In previous tutorials, we explored and complained about how PowerPoint 2013 has made widescreen (16:9) as the default aspect ratio for new
presentations. Although you can change all these new presentations from
widescreen (16:9) to standard (4:3) aspect ratio
quite easily, it can be a pain to remember doing so each time you create a new presentation! Of course, if you are happy with 16:9 slides, then you
need not read the rest of this tutorial -- for everyone else, we'll show how you can set your default aspect ratio to standard (4:3):
- Launch PowerPoint 2013 -- you will see the Presentation
Gallery, as shown in Figure 1. Click the Blank Presentation Theme (highlighted in red within Figure 1
Figure 1: Blank Presentation Theme selected within Presentation Gallery
- You will see a new widescreen slide in a new presentation, as shown in Figure 2. Yes, PowerPoint 2013 creates only widescreen
slides by default.
Figure 2: Blank Presentation opened with a widescreen slide
- Now, change the presentation's aspect ratio from
widescreen to standard (links to our Change
Presentation Aspect Ratio from Widescreen to Standard tutorial). This will change the slides to the standard (4:3) aspect ratio (see
Figure 3: Slide changed to the standard (4:3) aspect ratio
- Now, access the Design tab of the
Ribbon. Within the Themes group, click the More button, as shown highlighted in red within
Figure 3, above.
- This brings up the Themes gallery, as shown in Figure 4. Within this gallery, select the Save Current
Theme option (highlighted in red within Figure 4).
Figure 4: Save Current Theme option to be selected
- This brings up the Save Current Theme dialog box, as shown in Figure 5. Don't change the save location -- just
provide a new name to the Theme, and click the Save button (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
Figure 5: Save Current Theme dialog box
- Now, access the Themes gallery again -- notice that a new Custom section (highlighted in red within
Figure 6) has been added within the Themes gallery. Within this section, you will find the new Theme you saved in the
preceding step (highlighted in blue within Figure 6).
Figure 6: New Custom section comprises the new Themes
- Right-click this new Theme. This brings up the context menu shown in Figure 7. Within this context menu, select the
Set as Default Theme option, highlighted in red within Figure 7.
Figure 7: Set as Default Theme option to be selected
- You can now shut down PowerPoint -- do not save any files if prompted.
- Launch PowerPoint 2013 again -- you will see that the Presentation Gallery now includes your new Custom Theme in the top
left position, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8 (compare with Figure 1). Even though the thumbnail
shows a 16:9 slide, don't worry -- this is a 4:3 Theme, as you will see in the next step.
Figure 8: Custom theme within the Presentation gallery
- Since this new Theme has an aspect ratio of 4:3, clicking the Theme's thumbnail will open a new presentation with slides of
standard (4:3) aspect ratio, as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9: New presentation created with new 4:3 slide
See Also: Set Standard 4:3 Aspect
Ratio as Default in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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