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Powerpoint 2007 And 2010: Make the Slide Fit The Information

Have you ever put together a PowerPoint presentation where it seems that the slides have way too much unused space on the left and right sides?
I know that when I put together presentations for teaching my students tax forms the slides begin to look like this:

landscape slide with big margins

In order to have the whole form from top to bottom it’s reduced in size to the point where they can’t really see what’s going on… not good.
So, how can we fix this?
I suppose that you could go through and find a way to redistribute the information so that the slides look better… but wouldn’t it be nice if we could change the shape of the slide instead of the information?

Great idea and I have some good news for you.

Just like a Word document or Excel worksheet you can select the orientation of the slide.

The default is obviously landscape – and for almost everything we do in PowerPoint it’s perfect.

However there’s always that one or two times when it just looks wrong that way and it’s those times when setting the slide orientation to portrait pays off. (For the above example I had to shrink the picture  to 60% its original size but with a slide in portrait orientation I only needed to shrink the same picture to 80% of its original size!)

Now that we know why here’s the how…

You’re looking for the Design tab of the Ribbon, Page Setup group.

slide orientation button

Click the Slide Orientation button and choose the look that best fits your information instead of making the information fit the presentation!
~ April