility to change settings in order to display 16:9. Projectors that exclusively support 4:3 are rare and are becoming increasingly “extinct”. Check in your own organization as to what kind of technical limitations really exist. Talk to clients to whom you often present, or seek out the organizers of the conferences you attend. A reality check is never a bad idea and may be surprised.
If you find out that you need or want to offer both formats, then why not? Since PowerPoint 2013 it has been possible to change the format of a “draft” quite easily. Once could simply switch between both formats. There are some aspects to be kept in mind: logos and round shapes are distorted when using this native PowerPoint function. For this reason, it is advisable to copy these elements to a separate file and then add them back to the presentation once the format has been changed.
16:9 is going to be introduced. What about all the old slides?
Regardless if you completely abolish 4:3 or use the format in addition to 16:9; the question is what are you going to do with all the slides that exist in 4:3? This is not your only problem. A change in format often also means a change in design. What may sound worrying can be solved with a clearly structured plan. View a number of these older presentations and check what happens when you apply a new master (design) as well as after you change the format. Depending on the results we recommend a neat and structured guideline. Pay particular attention that layouts that are no longer required after switching to a new design are deleted, footers are uniform, and that reformatted placeholders are reset to the requirements of the new master. In a last step, all colors, fonts, font sizes, bullets and other deviations need to be corrected.
Find out about the modern PowerPoint format 16:10 and when to use it in comparison to the format 16:9.
Survey: What format do you currently use?
What format does your company currently use?
Our conclusion: Take the leap and do not hesitate to move to 16:9! If you tackle this project in a structured manner this change will hardly be an issue. As a result, you will profit from the advantages of using 16:9. The 16:9 format looks more sophisticated, offers more design possibilities and makes the most of the new screen formats.
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How to Choose a PowerPoint Aspect Ratio: 4:3 or 16:9?
When designing a PowerPoint presentation, one of the first choices one makes is the slide size. PowerPoint has switched to default 16:9 aspect ratio of the presentations a couple of years ago, which follows the trend of “wide-everything”, including smartphones, computer monitors, TVs, and projectors & beamers. But with the craze to wide-everything, is 16:9 slide presentation aspect ratio the best choice for all circumstances? Here are my thoughts.
I do presentations for a living and with close to 300 days of doing PowerPoint presentations in the last decade, here are my thoughts.
- Match the ratio of the projector/beamer. Ahead of your presentation, check the ratio of the projector at the venue and match that.
- Use 4:3 ratio as default. If you can’t get information on the ratio of hardware ahead of the presentation, or if you will be doing many presentations with the same slides, 4:3 ratio is a safe bet.
Let’s look at the arguments.
1. Match the ratio of the projector/beamer.
For best result, always match the slide aspect ratio to the hardware. Everything will be as intended, the wall/screen area covered will be the largest, which gives the best immersion effect for your audience. Most new projectors have a wide ratio, but check if possible. This is my first recommendation.
2. & 3. Use 4:3 ratio or 16:9 ratio with increased font sizes.
Your slides are 4:3 and the projector is 16:9
In this situation, your slides are going to fit the projection vertically (in height). Horizontally, there will be a black (invisible) edge on each side. Therefore, all of the sizes in slides will be as planned, nothing is going to be squeezed.
Your slides are 16:9 and the projector is 4:3
Your complete 16:9 slides are going to be visible, however, they will be squeezed to fit the 4:3 screen. There will be a dark (invisible) edges at the top and the bottom (see image above). This means that the text is going to be smaller than it would be on a 4:3 projector.
My experience is from the scientific and educational world of universities and research institutes. Among the projectors I encounter in 2019-2020, approximately 70% are already wide (supporting the 16:9 ratio). For a long time, I just used the 4:3 ratio slides for my presentations, however, as I believe the ‘immersion experience’ is best when the slide and hardware aspect ratios match, I have recently redesigned all my slides. I’ve found that the font sizes have to be approximately 20% larger on the 16:9 ratio slides to accommodate for the situations when my now 16:9 ratio slides encounter an older projector. If I were in an environment, where the hardware was still mostly 4:3, I would have kept with my good old 4:3 slides.
