I am creating a new powerpoint template for my company (yes, I know, I know...) and I am not sure what dimensions are best to use.

I know the most popular is 4:3, but I see the 16:9 is widescreen and that's what most people use nowadays.

The 4:3 or the 16:9?

Is there a best practices guide?

update: I have since come across this useful slideshare which breaks it down. http://www.slideshare.net/Presentitude/what-slide-dimensionsshouldyouuse

I will probably end up doing doing both, design for 4:3, then adapt it to the contemporary 16:9 dimensions of powerpoint 2013


  • That depends on your company. Have you asked whoever gave you the task? Is it your initiative? What are the pros and cons? DO you need both? Also, you are contradicting yourself a bit in your question, which is the popular one now? And do you mean globally or in your company? Are the presentations for clients or for internal communication? Are there any other restrictions? – KMSTR May 12 '15 at 13:37
  • Thanks, I have since asked the task giver and the 'end-users' (sales). I mean globally. In my company we have used 4:3 till now. The presentations are for clients. – Talli Sharron Rozowsky May 13 '15 at 14:24

Mainly, it depends on the final destination of the presentation, and who will have control over presenting it. That is to say, if only you will be presenting it, and will have control over the viewing device, the choice is yours (although 16:9 gives you more real estate, and is, in fact, the more contemporary proportion).

If you will be sending the .ppt/.pps to others (clients, prospects, internal salespeople), you'll probably want to use 4:3, simply as that's more of a "lowest common denominator".

That said, at my company, our usual best practice is to make both versions, so we have either one at the ready. :)

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  • although 16:9 gives you more real estate – unless you are using a 4:3 projector (or similar). – Wrzlprmft Jun 21 '19 at 19:07

If it's a presentation, 16:9. If it's a printed document, 4:3

If it's a multi-purpose document that people will print, trust me people are going to view it on screen most of the time. Use 16:9

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