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Should I Use Widescreen or Standard PowerPoint Aspect Ratio?

PowerPoint Aspect Ratio

PowerPoint Aspect Ratio

This is one of the common questions we get – which format should I download – Widescreen or Standard format?

Here is what the Widescreen and Standard aspect ratios look like:

Widescreen or Standard Format

The 4:3 aspect ratio suits the older monitors. The 16:9 format looks better on new widescreen monitors.

All the latest videos you find on Youtube for example are in 16:9 format.

What is the slide size I am using?

The slide aspect ratio that is default depends on the version of PowerPoint.

  • If you are using PowerPoint 2010 or earlier, then the default is 4:3 standard size.
  • If you are using PowerPoint 2013 or 2016, the default is 16:9 Widescreen.

Can I change the slide aspect ratio?

Yes, you can change the slide aspect ratio within PowerPoint. To do this, go to the Design tab in the ribbon, and select the Slide Size option.

PowerPoint Slide Size Tool

Using the Custom Slide Size option, you can create a presentation with any slide size.

It is better to do this setting before you start creating a presentation. The contents of your slide will be resized automatically. The result is not always aligned.

Many types of animations too go out of whack.

Issue with Changing Aspect RatioWhich aspect ratio should I use?

You should ideally use 16:9 format if…

  • You are creating a presentation that will be viewed mostly on widescreen monitors
  • Your presentation will be converted into a video. Videos look best in widescreen format.

You would use 4:3 format if…

  • You use the templates in other software like Storyline. For Storyline, the default is 4:3 format.

Downloading The Right Template

This is why we make our PowerPoint templates available in both 4:3 AND 16:9 formats.

You can download the size most suited to your needs.

Hope you found this post useful!

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