In any case, I don’t find the more vertical space to be an added value. Most presenters put too much content on their slides anyway, and the 4:3 ratio can be a valuable constraint for them 🙂
So how do you approach this dilemma? I’m interested in your thoughts, just put them in the comments below!
Jernej is a communication expert who runs workshops and webinars on Visual Communication worldwide for the best research institutions.
Visual communication for scientists
October 19, 2020 (4:36 am)
thank you this is exactly the thought process I needed!
Trividh Patel, CBAP
July 22, 2021 (7:01 am).
I too have lot of 4:3 presentation and want to convert it to 16:9 but I personally find 4:3 to much more readable (when it is mostly text) while 16:9 much more viewable (when it is mostly videos or pictures).
July 22, 2021 (7:04 am).
Dear Trividh, thanks for the comment. I’d say that readability is not that much in the format but in how you use it. If you use the negative space amply on a 16:9 and adjust your typeface and font size into a nice hierarchy, you can make it as readable as 4:3.
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Correct PowerPoint Aspect Ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
Nov 16, 2015 | Articles , How-To
During the day I had a business meeting and when I arrived back at the hotel in the evening, I immediately noticed that the professional video playback was replaced by a simple PowerPoint slideshow. The presentation welcomed a specific company to the bar of the hotel, for a kind of reception or celebration of something. The contrast between that initial video and now this PowerPoint presentation, could not have been bigger.
- First of all was this PowerPoint, that was set up like so many people do with PowerPoint. They use PowerPoint like Microsoft Word. Start with an empty white sheet, add a title, add some text as bullets and optionally, insert a picture to the right of it. 70% of the PowerPoint presentations are built like that.
- The second problem that I noticed, was a professional earthquake. The slideshow was set up as a standard size of 4:3 on a wide screen 16:9 television screen. You recognize this problem when you see those black bars at the left and at the right of the slideshow, in order to equally center the slideshow on the larger screen or resolution.
The first problem can be fixed by investing in a professional PowerPoint design agency or freelancer. Let them set up a PowerPoint template with your logo, a given font, your style and so on. Force everyone in your company to start with this template. It is so much easier to start off with a good template. Don’t trust yourself with the promise that the white presentation will be enhanced later on when you have time. Don’t fool yourself. The second problem can be easily fixed. When you start with a new presentation, you will first have to know; what is the aspect ratio of the device where I will show my slideshow or presentation? When you don’t know the aspect ratio, don’t start with the presentation. Changing the aspect ratio after the design of the presentation, could easily ruin your design. There are two commonly used aspect ratio’s:
- Wide screen aspect ratio, or 16:9 screens. Since a year of 5, almost all computer screens are wide screens, with the resolution aspect ratio of a television screen. The current HD computer screens have a resolution of 1920 pixels in width by 1080 pixels in height.
PowerPoint followed this evolution. From the beginning, a new PowerPoint presentation was created with a 4:3 slide setup. Since PowerPoint 2013, a new presentation is now created with 16:9 slides. So when people are still using PowerPoint 2010 nowadays, they tend to always create 4:3 presentations, for playback on the recent 16:9 television screens. People still use PowerPoint 2010 while you can’t buy 4:3 monitors anymore. This results in the slide show aspect ratio problem, as I experienced at this hotel. So as an AV professional, let me teach the 2 things that the user should know before start typing the first words on the slides . Both are related to the device where the user will run the slideshow:
- Check the orientation of the screen. Most common orientation is landscape like a television screen. But there are exceptions; at shopping malls, airports and exhibition halls, the user often see television screens in portrait mode.
- Know the resolution of the playback device and see if it is a standard monitor or wide-screen monitor.
When the user knew the orientation and size of the playback device, the user can start with the presentation. In PowerPoint, click File , New , Blank Presentation from the menu. Then click the Design tab and click on the Slide Size button.
Here the user can choose between a portrait or landscape orientation and set the width in pixels or inches or centimeters. Now with these correct settings, you can add slides and add your messages. Remember not to start with those empty white slides like in a Microsoft Word document and be creative. Good luck…
10 Ways to Optimize PowerPoint for Information Screens
Common mistake: wrong aspect ratio used at information screens
Sorry, but this is no solution because placed images, like company logos, become distorted!
