Show Your PowerPoint Presentation in Widescreen Format

drive-in movie theater
Shaun L/Getty Images

Widescreen format is the norm in movies today and widescreen has become the most popular choice for new laptops. It only follows that PowerPoint presentations are now being created in widescreen format too.

If there is any chance that you will need to show your presentation in widescreen, then you are wise to set this up prior to adding any information to your slides. Making a change to the setup of the slides at a later time ​can cause your data to be stretched and distorted on the screen.​

Advantages of Widescreen PowerPoint Presentations

  • Uses all available space on your screen
  • Is the newest presentation display of choice
  • More room for your information on the slide
  • Less chance of your slide looking cluttered
01
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Set up for Widescreen in PowerPoint 2007

Access Page Setup to change to widescreen in PowerPoint
Access Page Setup to change to widescreen in PowerPoint. Screen shot © Wendy Russell
  1. Click on the Design tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click on the Page Setup button.
02
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Choose the Widescreen Size Format in PowerPoint 2007

Select a widescreen ratio in PowerPoint
Select a widescreen ratio in PowerPoint. Screen shot © Wendy Russell

There are two different widescreen size ratios available in PowerPoint 2007. The choice you make will depend on your particular monitor. The most commonly chosen widescreen ratio is 16:9.

  1. In the Page Setup dialog box, under the heading Slides sized for: choose On-screen Show (16:9)

    • the width will be 10 inches
    • the height will be 5.63 inches
      Note - If you choose the ratio 16:10 the width and height measurements will be 10 inches by 6.25 inches.
  2. Click OK.
03
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Choose the Widescreen Size Format in PowerPoint 2003

Format PowerPoint for widescreen
Format PowerPoint for widescreen. Screen shot © Wendy Russell

The most commonly chosen widescreen ratio is 16:9.

  1. In the Page Setup dialog box, under the heading Slides sized for: choose Custom
    • set the width as 10 inches
    • set the height as 5.63 inches
  2. Click OK.
04
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Sample PowerPoint Slide Formatted in Widescreen

Widescreen in PowerPoint can have its advantages
Widescreen in PowerPoint can have its advantages. Screen shot © Wendy Russell

Widescreen PowerPoint slides are great for listing comparisons and offer more room to display your data.

05
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PowerPoint Fits Widescreen Presentations to Your Screen

Widescreen PowerPoint presentation shown on regular monitor. Black bands appear at top and bottom.
Widescreen PowerPoint presentation shown on regular monitor. Black bands appear at top and bottom. Screen shot © Wendy Russell

You can still create a widescreen PowerPoint presentation even though you may not have a widescreen monitor or a projector that works in widescreen. PowerPoint will format your presentation for the available space on the screen, just as your regular television will show you a widescreen movie in "letterbox" style, with the black bands on the top and bottom of the screen.

If your presentations will be reused in the years to come, you are wise to start now in creating them in the widescreen format. Keep in mind that converting a presentation to widescreen at a later date will cause the text and images to be stretched and distorted. You can avoid those pitfalls and have only minimal changes to make at a later date if you start at the beginning in a widescreen format.

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Your Citation
Russell, Wendy. "Show Your PowerPoint Presentation in Widescreen Format." ThoughtCo, Jan. 19, 2018, thoughtco.com/widescreen-format-in-powerpoint-presentations-2767143. Russell, Wendy. (2018, January 19). Show Your PowerPoint Presentation in Widescreen Format. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/widescreen-format-in-powerpoint-presentations-2767143 Russell, Wendy. "Show Your PowerPoint Presentation in Widescreen Format." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/widescreen-format-in-powerpoint-presentations-2767143 (accessed January 21, 2018).