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Widescreen Defaults in PowerPoint 2013

Learn about PowerPoint 2013's default 16:9 widescreen slide option.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and higher

When you open PowerPoint 2013 for the first time, you'll see that all slide examples in the Presentation Gallery are in widescreen aspect ratio with 16:9 proportions, as shown in Figure 1. This is in complete contrast to the typical standard slides with 4:3 aspect ratios that you saw in all older PowerPoint versions.

For many of us who are living in a world with widescreen displays and projectors, this may be a blessing -- but many others may not feel as blessed! Worse, there's no obvious way for you to change these defaults so that you can always have 4:3 slides rather than 16:9. Microsoft probably made this change since widescreen is the common format for current displays nowadays -- but to provide no option to choose a aspect ratio at the time of creating a slide is akin to providing zero control to the user.

Tip: We did find a workaround to make 4:3 as the default aspect ratio for all presentations, as explained in our Set Standard 4:3 Aspect Ratio as Default in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

PowerPoint 2013 Presentation gallery
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2013's Presentation gallery

Within the Presentation Gallery, click any of the Templates/Themes available. For this tutorial, we chose and clicked the Facet option -- this created a new presentation within PowerPoint 2013 using the Facet Theme (see Figure 2). Notice that the Slide Area now displays a widescreen (16:9) slide, highlighted in blue within Figure 2.

Widescreen slide
Figure 2: Widescreen slide

If you are happy with widescreen slides, then that's great. We already referred to our Set Standard 4:3 Aspect Ratio as Default in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial if you want to change the defaults in PowerPoint 2013 from 16:9 to 4:3.

Alternatively, you can also change the aspect ratio for only the active (open) presentation, without changing any defaults -- this is explained in our Change Presentation Aspect Ratio from Widescreen to Standard (and Vice Versa) tutorial.

Want to know if the new Widescreen option in PowerPoint 2013 and newer versions is an improvement? Explore our Widescreen Implementations in PowerPoint tutorial.

See Also: Widescreen Defaults in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.

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