That is completely correct Michael. Doing this action on an existing presentation, has an influence on the images. That is also stipulated in the article that you always know upfront the orientation and the resolution of the final output device BEFORE you start a presentation. When you don’t know the resolution, then you best have to create a 4:3 and a similar 16:9 presentation, to serve both most important aspect ratios.
That is some inspirational stuff. Never knew that opinions could be this varied. Be certain to keep writing.
Our client requires full-size landscape hard-copy handouts on letter-size paper (8-1/2″ x 11″) which of course is 4:3 in addition to 16:9 presentation slides. So we prepare both aspects for them and bill accordingly!
Thanks fot this post.It’s a helpful information for professional presentations desigency. wwww.powerpoint.geek
Thanks for this post. It’s a helpful information for professional presentations.
iDealshare VideoGo also works great to convert 4:3 to 16:9 by Click “Setting…” -> Advanced ->Aspect Ratio where you can directly overwrite the original 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 or directly select 16:9 as the final aspect ratio.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
longrifle, not true, 11 x 8.25 is 4:3, if you insert an 11 x 8.5 background on a standard ppt deck, it will not fit.
Sorry but I can’t reproduce what you are saying here. And your valid email address is needed for a dialog so that you get notifications:-)
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PowerPoint Format 4:3 vs. 16:9
Our questions, your choice.
A while ago, we expressed a preference for the aspect ratio format 16:9 over 4:3. Since then, we’ve re-considered arguments that didn’t seem relevant at the time. Here we weigh up the pros and cons, with a structured guide to help you choose for yourself.
Originally, there were 4:3 monitors. Then manufacturers realized that the 16:9 format covers the human field of vision a lot better. So, devices changed, and consequently, so did presentations.
But is that a strong enough argument to change course at your company? The following nine questions can help.
1) What’s your main reason for creating presentations?
- Primarily for sales or business pitches?
- For presentations at major events?
- Perhaps more for internal meetings?
- As reports or handouts?
Or is it all of the above? The larger the company, the more varied the use of PowerPoint. Concentrate on what’s most important to you. This will serve as your basis.
2) What equipment do you use?
Based on your most important uses, work out which output devices are most prevalent in each case.
- Does your sales department work mainly with laptops and projectors – i.e., more in the 16:9 format? Or are your colleagues often on the road with tablets? If so, consider the model they use here; the iPad uses an aspect ratio of 4:3.
- Do you use large monitors at events or trade fairs? What type? From extremely wide screens to upright columns, the possibilities are endless.
- Are your projectors state-of-the-art (16:9) or does your equipment vary, and you still use some older devices (4:3)? Consider not only the head office, but also local branch offices, meeting rooms, etc.
- Do you frequently print out presentations? Are they often distributed as handouts? This would tend to favor the 4:3, including for A4 or letter format.
3) What image do you want to convey?
Formats do contribute to your overall image. Many users now see the 4:3 as being a bit outdated, whereas the 16:9 shows you’ve kept up. This argument can trump all other questions, such as those regarding equipment, technology or print-outs, and applies to both the internal and external image of your team or organization.
4) Which PowerPoint format is better suited to your content?
Let’s get rid of one common claim for a start – the 16:9 doesn’t offer you more space per se than the 4:3. More space is created if the format is a good fit for the output device, and optimally utilizes the device’s available space. Besides adaptation to the output device, other factors can also play a role. If, for example, you use presentations as manuals and want to display a screenshot on the left and an explanation on the right, you can achieve this more easily with a wider format. When it comes to presenting detailed content, however, the good old 4:3 is still suitable, as it provides roughly the same amount of space on all sides.
5) How many formats do you want to provide?
If you can’t decide, it’s best if you offer all options, right? If you do this, you need to be really organized. If you offer everything without proper planning, you’ll end up with chaos, as everyone just uses their own preferred format. Try collating multiple staff members’ slides into one presentation with this approach. The result: too much time spent on adapting individual slides, inefficiency, dissatisfied users, even damage to your brand. Choose a base format and build on this by establishing clear guidelines as to which format will be used for which purpose. You’ll then be working with a tool that converts the slides to the desired format quickly, and with minimal loss, at the press of a button.
