How to Change the Size of PowerPoint Slides

When creating a PowerPoint presentation, you must consider the size of the projector/monitor you will be presenting on. Slides set for small screens will appear to fill the middle part of a big screen. Alternatively, if the slides are set for larger screens, information can be cropped out on smaller screens.

PowerPoint allows you to change the size of your slides to make them look optimal on the screen you will be presenting. There are three options to choose from when setting the slide size:

  • Standard (4:3) – This option works best with smaller screens and older hardware such as old projectors. This is the default setting for PowerPoint 2010 and older.
  • Widescreen(16:9) – This is the best option for big screens and modern hardware. Microsoft made this option the default for PowerPoint 2013 and newer versions.
  • Custom – Choose this option if you want to change the slide size to other templates or custom dimensions you can manually set.

Resize your PowerPoint slide with Standard or Widescreen dimensions

  1. Select the Design tab on the ribbon bar.

    PowerPoint design Tab
    Click the Design tab to access more tools.
  2. Click the Slide Size tool in the “Customize” section.

    PowerPoint Slide Size tool
    Select to view the available slide size options.
  3. A drop-down list will appear with the following options: Standard (4:3), Widescreen(16:9), and Custom Slide Size…
    Use Standard for older monitors and projectors, and Widescreen for larger or more modern projectors or screens such as at conferences or events.

    PowerPoint Slide size options
    Select an option.
  4. If changing the slide size of an existing presentation from Widescreen to Standard, the slide content is resized to fit a small dimension. To avoid the possibility of content being cropped out, PowerPoint will ask you how it should handle slide content with the following prompt.

    PowerPoint Dialog box Maximize or Ensure fit
    This prompt is available for PowerPoint 2016 and newer. It appears when reducing the slide size.
  • Select Maximize if you want to scale up the content of your slides. Note that this option will zoom in and may cut off some elements in the slides.
  • Click Ensure Fit if you want to ensure none of the contents on your slides are cut off. This option maintains the original proportions of your content.

Note: if changing the slide size from Standard to Widescreen, the prompt above will not appear as you will be displaying a small slide size on a bigger monitor.

Resize your PowerPoint slides with custom dimensions

PowerPoint also offers numerous templates for the slide size. You can also customize the dimensions yourself according to your preferences.

  1. Click the Design tab on the ribbon bar.

    PowerPoint design Tab
    Click the Design tab to access more tools.
  2. Select the Slide Size tool. A drop-down list will appear. Choose the last option, Custom Slide Size…

    PowerPoint custom slide size tool
    Click the Custom Slide Size tool.
  3. A dialogue box labeled “Slide Size” will open. Under Slides sized for, choose your preferred slide size template from the drop-down list, then click OK.

    PowerPoint Slide sized for option
    Select your preferred slide size from the drop-down list.
  4. Alternatively, set a custom size by entering the height and width. When you have set the dimensions you prefer, click OK.

    PowerPoint create Custom slide size
    Create a custom size for your slides.

Note: Remember that resizing a PowerPoint slide applies that particular size to all of your slides, which may change your layout. It is recommended to check all your PowerPoint slides before the final presentation.

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