The other day I attended a meeting where the presenter switched from a PowerPoint slide to demonstrate an application. When he made the switch it was quite obvious the beamer was setup to only display the 4:3 slides to the maximum of the white screen. Since his desktop was in a 16:10 resolution the application was falling off the screen on both sides. Which was quite a distraction.
While I was preparing a presentation myself I wanted to be sure my presentation would be in the same resolution as my desktop as I would be switching between my slides and Visual Studio.
Choosing your Aspect Ratio
For presentations on a beamer or screen there are 3 common aspect ratio's at the moment: 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10. If you don’t know the ratio you can use the maximum resolution to determine the required ratio.
This is the classic resolution for computer screens. This is also the default for PowerPoint. 800x600, 1024x768, 1152x864 and 1280x960 are common resolutions used with the ratio.
If you show a slide on wide screen you will get black bars on the side.
This ratio is commonly used by HD screens and beamers. 1366x768, 1280x720, 1600x900 and 1920x1080 are common resolutions used with this ratio.
If you show a slide in this ratio on a 4:3 or 16:10 screen you will get black bars on the top and bottom.
This ratio was commonly used by modern screen and beamers, but is now disappearing. 1280x800, 1440x900 and 1920x1200 are common resolutions used with the ratio.
If you show a slide in this ratio on a 4:3 screen you will get black bars on the top and bottom. On a 16:9 screen you will get black bars on the side.
Setting the aspect ratio in PowerPoint
It’s easy to set the required aspect ratio:
- In PowerPoint go the Design tab on the ribbon.
- Click on Page Setup.
- At Slides sized for set the desired ratio.
- Press the OK button and you’re set.