6) How do you convert?
You’ve decided you want to change something, because you’ve considered each of the questions on their own merit. Our tip: Develop a migration plan. Bear in mind that each of your colleagues are likely to have a stash of old presentations they keep reusing or which serve as their basis for new presentations. This means conversions can quickly become irritating and cause issues. A conversion is most likely to be accepted if it occurs simultaneously with a general design conversion, brand relaunch or template conversion. No one questions these!
Most companies have more slides in circulation than they realize. Sometimes millions. The consequences, time, effort and costs involved, and the project itself are all hugely challenging, making a migration plan all the more important.
7) Which 16:9?
Did you know PowerPoint has two different 16:9 aspect ratios? One is known as “On-screen Show (16:9)” in PowerPoint 2016. The other is “Widescreen (16:9),” which has been the standard since PowerPoint 2013. The former is the same width as the 4:3 format (in the standard PowerPoint dimensions), while the latter is the same height. The space on the screen is exactly the same, though you generally need a smaller font size for the older “On-screen Show (16:9),” to give yourself enough space for content vertically. The newer “Widescreen (16:9),” on the other hand, usually works very well with the font size used in 4:3. The vertical PowerPoint size does not change, so the text can simply run on longer across the width. This also makes it easier to copy content quickly from old 4:3 slides; while a few unsightly blank spaces remain at the sides, the rough fit is good in terms of height. For this reason, we almost always recommend the “Widescreen” option.
8) How do you handle a possible conversion?
“The faster the better” is the general rule. Long transition phases make everyone work differently, so then you have to revise and rework things all over again. However, it’s worth thinking about the areas where a transition phase is wise, as it’s just as inefficient to create work where it’s not needed. When we assist our customers with the conversion process, we try to get onboard as early as possible to ensure optimum preparation and user support:
- Designing the new master(s) smartly – in terms of the conversion itself and the future
- Having as much useful material as possible in time for the go-live – Slide templates, modules, new corporate and sales presentations, tips and tricks
- Tools to automatically convert old presentations
- A conversion service for greater acceptance and efficient, professional conversion of important presentations
9) How much of the conversion can be automated?
Having discovered that all previous solutions available on the market (including our own) were unable to deliver what users really needed when it came to format switches, we spent several months on developing a completely new automation solution. This incorporates not only our entire gamut of developer expertise, but also all our experience from countless conversion processes. The result was a conversion tool that can automatically create new, reasonable-looking presentations out of most of the old ones:
- The presentation is set in your new target master from a pre-defined source master – with great precision
- The layouts are reallocated. In doing so, the tool utilizes the advantage offered by PowerPoint when users have worked with layouts and placeholders the way they should. But – and this is the smarter part by far – it can also handle the often much greater number of presentations in which layouts have been copied wildly and placeholders moved at random.
- Next, the slide content is smartly adjusted to the new aspect ratio. This includes various methods for scaling and repositioning items on the slide. Text is scaled, and images are not distorted.
- Depending on the requirements of the old and new masters, various corrections are then performed automatically to ensure the rest of the look also complies with the new specifications.
- There is literally no ready-made solution for this. The conversion tool is configured individually for each customer – based on old and new masters, what the user does with them, and how the marketing department intends to use them.
This type of migration plan for PowerPoint conversions requires a holistic approach, lots of experience, and application expertise. In return, however, it promises a seamless conversion, a high degree of acceptance among users, a good reputation, and the speed marketing departments dream of. What it also needs is preliminary talks early on, the right questions, reliable analysis, and intelligent, personalized implementation. The preliminary talks alone provide great food for thought which can also genuinely boost efficiency in cooperation with the hired brand agency.
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Sep 6, 2022
The 4:3 Vs 16:9 Aspect Ratio Explained In PowerPoint
One of the first decisions one takes while creating a PowerPoint presentation is the aspect ratio of the slides. The default aspect ratio of a slide in PowerPoint 2010 is 4:3 (Standard). A few years back, PowerPoint changed its default aspect ratio to 16:9, following the trend of “wide-everything,” which includes smartphones, computer displays, TVs, projectors, and beamers.
