Microsoft makes 16:9 widescreen slides the default in PowerPoint 2013

While we wait for Microsoft to finally reveal the launch date for Office 2013 (the rumors claim that it will launch on Tuesday to the general public), the company is still revealing some of the new features in the productivity software suite. Today, the company announced an interesting new default for PowerPoint 2013.

In a post on the official PowerPoint blog, Microsoft says that slides made for the presentation software will have the default set for 16:9 widescreen formats. Microsoft points out that more and more products such as TVs, PC monitors, smartphones and projectors natively support widescreen resolutions. It adds:

In the widescreen shape, there’s lots of extra horizontal space. The moment you start building a presentation in widescreen, you’ll start to notice some very cool things about the format. In the widescreen world, we have space for all kinds of content, pictures, and even design elements – content that flows naturally across the slides.

But what about PowerPoint 2013 slides made in the old 4:3 format? Microsoft says that when they are shown on a widescreen projector or TV, black bars will show up on both sides of the slide. Also, all the new PowerPoint 2013 themes will be designed to scale to both 4:3 and 16:9 formats. If you have a 16:9 slide and show it on a 4:3 projector, you can leave it as is and have black bars show up on the top and bottom of the slide.

As far as printing the new 16:9 slides on paper, Microsoft says:

Interestingly, we’ve found that when you print two widescreen slides per page, they fit quite perfectly (unlike standard slides), so you can print twice as much info on a single page, and you can save that many more trees, along with whatever it is that makes ink.

Source: PowerPoint blog | Image via Microsoft

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W... Wait... why are people amazed? You can change to the wide-screen format on previous PowerPoints.

Furthermore, it has been defaulted since the Preview version....

Jose_49 said,
W... Wait... why are people amazed? You can change to the wide-screen format on previous PowerPoints.

Furthermore, it has been defaulted since the Preview version....



16:9 has been the default orientation in Office 2013 even before the public preview. To learn that, you'd only have to open Power Point 2013 once and you'd see it. The RTM version was made available in October 2012 and now you're writing about it as a news???

Seriously: Are you kidding???

This is exactly what I was thinking. I have been running Office 2013 since it hit MSDN in October so this is hardly ground breaking news. Especially for a Microsoft oriented website.

I've been doing my presentations in 16:9 for years now, if you avoid using text and stick with large images filling the display it is much nicer to view.

Half of projectors out there doesn't support widescreen projection. You cannot force people throw away their existing ones. I think its just about time.

Torolol said,
i dont' want a touchscren, i want touch 'screen' projectors.

Interactive Whiteboards I think they are called. Most schools have them.

Dead'Soul said,
wow! its innovative! /s

would it be better to make the slides longer so that it shows an extra row of bullet points instead?