Customize slide size and orientation for printing

By Bill Foley, Microsoft MVP and owner of the PPT Inc web site.

Applies to
Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003
Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 and 2002

Margins can be set for your presentation in the Page Setup dialog box. (Click Page Setup on the File menu.)

When you create a new presentation, the default orientation setting is landscape, with a slide size of 10 x 7.5 inches. This basically provides for .5-inch margins, which means objects on your slides that extend out to the ends of the slide will print. The default orientation of your notes, handouts, and outline pages is portrait.

Typically, you won't need to use the Custom option in the Page Setup dialog box for setting up your pages, but there are exceptions.

For example, PowerPoint can handle landscape or portrait orientations in one presentation, but not both. Some of you already know that you can link back and forth between portrait and landscape orientation presentations that use the same designs. You will always need both presentation files to present this slide show. It is always a good idea to put both files in the same folder before creating links. This way, if the files are moved or copied to a CD, they will still link correctly.

This method is great for the slide show, but trying to print out a handout of both files in the right slide order can be a nightmare! So, some folks create a custom orientation that allows for both.

Some PowerPoint developers insert a lot of graphics in their presentations that are 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 8.5. When you insert the portrait images on the landscape-orientated slides, sometimes you might have to reduce the image to fit the slide. Therefore, some of you have cleverly decided to create a custom page setup of 11 x 11. This way you can insert either orientation on the slide without having to resize them.

 Note   Though this might simplify the insertion of your graphics, printing an 11 x 11 format is not very feasible. Be sure you know the limitations of your printer when you decide on a custom page setup.

About the author: Bill Foley is a PowerPoint MVP and the Vice President and co-owner of Professional Training Technologies, Inc. His specialties include creating Computer-Based Training (CBT) using PowerPoint VBA, providing training on Microsoft Office products, developing training materials for the Nuclear Power industry, training Operators at nuclear power plants, providing Continuing Instructor Training, and maintaining the PPT Inc web site.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003