Powerpoint slide dimensions?

Posted on 2015-02-07
Last Modified: 2015-02-09

i want to produce a background image for a powerpoint presentation (ppt mac 2011 version) and am not sure what dimensions i should give it in px or cm.

also i am wondering what the best format is for the imported picture, which also includes text: jpg, png?

thank you.
Question by:thuna72
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LVL 25

Assisted Solution

Echo_S earned 500 total points
ID: 40596168
Biggest thing to remember is that you're limited by the projector. There's no sense in making your background image crazy big (pixel-wise) because the detail will be lost anyway with most projectors.

The standard slide size if 10 inches wide by 7.5 inches tall. For a 4:3 slide, you can use any 4:3 dimension in Photoshop. 1024 x 768 pixels was generally the standard and would still generally be fine.  Since projectors are more powerful these days, 1280 x 960 pixels is probably more common, though.

For 16:9 dimensions, I'd set up the slide at 13.33 inches wide by 7.5 inches tall and make the image 1330 x 750  pixels (for 100 PPI) or 2000 x 1125 pixels (for 150 PPI). Chances are your projector won't go higher than this -- unless you're working at an event with a way more powerful projector. But these should be sufficient for most presentations.

Oh, and as far as file type, JPG or PNG either one is fine. I tend to prefer PNG because I think it does a better job making lines and text more crisp, but it really just depends on the image. Be sure to use RGB, not CMYK, because everything you add in PPT will be RGB and if you're trying to match colors it will be easier if you go all RGB.

Author Comment

ID: 40596181
thanks, that's a great help! i have three follow-up questions:

- can you tell m where i can adjust the dimensions (inches or pixels) for my slides in ppt 2011 (mac version)?

- does it depend on the projector whether the projection will be 4:3 or 16:9?

- if the projector is 16:9:  (where) can i change the ratio in ppt 2011 (mac version)? (because right now i work with a 4:3 ratio file, but i'd love to change if the projector allow it).

LVL 25

Accepted Solution

Echo_S earned 500 total points
ID: 40596229
Change dimensions under File | Page Setup.

I'd suggest not using the default 16:9 (OnScreen) in the dropdown there. Instead, choose Custom and input 13.33 wide and 7.5 tall. This will make it easier to convert from 4:3 to 16:9 because you don't have to change font sizes (but your images will distort, so you'll have to fix those).

Yes, the projector will be 16:9 or 4:3. Projectors can generally project either dimension of slides without stretching/distorting the image, but you'll end up with either letterboxing or pillars to account for the difference. (Letterboxing is black on top and bottom of the slide image, pillars are black on the left or right of the slide image.)

Your third question is the same as the first. Change the slide size in File | Page Setup. The size also gives you the dimension.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Jamie Garroch
ID: 40596692
One other point to note is that PowerPoint can be destructive regarding images. Depending on how you choose to save the file, PowerPoint can compress images to the point that they no longer look as crisp as you'd expect, regardless of the resolution for your source image.

You can check that by selecting any image and clicking the Format tab followed by  the Compress button and setting as follows (for every file your create unfortunately):

PowerPoint 2011 Reduce File Size settings
The next tip might seem a little odd. Try projecting the same PPTX file with PowerPoint 2011 and then with Keynote. The image rendering engines are very different and might prefer the results from Keynote.

Author Comment

ID: 40596727
that's interesting, the compress function, thanks. however, when i try to adjust it to what you suggest in your screenshot ("Keep current resolution"), it always snaps back to "Best for printing (220ppi). so i can in fact only check but not adjust this?
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Jamie Garroch
ID: 40596732
That's because the current resolution will have been set to 220ppi for the image in question.

Author Comment

ID: 40596735
ah ok; set like this by th ppt program? (how) can i influence this setting? does this happen at the time of insertion into ppt?
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 40599347
There's a registry key you can set to prevent PPT from compressing images.

Author Comment

ID: 40599367
great, now it's getting really sophisticated, thanks!

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