Making a presentation with a 16:9 (Widescreen) ratio can be tricky. It is possible to change the ratio later, but it is best to begin creating your slides in the aspect ratio that you require from the beginning.
Browse through SlideUpLift’s ready-to-use collection of PowerPoint Themes and PowerPoint Templates to help save time in building presentations.
This tutorial aims to teach you how to adjust the aspect ratio or size of your PowerPoint slides to create slides for printed materials, handouts, posters, postcards, and on-screen presentations.
How to Alter the Size of a Slide in PowerPoint Presentation
The slide size format for new PowerPoint presentations is 16:9 by default. It is advised to use this as the NEW standard for most current overhead projects and monitors. However, you may quickly switch your slide size according to your presentation needs.
Here’s how you can change the size of your PowerPoint slide:
- Select the View tab.
2. Open the Slide Master option.
3. Select the Slide Size option.
4. Choose a slide size of 4:3, 16:9, or custom as per your need.
Watch our YouTube tutorial and learn how to change the aspect ratio of a PowerPoint slide in a few simple steps.
Whether creating a corporate presentation or an overhead display, you can adjust the size of your slides to suit your presentation requirements. Additionally, keep in mind that changing slide sizes after completing your presentation might be a real nuisance. Decide your PowerPoint slide size before starting your presentation, if at all feasible. Remember this for your next presentation!
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Why change from 4:3 to 16:9 format?
Since PowerPoint 2013, the 16:9 widescreen format has become the standard for presentations. However, 4:3 slides still circulate within many companies. Read on to learn how to convert to 16:9.
What is the advantage of 16:9 vs. 4:3?
To put it bluntly, 4:3 is out! Nowadays, digital devices are almost exclusively designed for widescreen display. The aspect ratio of 16:9 simulates the eye’s field of vision better than 4:3. See for yourself: Focus on a fixed point in the distance and notice how your eyes capture more horizontally than they do vertically. The advantages of widescreen are already well known in film and television – projection screens, for example, have made a huge leap since the 1950s tube TV.
Another big advantage of the widescreen format is in its presentation. You ha ve much more space to display your content in a visually appealing way. Jam-packed 4: 3 slides with countless bullet points have a chance to “breathe” when transferred to widescreen display. Also, the 16:9 format allows high-resolution photos and images to be cropped or resized without losing quality.
16: 9 slides – No problems with the projector!
Every now and then, users say they prefer to create their presentations in 4:3 because they don’t know whether their projector can display the 16:9 format. Almost all modern projectors support widescreen format, and most models 10 years or older have a 16:9 setting.
Out with the old and in with the new
When presenting your idea or company, it’s important to examine whether your presentation is meeting today’s professional standards. Using a 4:3 display can give the audience the impression that you’re behind the times. Instead, think about designing your slides in the cutting-edge 16: 9 format.
Do you still have important presentation templates in 4:3? Our presentation agency has skilled representatives to help you convert your slides into widescreen format. We also offer a wide selection of PowerPoint slides in our shop to help you create new presentations quickly and easily in 16:9 display. Feel free to contact us.
Update to 16:9 now and present in style!
In response to your questions concerning printing 16:9 on A4 format, we will show you how to optimize your settings for 16:9 slides.
The print size can be scaled in your PowerPoint print properties, for example, to 110% as shown in the picture. Since most modern printers can print within 5-8 mm margins, you can scale the slides to fit a complete page. The result: more width and less marginal space at the top and bottom. If you bind the pages or put them in a binder, the upper margin is approximately 1cm, making the entire printout much more legible in A4.
By the way, it makes no difference printing in 4:3 format or 16:9. When printing in 4:3, the standard settings for the left and right margins are the same as the top and bottom margins of 16:9.
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But what about printing these new stacks of slides in A4 or letter paper?
