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PowerPoint Questions, tips and technical info how to use PowerPoint in ministry.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, January 8th, 2003, 01:41 PM
Old Community

powerpoint on 16x9 screen

I am running pp2000 but am now shooting onto 16x9 screens how do I set my powerpoint to project ina 16x9 format. Currently all images are irregular.
Posted by David Rodgers on Dec 26, 2001.


Hmmm good question, I have seen a little about that on Tech TV and I think you would have to have a video driver for a 16x9 format then Powerpoint would have to adapt to that output, Just guessing though. I have heard that there are some companies that claim to be 16x9 but just stretch a 4x3. The best source is the company that made your projector that outputs 16x9 and get the drivers from them and instructions to format to 16x9. Just my two cents and I am not sure it is worth that.

Posted by Randy Neary on Dec 26, 2001.


This is actually really simple:
1. Go to File
2. Select Page Setup
3. Change the measurement of the page from 8.5" X 11" to 9" X 16"
There ya go!

Russ Hart

Posted by Russ Hart on Dec 26, 2001.


Russ' procedure is correct for changing the slide format. This is the "letterbox" method. You may need to tweak the measurement a little to fit your screen exactly. The problem is that changing the slide dimensions does stretch individual graphics. So, if you created the presentation in 4:3 ("normal") then the pictures will stretch when the aspect ratio is changed to 16:9. Unfortunately, I don't know a way around this other than to resize your graphics. In the future, if you start out in 16:9 you should be okay.

For a complete overview of 16:9, see this article:


Posted by Tim Eason on Dec 26, 2001.



>Russ Hart ( wrote:
>This is actually really simple:
>1. Go to File
>2. Select Page Setup
>3. Change the measurement of the page from 8.5" X 11" to 9" X 16"

The above mentioned method is not quite on target. The Page Setup feature in PowerPoint only changes how the dimensions of the image appear - but does not actually change the output's aspect ratio.

Allow me to explain:
If you change the Page Setup WIDTH to be 16 (inches) and the HEIGHT to be 9 (inches), you've accomplished what Russ spoke of in his email. As a demonstration, you can go into PowerPoint and insert some text and apply this change. Do you see what happened? The letters were "squished" as was the background - and it "looks" 16:9. BUT, if you RUN the SHOW, see how it appears on your computer screen? Those black bars at the top and bottom of the screen WILL BE PROJECTED! The projector, just as your computer screen, WILL STILL BE LOOKING AT THE OLD RESOLUTION (4:3 aspect for 95% of the computers).

So, how do you PROJECT 16:9? You must change the output resolution.

If you're using Windows, RIGHT CLICK on your desktop and select PROPERTIES. This brings up a small window. Select the tab across the top of this window named SETTINGS. This is your video card's settings, and it includes OUTPUT RESOLUTION (Windows calls it SCREEN AREA). Now, most laptops do not ship with a video card capable of more than 5 or 6 resolutions. Desktop computers, however, have expansion slots that can accept a videocard that DOES accommodate the 16:9 (and many other) resolution modes.

So, let's assume you do have a video card that has 16:9 as an output option. How will you know? Windows defines the screen area by the number of pixels high by the number of pixels wide (resolution). Normal resolutions are 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and even 1600x1200. Now all of those are 4:3 aspect, with the exception of the 1280 x 1024, which is actually 5:4.

Three 16:9 resolutions to look for include 1366x768, 1280x720 and 852x480.

Now that we've (I'm assuming your video card does this) set our resolution (screen area) to a 16:9 aspect ratio, we can go into PowerPoint and build our slides WITHOUT CHANGING THE PAGE SETTINGS. The only difficulty here is that unless you use the projector to preview the screen as you build your slides, it will look scrunched on your monitor because it is not a 16:9 native display. This just takes getting used to, or a 16:9 display monitor.

Equally important, you must have a projector that is capable of accepting a signal sent in one of those 16:9 resolution modes. Do not confuse this with a projector that will simply "stretch" any image into 16:9. It must actually accept the native resolutions of 16:9, or you'll have the same problem that occours when you only change the PAGE SETTINGS in PowerPoint.

Finally, you'll need a screen that is 16:9. If you choose to project onto a 4:3 screen, your audience will wonder what happened to the image, even though all of the text is there. Why is this so important?

When you put a screen into a room, the screen size is determined by the sight lines and how close the closest viewer and how far the furthest viewer are from the screen. So when we specify a screen, we tell you how tall the screen needs to be. Why do we only look at the height? Because the width is the only difference in 4:3 and 16:9 screens.

If you project that 16:9 image onto a 4:3 screen that was intended for the room, the people in the back will have a harder time reading text. Why? Because the screen area used will only fill the width, and not the height, making it hard to read.

I realize this is a lot of information to sort through, but it completely answers the original question. If you're confused or have any other questions, just email or call me and I'll help.

My 2 cents,

Tone D. , CTS, CAVSP
Church Media Consultant

(home email)

Posted by Tone D. on Dec 27, 2001.

Last edited by ChurchMediaGuru; Saturday, January 18th, 2003 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Friday, January 17th, 2003, 01:30 PM
Old Community

16X9 video & PPT

When using Power Point and a projector set to project in the 16X9 format, what page size should the power point slide be built in?

Posted by Don Loudenbeck on Jul 12, 2001.


I've been experimenting with the wide format and create PPT presentations by setting my page size to 16" by 9". It seems to work as long as you maintain the 16 x 9 aspect ratio (i.e. you could use 8 x 4.5, but it makes your fonts twice as big).

I haven't tested with any hardware, but the slide show comes up letterbox on a regular sceen. Based on Tone's input, you may or may not get true 16x9 on your hardware, but it should be close enough to get started. I'm only a software guy
Posted by Don Wuebben on Jul 13, 2001.

Last edited by Tim Eason - Community Founder 1999-2008; Friday, July 23rd, 2004 at 04:09 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Thursday, January 23rd, 2003, 09:48 AM

We are forced to use a 16:9 (or close) screen in our environment. Our Mac G3 powerbook does not output that resolution. Out fix is not to adjust the page setup size because as mentioned in this thread, this tends to stretch the objects on the screen. Also we may project on a 4:3 standard screen during the weekdays (youth group, small group, etc.) so changing all the slides to 16:9 page setup makes them unuseable on the standard screen (or at least really squished).

Instead, when designing the powerpoint slides we only work with the bottom 2/3's of the slide. The top 1/3 or so of each slide is left blank (the rulers in ppt work good for this). Then when the projector (Sharp Notevision) projects the image on to the 16:9 screen it is aimed so that the top 1/3 of the image is projected off the screen. The top 1/3 is then unseen by the audience and it gives the allusion to the audience that it is in wide screen format.

Works nice.

Question though...
Has anyone used a Mac widescreen powerbook with a LCD projector and got true widescreen projected?

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Thursday, January 23rd, 2003, 09:52 AM

Here is a picture of the result...

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