Software

Change a slide's orientation in PowerPoint

Orientation is important to printing reports and sheets, but slides? You might not realize it, but you can specify the orientation for individual slides in PowerPoint.

You know that you can use portrait or landscape orientation in Word and Excel documents. What you might not know is that you can apply the same orientation setting to PowerPoint slides. Similar to pages in a document or report, you can change the orientation setting from slide to slide.

By default, slides are landscape. Choosing to change that default should be part of your design process. Switching from landscape to portrait, after the fact, will seldom produce results you'll want to use.

To set a slide's orientation, do the following:

2003

2007/2010

  1. From the File menu, choose Page Setup.
  2. In the resulting Page Setup dialog, check Portrait or Landscape in the Slides section or the Notes, Handouts & Outline section.

  1. Click the Design tab.
  2. Click the Slide Orientation dropdown in the Page Setup group and choose an option.

This tip won't wow them at the newsgroups; it falls into the I didn't know you could do that category. If you change a slide's orientation, be sure to test it in as many environments as possible—it might look good on your development system but look squashed on another, especially a laptop.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

6 comments
rdevereux
rdevereux

This is a good tip - although I already knew you could do it. What it doesnt show, if indeed it is possible is how to mix Portrait and Landscape slides in the same presentation. I know this may sound unusual from a presentation point of view but you wouldnt believe how necessary this is in effectively displaying certain content, or slides where you need lots of bullet points and want them at the same size as other slides.

terry.rempel-mroz
terry.rempel-mroz

I tried it in PPT 2003 - it changes the whole slideshow. Even pasting a vertical slide into a horizontal show results in the vertical slide being transformed into horizontal format. Too bad - mixing fomrats would be a wonderful technique.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Yes, you can mix the two orientations and I don't think it would be unusual to do so at all. Thanks for mentioning it!

richardkinzer
richardkinzer

This can be done by creating two ppts. one dedicated to Portrait Slides and the other to Landscape Slides. Set the slides up so that you link one ppt to the other and back again. That is, when you need to have a Portrait Slide "within" your Landscape PPT, insert an Action Button linking you to the Portrait PPT and directly to the slide which you want to show. Simpler than I'm making it sound, this is a great article giving you the blow by blow. http://presentationsoft.about.com/od/powerpoint2007tips/f/080801portrait.htm

rdevereux
rdevereux

From my limited understanding, this addition is not yet possible in 2003 and 2007, although it may be in 2010. If that is wrong, it would be very useful to know how to do it.

ppearsall
ppearsall

Thanks for clearing this up. I thought I was missing a valuable feature. However, my COO would not do well with 'linking' to another presentation, as cool as it sounds!! Looks like I'll stick to on orientation and just make it work.

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