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Support from FASE's Education Technology Office
- Set your presentation slide size to a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio
Updated on Jun 05, 2019
In order to create optimal video content, you need to consider how it will be watched after production. Typically, projectors operate at a 4:3 ratio (though this is changing), so the default slide size reflects this ratio. However, most video playback devices are now in a widescreen format, which is a 16:9 ratio. In general, we recommend using the 16:9 ratio for video production.
In this guide:
Examples of different content production ratios on different devices
4:3 ratio vs 16:9 ratio in powerpoint.
- How to change your slide ratio
How to Change your Display Ratio
You can make Powerpoint work for you, instead of against you. The default ratio for a Powerpoint presentation is 4:3. However, the default ratio of widescreen video is 16:9. (You can see how the outline is shaped more like a square in the 4:3 example versus the more rectangle in the 16:9 ratio example.
Change your slide size at the beginning - you can do it at any time, but changing it once content has been created and designed can be finicky and time consuming.
- Make sure you are on the Design tab.
- Select on the "Page Set Up" button.
- Use the drop down "Slides sized for:" to change your ratio from the default (4:3) to widescreen (16:9).
- Scroll for the 16:9 option.
- Select on okay.
Your slide should change sizes based on your selection.
You can easily switch back and forth depending on what your task and goals are - however, this bears some testing as templates and images can stretch unexpectedly.
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Laura M. Foley Design
Cheat Death by PowerPoint!
What size should my slides be, 16:9 or 4:3?
July 3, 2017 by Laura Foley 2 Comments
Deciding on a slide format used to be easy when there was only one choice. Nowadays, you can choose between 4:3 format or 16:9. What do these numbers mean and which size should you choose for your presentations?
What the numbers mean
The above notation is called the “aspect ratio,” or the ratio of the width to the height of the slide. In the 4:3 aspect ratio, the dimensions are 1024 x 768 pixels (10.67″ x 8″); the height is 3/4 of the width. Back in the Ye Olde Days of PowerPoint, it was your only choice. Why? Because that’s the aspect ratio of actual slides, pictured above, television screens, and early computer monitors.
When high-definition screens came on the scene in the early 2000s, they were built in a 16:10 aspect ratio. But as more and more high-definition screens were manufactured, it became clear that screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio were cheaper to manufacture. So the 16:9 aspect ratio (1920 x 1080 pixels or 13.3″ x 7.5″) became the new standard.
What size should you choose?
From boardrooms to computer monitors to smartphone screens, 16:9 is the default screen aspect ratio so that’s the slide size I always go with. The 16:9 format gives you a lot of slide real estate to play around with! The legacy 4:3 aspect ratio, while still used, creates smaller slides and doesn’t look that great on newer screens.
How do you change an old 4:3 deck to the new 16:9 format?
Oh, this is super-fun to do and you’re a lucky duck if it becomes your job.
To resize your slides go to the Design tab on the ribbon and select Slide Size/Widescreen on the right side of the screen.
After you select the new size, this window will appear:
Now you’re faced with either everything on the slides being stretched out or squished to fill the space. Oh boy! Either way, after you make your selection you’ll need to go through the presentation slide by slide to ensure that everything looks good. This can be fairly straightforward if the creator of the presentation stayed within the template or a real pain in the rear if he/she didn’t. But do go through the deck to ensure that everything looks right.
If you’re a production artist that charges by the hour, reformatting an organization’s slides from 4:3 to 16:9 could be a nice little gig for you!
Other slide sizes for special events
Now, the 16:9 format is great for everyday use but what if you’re designing a presentation for an event? Last year, I was designing slides for a corporate conference where the setup included multiple, massive screens. For that event, the slides measured 52″ x 17″ and had a “leave this space blank” area on the bottom. Each event is different, so if you’re working on slides like these you need to become friends with the AV folks and find out what size slides they recommend for optimal viewing on that particular setup. The last thing you want to see on a gigantic stage are distorted graphics!
Unless you’re told otherwise, use the 16:9 format. You get a lot more space on each slide for your visuals and it’s really the way things are going.
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You ha ve much more space to display your content in a visually appealing way. Jam-packed 4: 3 slides with countless bullet points have a chance
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The 16:9 format gives you a lot of slide real estate to play around with! The legacy 4:3 aspect ratio, while still used, creates smaller slides