Designing for PowerPoint

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by dazzer21, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    I've been asked to do a PowerPoint slide background template. Question is, what size do I need to do it to? What I need to know is:

    Are all PowerPoint slides produced to the same size/proportions?

    For instance, I can open PowerPoint, open a slide, scaled at 100%, grab the screen, open it in PhotoShop and use it as a guide for size - but does that solve the issue? What I don't want to do is create an image that is going to be squeezed or stretched or shown at a lower resolution than it's supposed to be.

    Any thoughts?..
  2. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    I've been burned by this here's a little bit of unsolicited advice...

    First of all, whatever background you design, try it on a projector in a room with the windows open and the lights on. Projectors aren't that bright, so you're going to lose a lot of detail.

    Secondly, try it with some dummy text to make sure the text is still 100% legible. I once used a beautiful blue for accent text...and it didn't show up in the CEO's presentation. Ugh. I also had a background image that was stunningly awesome...but it was also annoyingly distracting.

    As for size, I usually start with roughly 1024x768. The PNG file format tends to play very nicely with powerpoint...although JPG will work. PDF, TIFF, and EPS tend to be most uncooperative. 72dpi will work, although I personally prefer 96dpi.

    Good luck. PowerPoint is a beast.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you create a new document in PowerPoint 2003, for instance, the standard default template for full size backgrounds which I used to create and supply to people who needed them was:

    1443 pixels wide x 1081 pixels high @ 144 pixels per inch

    254.5mm x 190.7mm or 10.021 inches x 7.507

    Just out of vague interest, this is a typical example of the kind of backdrops for corporate stuff I would create and give to people, click for full size and dimensions:


  4. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    To add:
    • Most use the default PowerPoint presentation setup. However, some don't. Suggest that you check with your client first to get an example of a standard presentation to be sure that you create the correct size background.
    • Know your client. Patterns like the one BV showed may work for some clients but not for others.
    • Make sure your background works with your clients text (font, color, size, etc.) and doesn't clash and are easily readable when displayed.
    • Test your background on their display equipment. No matter how good your background looks to you when displayed on your laptop/desktop screen, it may look totally different using their projector.
    • Know their projector's native resolution and set your screen to the same so that it will match pixel for pixel when you design your background. Definitely will look better when displayed.
  5. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    The design is basically done, what I need to make sure of is that the image appears without distortion and crisp, ie that the background image and the size of the slide are exactly the same dot for dot. The text actually sits inside the image so legibility isn't a problem, but the images around the outside are sharp circular shapes - soft ovals are NOT an option!

  6. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    You can do it at 1024x768, or double it. I have found that a lot of 'generic businessy people' (the kind of people who use powerpoint) print these out a lot. Doubling the resolution provides a crisper print but may weigh down the file size.

    If there is an opportunity to bring the logo, for example, in separately from the rest of the background, you could produce that at double size for a better printout.

    Placing backgrounds into PPT is odd, but once you scale it to what looks right you can right-click on it and confirm coordinates and scale.

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