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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.

design tab in powerpoint

Next, click the “Slide Size” button.

slide size in customize group

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.”

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.”

slide size customization options

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.

more arrow in themes group


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

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.”

save new theme

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.

new presentation

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

select custom

If saved properly, your theme will appear here.

how to geek theme

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

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall 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 based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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