Technology today has progressed to organic displays that can be molded into any shape and form. Cell phones today posses near border-less displays, while all display platforms have expanded and innovated into an era that was unheard of before. From the standard PowerPoint size 4:3 PowerPoint aspect ratio, we are in a time where 19:9 or 19.5:9 has also become a widely spread reality.
From slideshows to handouts, there are a variety of sizes and dimensions that are required for a clear crisp image, which is the main reason behind all the advancements and innovations in the display industry. The need to produce images that are of the highest quality possible; displays that compete with natural vision.
Depending on the display’s output medium, you might need to adjust PowerPoint’s dimensions to a variety of sizes. Fortunately, the power of PowerPoint in facilitating users with handy features bodes well here too, and gives us the flexibility to choose from a variety of pre-set configurations, while also giving us the option to enter our own custom requirements.
Your PowerPoint slide size is also known as its resolution. The resolution is a combination of the vertical and horizontal referential dots that make up the picture on your screen. The dot can be defined as inches/cm/pixels. For example, a resolution of 720×1280 means the screen consists of 1280 pixels vertically, and 720 pixels horizontally.
Pixels are the smallest division of a screen. Another example of the resolution would be 3×4 inches.
This corresponds to a width of 3 inches and a height of 4 inches. This type of resolution also includes a measure of the density; the number of pixels you want in every inch. Common values for pixel density on high-resolution displays are 300ppi (pixels per inch), whereas, for the standard PowerPoint size definition, this value is around 90-150ppi.
Finally, depending on the need of your output from the PowerPoint slides, it might be necessary to change the dimension or size, as per your requirements. PowerPoint widescreen is presently the at PowerPoint’s 16:9 dimensions (widescreen) aspect ratio, with a size of 33.867 cm x 19.05 cm, which roughly estimates to 13.33 by 7.5 inches. Given the basic resolution of 96 dpi, if to be converted into pixels, a default PowerPoint slide size becomes 1024×768 pixels.
The guide below will show you how to change the PowerPoint’s dimensions from the values stated before to any size or dimension you would want.
How to Change Slide Size
In PowerPoint, click on the File tab and then the Open option in the menu. Browse and navigate to the file you want to change size of PowerPoint slide. This could for Office 2013 or PowerPoint 2016 slide sizes. The previous versions do have this functionality as well, but their default setting differs Office 2013, and onward.
After opening the file, on the main screen, locate the Design tab and click on it. This will open the Design Menu. At the far right of the ribbon look for the Slide Size button. Clicking on it will open a drop-down menu.
Once the drop-down menu opens, you will see there are two options, name the Standard 4:3 ratio, and the 16:9 (widescreen) ratio. PowerPoint’s widescreen option is selected by default, from within this menu you can change to a 4:3 size.
Apart from these two options, you will also see a third option which is the ‘Custom Slide Size’. This option gives you the ability to choose from a list of standard PowerPoint size pre-sets that are more commonly used than others.
Depending on your final use of the PowerPoint slide (be it notes or a letter paper), choose from any of the pre-set options to change the size of the slide.
If you cannot find the size you desire, you can manually enter the values as for the width and height. The minimum value accepted is 2.54 cm and a maximum of 142.24cm. Values bigger than this cannot be entered.
The default values are given in centimeters, but you can input three types of values.; inches/pixels/centimeters. The min and maximum values for these units are: 2.54cm-142.24 cm, 1in – 56in, and 1px- 142000px. This corresponds to a pixel density of
After selecting the size of your PowerPoint slide size, within the same window, you will also see an option allowing you to change the orientation of your slides. This feature allows you to change the orientation of your slides, from the same place, while also giving the flexibility of keeping orientations different.
You can choose from the Portrait or Landscape option, choose and select for both or anyone that you want.
Click on OK to save changes and exit the window.
A window will appear in front of you. This window will you give you the option to either maximize the size of the content of your Slides to the slide size or to ensure the best fit. This fits your content to the new size and dimension of your PowerPoint slides.
Both have their own benefits, the point is to understand what each does, the Maximize command will expand and spread all of the original content from end to end on the new slide size. Although, this will spread everything onto the size of the slide, but it will also lead to some content not fitting onto the size of the slide. This can be fixed by manually reducing the size of the content that doesn’t fit. This option is mostly used for when you’ve increased the size of your slide and would want to increase the size/scale of your content to match that of the new slide size.
The Ensure fit option will resize everything according to the size of the slides, this is mostly used in cases where the final size of the slide is lesser than that of the original PowerPoint slides. Although this might reduce the size and make items smaller, but all of your content will be on the slide.
After selecting the option that you deem fit, check and verify to see if there is any content that needs readjusting. Once completed, Save the file to save changes.
How to Create a Setting for Your Customized PowerPoint Dimensions
The changes to the size that you make will only be for that file only, the default settings in PowerPoint will remain the same. If you want to change the default size of PowerPoint’s slide to a different value; This can be achieved by saving the customized resolution as a default theme.
After you’ve changed the size of the slide. Locate the Design tab on the ribbon and click on it.
Look for the more button and click on it.
After clicking on the ‘more’ button, you will see a drop-down menu open up, which will have the option to save the current theme. Click on it to save the current resolution settings in a theme.
This will open a save window, do not change the destination of the folder, and save the theme with a name that’ll be easy for you to remember when changing PowerPoint slide sizes.
After saving the theme, you will see the theme appear in the Design Ribbon. You can also click on the more button to drop down the theme section; The theme you saved will now be grouped under ‘Custom’ heading.
Right click on your custom theme to open a drop-down menu and select the ‘Set as Default Theme’ option. Doing so will change the size of PowerPoint’s slide, and every time you will open a new PowerPoint slide on this computer, the PowerPoint slide’s size will in the one you chose.
If the output resolutions you’re dealing with are not widely used but are commonly used by you, it is advisable to save such resolution settings as themes. This will allow you to change the size of the slide by just clicking on the desired theme with that specific size.
More Powerpoint Tutorials:
- How to Print Powerpoint with Notes
- How to Add Powerpoint Borders to a Slide
- How to Print Powerpoint with Notes
- How to Embed a YouTube Video in Powerpoint
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