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By default, PowerPoint slides use a widescreen format in a 16:9 ratio. If you’d like to change it to the standard format (4:3 ratio), or even create a custom size, PowerPoint provides a quick and painless way to make this happen.

Resizing PowerPoint Templates

Resizing the slides in PowerPoint will affect the way they appear during the actual presentation and how they appear on the handouts. Go ahead and open up the presentation that we will be resizing and select the “Design” tab.

Next, click the “Slide Size” button.

A menu will appear, allowing you to choose between the “Standard” format (4:3) or the “Widescreen” format (16:9). If you’re switching over to the standard format without any other changes, you can select it from the menu, and the changes will take effect. If you want to do a little custom tweaking to tailor the size to your specific needs, then select “Custom Slide Size.”

In the Slide Size window that appears, clicking the box under “Slides sized for” (1) will open a menu with several different options. Choose the one that best matches your needs. Alternatively, you can customize the dimensions of the slides by entering the slide size in the “Width” and “Height” boxes (2). Finally, you can choose the orientation of your slides and handouts by selecting “Portrait” or “Landscape” (4) in the respective section.

Once you’re happy with your setup, click “OK.”

If this is the size you’d like to use for future presentations, then save this theme and select it for your next presentation. Back on the “Design” tab, select the “more” arrow, which you can find at the bottom-right of the “Themes” group.

At the bottom of the menu that appears, select “Save Current Theme.”

Windows Explorer will now appear, prompting you to name and save your theme. Go ahead and rename it, but don’t change the location where it will be saved. Themes saved to this default location are available with a click of your mouse button on PowerPoint’s splash screen. Once finished, click “Save.”

Let’s make sure it saved. Go ahead and close out of your current PowerPoint presentation and reopen PowerPoint—this time as a blank presentation. Select “New” in the left pane.

Near the top of the window, select “Custom.”

If saved properly, your theme will appear here.

Selecting your custom theme will open a new presentation with all of your settings saved.

Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, runs ITEnterpriser, a data-storage and cybersecurity-focused online media, and plays with development, with his RAID calculator being his first public project.
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