Aspect Ratio in PowerPoint

In PowerPoint 2010 you can change the orientation of slides to make your presentations look good in wide screen or other screen sizes. To control the Aspect Ratio in PowerPoint presentations you need to change the Page Setup.

aspect ratio powerpoint

To configure a special Aspect Ratio for your slides, you will need to go to Design tab and then press Page Setup.

aspect ratio ppt

This will open a new Dialog showing the Page Setup options. Here you can choose Slide Sized for different screen types and resolutions, and you can also set the page width in inches or page height. The page setup also let you configure what is the first slide in the sequence when adding slide numbers to slides.


Here you will choose On Screen Show or any other landscape orientation, but if you want to change the orientation to vertical orientation then you can use the portrait.

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aspect ratio

Choosing the right aspect ratio for your presentations

If you are unsure what aspect ratio to use then you may check your screen settings. Some monitors use 4:3 slides as aspect ratio to the maximum of the white screen but some other monitors have a wide screen so it is more convenient to change it to 16:9 or well 16:10 resolution. If you are preparing your presentation on the beamer or screen there are 3 common aspect ratios that you may choose: 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10.

aspect ratio powerpoint

For 4:3 aspect ratio, the common resolutions are 800×600, 1024×768, 1152×864 and 1280×960.

16:9 aspect ratio is used by HDTV screens and beamers. Common resolutions for these monitors and screens are 1280×720 and 1920×1080.

10:10 is commonly used by modern screen and beamers having resolutions like 1280×800, 1440×900 and 1920×1200.

If the aspect ratio is not right for your screen then you’d get black bars on the side of your presentation slides.
If you need to find what is your monitor resolution then in Windows there is an easy way to do it. You need to open Start and then Control Panel to enter the Screen properties, or you can right click in the desktop of your computer and then choose Screen properties to read the resolution of your system.

This article explained how to change the aspect ratio in PowerPoint and make your slides look ok for wide screen monitors as well as other orientations like the vertical orientation.